What Gets You through the Day
The past seven or eight weeks have been among the hardest I’ve experienced in many years. As if adjusting to having a third-grader and all that entails in scheduling and stress isn’t enough, I had severe back problems for the second, third and fourth weeks of school, and ongoing allergy and sinus issues that often spoil my sleep.
I’d like to say we’re settling in. At least my back is better (thanks to excellent chiropractic care) and the sinus problems will resolve–I hope–after sinuplasty next month. But it will take more than six or eight weeks for the new parenting gig to feel natural and comfortable (if it ever does).
In the interest of putting on my own oxygen mask first, each day I do at least a couple of soul-feeding activities. These are the five I’ve found most helpful.*
- Walking. After I take Chloe to school I walk around the nearby park and neighborhood in the beautiful morning autumn light. I call it my “detangler” because I start out in knots and end up having solved all my problems. Well, of course not really, but it does loosen a lot of mental tangles.
- Painting. Some days I come home and head straight for the canvas, palette and brushes. Or not–sometimes I forgo brushes and slather paint straight onto the canvas with my hands. One piece now hangs in our bedroom, and a couple more are in progress.
- Journaling. Instead of pouring paint on canvas, I pour words on pages.
- Swimming. When my back was so painful I couldn’t walk and while it stays warm in central Texas, the weightlessness of being in water always eases my spirit. And a hot tub soak afterwards is a lagniappe. I am so grateful for our beautiful condo pool and spa.
- Knitting and needlework. If I don’t have time to knit a row while I’m waiting for Chloe to piddle around brushing teeth or hair, I can pick up embroidery and do a couple of stitches.
I’d like to add reading. Sadly, by the time I get Chloe to sleep I’m usually too tired. I squeeze some in during the day because I can’t not read.
*I could add a sixth item, but it needs to be used judiciously or it’s a drag: a glass of wine with dinner. After helping with math homework, maybe two.
I do need to get up-to-date with pictures of the finished room and how things are really going in our new life. Next time.