Chilling ‘n Clearing — by Robin

I have never been a napper. My dad does it. A friend of mine swears by it. But, it’s not my thing.

I’m not particularly good at relaxing. Never have been.

But, the other day, I spontaneously gave into my desire to chill.

I put on the television one late afternoon and watched a movie on cable. I laid on the living room couch with a bottle of water, and gave myself permission just to watch in the dark. It was peaceful, spontaneous, and I loved it.

Back in my single days, I’d often spend part of a Saturday practicing self care. Hitting the gym. Doing my nails. Reading the paper. Watching a good movie.

Since becoming a mom, weekends are no longer my own. So, if it’s alone time I seek, a weekday when Seth is in school is it. But, how to give yourself permission to take a break from work (I work from home) and other chores and errands? And, if you do give yourself a breather, how to do it without the guilt? What’s the point if you can’t totally relish it without thoughts racing through your head of what you could or should be doing instead?!

Sometimes I think about the different phases of life and how much things change. Life doesn’t stand still for anyone, especially a multi-tasking mom. Just look at how fast our kids grow up. My son is 6.5 already.

I was at my evening acting class Wednesday night, and when I came home, my husband told me that Seth (at bedtime), told him to promise to tell me that he loves and missed me (since I wasn’t there to tuck him in). I was SO touched that I wanted to give him a big hug immediately, but he was sleeping. I know the day will come as he gets older when he’ll need me less and less, so I treasure comments like that. Yet, at the same time, I was grateful for the time away at my class that I am enjoying.

Motherhood can be such a conflict at times, can’t it?! We are truly challenged to do so much in a given day….yet we (I) fight to hold on to personal and professional aspirations despite the many demands of life.

The key is to find happiness in the everyday and not let your to do list overwhelm. I have felt quite overwhelmed due to our basement project and all that has come with it in terms of organizing the house, purging, donating, etc. Tomorrow my cleaning woman comes to help with some of it. I thought it would be beneficial to bring her in since she does not have the emotional attachment I have to things. And, she’ll help move us along in her chipper way. She loves to clear and get things in order. I love the end result, but truly despise the process. When things are out of order and feeling really cluttered, the negative energy permeates the house and my mind, and it’s easy to feel stifled. A major clearing is in order here, and we’ll get there day by day. I have to muster the patience and keep the faith to know it will happen.

Tonite I am attending a workshop in NYC about how to live more simply. I’m curious to see what tips they have to offer. For me, I feel like it’s easier said than done, but I’d like to learn and at least make an attempt at it.

I won’t be home to read Seth a bedtime story or lay with him. I will miss that. But, if this class can shed constructive light in a way I can apply to my/our lives, Seth will ultimately be glad I attended. And Marc too. We’ll all reap the benefits.