When I finally made it out of the house on Saturday, I was able center myself. Oftentimes, it is hair splitting work to get ready to leave the house. It is work that I start hours ahead of the time I need to be out the door. It is work that keeps me busy right up to the very minute I should be in the car.
Why does it take so damn long to “Get Ready” to leave the house???
It’s the clean-up after breakfast, all the pooping, taking a shower, brushing our teeth (Bella now has two on the bottom), getting us all dressed, feeding Bella, feeding Max a snack, feeding Max lunch, cleaning up after eating, talking on the phone, trying to snack while on the phone, packing Bella’s diaper bag (which I always say I’m going to do the night before, but never do), arguing with Max about brushing his hair, brushing Max’s hair, talking to Max about what we are going to do, talking to Max about his dinosaurs, stopping what I’m doing to address Bella’s need to be held… it’s all of this and more, but not always in this order.
…but once I’m in the car I can always exhale.
It is hectic times like this that I want to be centered in the moment. When I do manage to live in the moment I can handle extremely frustrating situations with a sense of calm and joy. However, this is not the way I live my life. It is so hard to take joy in the “doing” instead of rushing to just get it done. These days are flying by so quickly. My baby girl’s growth is a constant reminder of this quickness.
The presence of children in my life is teaching me to slow down and smell the roses, as they do so naturally.
Slowing down takes lots of practice.
Another piece on pondering friendships…
I went to a Mother Blessing for a friend on Saturday. Attending these ceremonies is an honor and reminds me of how beautiful and meaningful life is. I feel lucky to know women who deeply value other women. I feel lucky to have a group of mama-friends who are in many ways, like minded. Hell, at age 32, I feel lucky to have friends at all and still be making new ones every year.
As I’ve aged my palate for friendships has narrowed. My standards have risen. Yet, the list of requirements has gone down to the simple need for honesty in communication. I may not have the same perception, but if it is your story I can easily respect your path. If you are respecting yourself (aka: not being self destructive in a physical, emotional, or mental capacity) I can be by your side to listen with a compassionate ear. However, if you are being self destructive, my boundaries will gently go up as I acknowledge my lack of control in your behavior. I’ll point you in [what *I think* is] the right direction but relinquish the responsibility of making sure you head that way. This, my friend, is being honest and showing compassion toward myself.
I’ve always played The Nurturer in my friendships and now I realize that was an addiction. I was addicted to the high of being The One my friends could confide in and look to for advice. Maybe I started taking on this role because while growing up I felt so helpless in helping my mom cope with her problems. Maybe I started taking on this role because I felt guilty for not being able to help her – so I was repenting by trying to help others. I don’t really know for sure why, but somehow I became The Nurturer.
I’m not a therapist. I’m not trained to manage the big feelings of adults. It has taken me 32 years to realize this truth and speak it. I will never again take on the responsibility of another adult’s “issues.” I’ve lost friendships making that mistake in the past and I’m still working on sorting out the feelings associated with that loss.
Being honest and gentle with myself has been a hard trait to develop. I think for those of us who are on this path, we always find one another and hold on tight. That is how I view all of my friendships these days (in real life and on-line): as separate paths crossing in moments of time with the similar trait of having a need, a drive, to be gentle and honest with one’s self and others in the process. I’m still learning what honesty is and love that I know so many other’s who are learning, too.
I used to meld friendships into my life in such a way that their realities became mine and visa/versa. I felt insecure during those years and only in hindsight can I see how codependent I was in viewing another’s life in this way.
Even my marriage is about two different people on separate paths that cross in moments of time. Hal and I are connected in responsibilities, offspring, and lifestyle but our lives and experiences exist as separate realities. Remembering this on a daily basis helps me to value Hal and his story. And remembering that our lives are separate because we do not share a body/brain, helps me to never take him for granted.
Anyway, I’ve kind-of gone on a tangent.
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