Wednesday, April 18, 2012


During pregnancy I had some extra time to read articles, books and blogs on what to expect when our baby was born. I was also diligent about learning what to expect while I was pregnant .... and even so there were / are so many surprises that no one tells you about. Or, maybe it's just that everyone's experience is so vastly different .... yet, there are SO many similarities between moms, couples and new parents in general. The more I speak to other moms the more I feel connected and bonded in a unique - "yes, I understand you" way. The similarities I hear are lack of sleep, lack of time to do things like take a shower, put on make-up or be intimate with your significant other. It's comforting in some ways and yet, when you're at home alone with your baby, feeling spent and unsure if you have what it takes to show up for the day it can feel lonely and daunting. Lately, these feelings are far and few for me but they do still exist because as every mom (and dad) know, having a child or children is HARD work and persistent. There is no 'time off' for moms and dads.

I marvel at the things that people have possibly mentioned to me but that I (at the time) dismissed and now think ... "OHHHH I get it!" Things like your life is going to change forever once you have a child / children. And how true this is ... in the best and most complex ways. And then of course there are the ways my life has changed from a selfish perspective. It is no longer all about me (and my husband). Traveling is not just about exotic get-aways any longer but rather where we can go that will be children friendly. There is rarely a time I think to lounge and read a magazine - instead it's a race to get what I can done in the time I have allotted (usually an hour per nap).

Motherhood is truly one of the most priceless, amazing experiences I've ever known and one of my best teachers. On the days I think I can't do this I remember it's just a day at a time and I know from experience I can do ANYTHING for one day. On days when I feel a rush that I need to get 'my life' going again (i.e. my business, my house completely decorated, etc...) I remind myself there is NO RUSH and that I only have THIS opportunity ONCE to be with my 5 month old who is soon to be 6 months and growing rapidly by the day. I never want to look back and have regret because of my selfishness. Everyone I meet who has children longingly reminds me this time goes VERY fast - and you can NEVER get it back.

Thank you to all the moms out there who share their experience with me - it comforts me immensely and normalizes the sometimes challenging aspects of being a parent. We all know it's the hardest job I'll/we'll ever love.

Love you Carson Thomas!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Compare and ..... despair

I know this concept so so well and yet, I fall into the trap often. The pattern goes like this - I get something new (or at least new to me) - an outfit, a car, a phone, a house, a job..... and the list goes on. And, at first this 'new' item feels exhilarating and abundant to me. I feel proud of this new item - what it means and the status I think it brings. Mostly, I feel grateful for the privilege of having this 'new' thing. I think I secretly look forward to using or wearing this item in hopes of getting some accolades and showing it off. This lasts for a little while - sometimes a few weeks, sometimes a couple months..... and sometimes only a mere week or so. Then an unfortunate shift happens; I begin to notice what others are doing or what they have and very swiftly begin to minimize the magnificence of what I have. All of a sudden the car I have that I loved when purchased becomes insignificant or mediocre at best. The house that was once amazing and truly perfect becomes O.K. when compared to the Joneses down the street whose house has more bells and whistles or a better view. I remember when I was single and I used to have moments (sometimes weeks or even months) where I was completely content with my life as a single woman. I did what I wanted, when I wanted, with unlimited options of activities. Then as if to poke my head out of my 'bubble' I would see others who were gleefully dating, married or on the brink of having children and I would immediately feel inadequate and panicked. I would feel my body rush with anxiety and urgency - as if I needed to 'make' something happen NOW. How quickly I would lose sight of what was great about my life as it was (or is!). I would shift from trusting the 'process' to feeling like I'd better take charge and enforce change more rapidly than was happening.

Ironically, when I do acquire that thing I thought I needed it NEVER fills that insatiable need for more .... obviously. My husband recently asked me if I needed more 'toys' because I was having an insecure moment. I quickly responded "no". I know without a doubt that my insecurity or feelings of inadequacy cannot be changed with money or items. It's a spiritual void and a lack of gratitude. I once heard someone say, "if you're not happy on the bus, what makes you think you'll be happy in the limo?" How true. Happiness and contentment starts NOW. The rest is gravy.

What I know is that my fulfillment NEVER comes from material things ..... no car, house, outfit or diamond could even begin to compete with my relationship with my husband, my perfect little boy (of course, I'm bias) and friends and family who I cherish deeply. Not to mention and probably MOST important my growing spiritual life ...... there cannot ever be a price tag associated to feeling connected. It cannot be bought, ever.

I once heard that if I was going to compare to others and covet what they have, that I needed to want all of their life. The WHOLE package - not just bits and pieces. When I put things in this perspective - I choose my life. I choose what I've been given ..... I have all that REALLY matters and SO SO much more. There will always be others with more money, a bigger house, a flatter stomach AND there will always be those who have no money, are living in their cars and have very little to eat. Bottom line - appreciate what I have. It's amazing and perfectly enough.

A grateful attitude = gratitude. :)


Monday, April 9, 2012

Send / Receive

Tap, tap, tap..... when will the message get here? I live in an impatient world. I have expectations of texts and emails being immediately answered - especially now that I have an "all inclusive" iphone. I find myself tapping on phone button embarrassingly often to see if anything new has arrived, as though I'm 5 years old anxiously awaiting Christmas morning. I think my little boy (who is ONLY 5 months old) has even picked up on the notion that when I have the phone in my hand, I am not paying focused attention to him. And, while he cannot speak in English yet, he does in no uncertain terms let me know that this is not OK with him.

I think the truth is that I'm addicted to immediate gratification. Or maybe it's immediate escapism. Ugh! How humbling!

Is this because I feel lonely and am seeking connection? Is it boredom? Or am I simply addicted to distraction? I don't even need a computer these days.... my phone contains everything I need- Facebook, Google, email, the weather, games, text messaging and more. On one hand I think - wow, this is fantastic I have all that I need at my fingertips. And on another I think things were more relaxed and simpler when I didn't have all these options. It's ironic that people pay top dollar to get away to resorts that have no t.v.'s, radios or computers ..... do I/we have to pay to not be distracted and catch a break?

In the time I've written this blog post, I've looked at my phone, which continues to receive messages, at least 10 times. It appears that I need to find a new strategy to temporarily part ways with my beloved phone if I want to really practice being present to the NOW. While my phone gives me continual connection to my world around me, it also pulls me away from being here NOW. Things like feeling my body, noticing how shallow my breath is or how the trees outside are moving slightly..... or how the two men sitting in the corner of this Starbucks are having conversation with each other while on their own respective phone calls. It's all random and yet so wonderfully unique and often amusing. It's easy to miss it when I'm tapping my phone to see what messages await me. I think the messages can wait. I think returning the calls can wait. They all have their time and place..... it's not ALL the time. It WILL BE SOMETIMES.

There will always be calls to make, texts to receive and emails to send .... THIS moment will only happen ONCE. It's always my choice. As it is yours.

Signing off so I can be present ; )