Oh, where to start? I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around your comments- I have read them, and re-read them, often with tears in my eyes, and a tug at my heart. The fact that you take moments out of your busy lives to visit me here, and that you leave feeling a bit uplifted, or inspired… and that you took the time to tell me so… well you will never know how much that means to me. And the affirmation that we all feel this way at times- lost, lonely, discouraged- well, it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my feelings. I think (okay, I know) I have the dearest group of readers in this whole darn blog-o-sphere! You have truly lifted me out of a dark place, and encouraged me to examine what is working, and what is not, in my life. Your comments (and they were substantial- wow- not a sentence or two, but heartfelt letters, whole letters!) made me ask myself some important questions- why do I blog, who do I write for, where are these feelings of inadequacy stemming from?
I am happy to report that I am coming out on the other side of that dark tunnel… I am moving through it. I know that motherhood is a work in progress, always changing and evolving. Just when you think you have a handle on it…poof…it shape shifts into a new, unrecognizable form, and you are left wondering where you left your road map. I guess that is life in general, though, isn’t it?
But this is what I know- I have been working hard since the moment Vijay was born, working to write and promote my book, working to seek out new writing opportunities, working to keep my photography and writing fresh and relevant, working on other side gigs that help to pay the bills. When you work for yourself, and you try to fit in work around your kids, it often means that you don’t have any “time off.” I am always squeezing in work during naptime, and at night when the boys are in bed. I am always looking ahead to what is next, and with no one to give me direction or guidance, it often means these thoughts consume me- am I doing enough, am I doing the right things, what’s next… I haven’t really taken a break to examine where I’m going, and last week, thanks to your comments, I realized that I was burned-out. My head needs a rest from all that planning, and working, and doing.
And so I hired a sitter and went on a breakfast date with my husband to The Grange (pictured here), the coolest new joint in town. I went to the gym and signed up for personal training twice a week for the next six weeks. I joined a community garden and spent two hours alone on Saturday digging in the dirt, and planting my spring crop. I signed up for that lacrosse league I was talking about. I watched as the weather shifted, and the sun shone, and with it my spirit lifted. I took the boys on long walks where we tried to find every crocus and daffodil in the neighborhood. I gave over our backyard to Vijay’s various “construction projects” and realized that my prefect yard will just have to exist on Pinterest this year (bonus- he plays out there with his trucks for hours with little need for mama- if this is what independent play is all about, I’m in!). I shut off my computer and was amazed at the clear head-space that resulted, and I realized that it is much more rewarding and pleasurable to cook instead of read food blogs, dig in the dirt instead of looking at perfect yards on Pinterest, and take pictures instead of looking at other peoples “perfect” pictures. I watched the entire first season of Meet the Midwife, while knitting, and fell in love with the characters. I took my camera out just to capture the gorgeous hellebores in my friends yard. I received the sweet gifts that were given throughout the week by friends who knew I was down and out: an iced latte and mini-cupcake left on my doorstep as an afternoon pick-me-up, dinner dropped off so I wouldn’t have to cook, a fat slice of carrot cake hand-delivered, a book sent in the mail to boost my spirits.
Most importantly, I listened….really, truly listened to all of your encouraging words. “This too shall pass.” “Cherish this precious time with your babies, it goes so fast.” “Give yourself a break.” “You are worthy, and talented, and we appreciate you.” We all need to hear these things more often- to be told that we are valued. I made a promise to be better at leaving comments on the blogs that inspire me. I also made a promise to tell the people who are important to me that I value them, and love them, and support them, no matter what they are going through. Vocalizing it is so important. So I’m here in this space with a renewed energy- knowing you are reading, and that you care- well, it makes me want to drop by more often. I think spring, with its flowering trees, and outdoor farmers markets, and rhubarb, and strawberries, and gardens and warm winds, will provide all the inspiration I need to keep on blogging. And the answer to the question- who do I blog for- I do blog for myself, but I also blog for my readers, and I really try, with every picture, and every word, to provide a glimpse of something simple and beautiful. And I realized I would miss sharing my finds with you- who else in my life would appreciate hand-stitched bunnies, and firetruck sweaters and eggs wearing tiny hats?! Yes- I’m moving through it…with help from you.