Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Saying Goodbye

One of my 40 day goals is:

Explore what drives me. Live authentically in that space. Blog about it.

I've been thinking about this for a while and considering how it impacts the direction of this blog. Rock House Happenings has served as a wonderful starting point. It became a safe place. Its evolution was a little sporadic as I struggled with finding my voice. I couldn't quite find a comfortable place, even two or more years after I started. So sometimes, most times, it sat, stagnant. And so did I.

With this new year, with a renewed sense of purpose and an intrinsic pull to grow, I began to write again. This time with no agenda other than seeing where it would lead. This time with a focus fully on me, my struggles, my hopes. Casting away the urge to fit in somewhere in the blog world, casting away the misguided drive to be perfect, I simply wrote about what was coming up for me. Funny how when you stop trying to fit in somewhere, anywhere, you naturally find exactly where you should be.

Rock House Happenings will stay live; I affectionately read past posts and see the struggle. But I also see a writer. I see a mother. I see a strong woman who is finding her voice, her truth.

That truth is pushing me to move on to a different space. A space that will open up new opportunities to grow, to connect, to learn.

Find me (and maybe a little of you?) at Love Each Step. My new home in the blog world. My new space to grow and learn.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Live Like You're One

Shortly after a frustrated meltdown-- back at it!
I was watching Rowan play this morning, and it hit me just how much I can learn from her. She is always present. Her entire being exists in the moment. I know that isn't by choice- it is just how it is- but I see that I can follow her lead in many things.

I've come up with my new list of 40 day goals (check out the new tab!), and I realized this morning that one year olds live very unapologetically. Not just to us poor parents, but more importantly to themselves. There is none of the defeating self-talk that pummeled me into my foul mood on Friday. There is no second guessing choices made. She might make a mistake, she might get overwhelmed and frustrated, she might fall, but she moves on almost immediately. None of that defines who she is in any way.

I know it's easy to look at an unknowing one year old and see that wisdom when she knows no other way. But what if? What if we could live like that, even for a brief time each day? What if after we fall, after we make a choice, for better or worse, we simply move on? It may help us the next time, or we may forget about it completely. But the bottom line is it does not define who we are.

This is what my number one goal is about. No more apologies to myself for what I've done or haven't done. No more allowing those things to define me and my present experience.

I've recently been harassing myself for not blogging consistently over the last few years- for struggling to find my true voice, for feeling defeated and overwhelmed. I'm finished apologizing to myself for that. It is what it is. And if I truly believe that all is in perfect order, and I do, I have to stop allowing that to define my current experience. It's amazing how things shift when you drop the old baggage. Already, new experiences are waiting to be had! I'm excited for a fresh start.

There are so many other apologies I'm dropping... I'm giving myself permission to let them go!

For not running throughout my pregnancy...
For not feeling confident enough to live my truth consistently...
For feeling like I wasn't always patient enough, present enough with the boys when I was a single mom...

I could make a long list, but the details aren't important. The shift is what is what is important. No more apologies!

What can we learn from watching our children?

Love each step.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Date Night

Today we finally, finally had a date night! In the thirteen months since Rowan has been in our lives, we have only had about four times where we've been out alone, and this is only the second time we've gone somewhere just for us! We definitely needed this time together. Even though it was only two hours, the result of reconnecting is amazing. We decided to go back to Waterman's because that's where we had our awesome wedding reception three years ago.
I don't think we realized how much we needed some alone time until we were walking along the beach after dinner. It is so important to find time to reconnect, and after Jon went through a statistical analysis of hours in the month versus the time you are actually on a date (I tuned out at this point), we have made a commitment to work harder at setting up date nights more consistently. It feeds our relationship. It gives us a taste of what we were before Rowan. Sometimes in the business of family and work, that part of who we were together gets lost. In the blur that has been the past thirteen months since Rowan has been born, we have ended up neglecting us. Luckily, we have a strong foundation; we can handle the stress together as a couple, but we also need these moments to be present with just each other. To recharge!

It was such a great afternoon at the beach!

I know it probably drives Jon crazy, but I always reminisce about our first months together. Those months are probably some of the best in my memory-- they were fateful; I felt it from the very beginning. It may sound cheesy, but I just knew we were meant to be. And since we are coming up on our dating anniversary, it's especially something that is on my mind. My favorite is teasing him about the kiss and run incident on our third date at Mahi Mah's! I won't totally rat him out about that, though. We still don't agree on the specifics, but I know I'm right.

The site of the kiss and run incident.

I'm so glad I'm walking this journey of life, of parenthood, of laughter, of love with the best guy in the world for me. He grounds me, supports me, and makes me laugh. I couldn't ask for much more.

Sandy feet, ready for the journey!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Letting Everything Be

The cure for anything is salt water- sweat, tears, or the sea. (From Tiny Devotions Facebook page.) 
Yes! I learned this yesterday and today!

Yesterday I got myself into a funk. It started brewing in the early afternoon. By evening, it was a full blown bad mood that was accompanied by crankiness. Poor Jon. I get like this every so often. I start over thinking things. Then I get overwhelmed. Then I get frustrated and feel like I have failed. Then I should really sequester myself in a room all alone because I'm not fit for company!! And really there isn't a source of all of this. It takes on a life of its own, and I can't even say what is "wrong."

I so need to remember this!
Luckily (for us both!), Jon had a sushi date with a buddy, so I had time to stew alone after I put Rowan to bed. While I was rocking her, I sniffled and cried a little. Feeling defeated about everything? Yes. But at the same time not even really knowing what. I just felt off. Off balance. Out of focus. Intuitively, I must have known what would help because as I was rocking Rowan, I decided I would do a yoga video. I haven't done much yoga, especially recently, but I know how great it is. Each time I've made time for it, I haven't regretted it. Last night was no exception. I chose a 20 minute, release the tension video that is free on the lululemon website. The 20 minutes flew by, and at the end of the practice, I was much more relaxed, and I felt much more centered. I'm looking forward to making this a consistent part of my week!

I also felt inspired. I haven't done much meditation in recent memory, either. I used to frequently. I've let things fall away over the last few years, thinking I didn't need them or wasn't interested anymore. I allowed things to fall away, I think, because I wasn't confident enough to trust my intuition, my judgment, my choices. I'm working on changing that. So I found my favorite guided meditation by Adyashanti. What I like about him and his meditations is that they are not so bound by the idea that your mind has to be empty, blank. Because I know that I always used to stress that I couldn't do that good enough. I'd always struggle. Then I'd feel like a failure. And then get frustrated. Sound familiar?

This particular meditation focused on letting everything be as it is. A perfect reminder for where I found myself yesterday evening! I was allowing myself and my entire mood and experience be shaded by what I felt like I should have done about random things in the past. Or how I wished things could have been. I wasn't trusting. I wasn't allowing everything to be as it is. I wasn't being present. At all. By shifting my focus back to the present and by releasing control, I could relax. I could find my balance again. I found a peace after thirty minutes of quiet meditation.

Just one of the many great views at First Landing.
One run, I'll remember to bring my camera!
The final cure for my mood was an eight mile run this morning at First Landing. It was much better than last week's run, but it still took a good 4 miles to really get comfortable. Why is it always like that?! The weather was perfect today. Cool temps, no sun, no wind. The trails were very quiet for such a perfect running day, and my legs and breathing felt great. I'm learning to listen to my body, so when my knee started hurting around miles 3 and 5, I stopped to stretch. I focused on Adyashanti's meditation, and tried to let everything be. I have to get out of my head during runs, so I really tried to take in the scenery and the great nature in the park. The mental game of running is harder for me than the physical game. I know that I will be battling myself more on June 2 during the half than anything else. I need to practice letting everything be as it is, so I can get out of my own way. I know my body is strong. I know that I'm training to ensure that it will stay strong through 13.1 miles.

Yoga. Letting everything be as it is. Running by the sea. Give it a try if you find yourself in a negative space or a space of self-doubt. It so easily allowed what I was struggling with to begin to fall away. It is one more way I work on being present.

Nap post run. I was too tired to get out of the rocking chair and put her in her bed, so we just snuggled!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Being Mom, Take Two

Your eyes are glassy, blinking slowly as you nurse. I sit here, watching you and run my fingers through your wispy, brown hair. It's growing; I stroke the new layer that clings close to your forehead, and with each stroke, your eyelids briefly close. Your hand rests on my chest: a connecting touch, a point of shared energy. It's midday, and you haven't napped at all. Your gums are stressed, feeling the push of three teeth trying to make their way through. I've tried to put you in bed once, you immediately noticed the change in position, and you cried. So here we are again, in our rocking chair, our favorite spot.

I think back on all of the times I've rocked and rocked and rocked. I think about the sleepless nights, long days. I see me, a much younger, much more impatient mother, feeling frustrated. Being mom, a second time, has brought so many changes. Sure there are the simple lessons learned-- don't overheat the baby food, don't put the Q-tip in the ear too far, a baby doesn't really need all of the items you think they do...

But beyond that, I feel like I've learned or am learning about what is truly important. About time. About connecting. About patience (most of the time... This will always be a challenge!). About seeing their needs and meeting them there, rather than being attached to my agenda and desires. I'm content to sit in this rocking chair for two hours when she is teething and just needs to feel secure while she sleeps. I'm seeing how parenting the boys is changing as they grow. How they need me in a slightly different way than they have before.

I'm accepting myself, my mothering right where it is. I trust that I am always learning, and I am practicing being open to what comes my way. I am learning that I do not need to aspire to perfection- that will always set myself up for failure! Instead, I can aspire to be the best mom that I can be, right here, right now, recognizing and being open to what my children need.

I think back to when the boys were small, and I sometimes feel like I failed them somehow. I question myself- was I too impatient, too frustrated, too selfish? Did I give them what they needed? Did I connect with them enough? Did I wish away time?

But the bottom line is I did the best I could for where I was. They are happy and healthy boys. They are well-adjusted. They are awesome kids, and I'm proud of how they are growing up.

I'm proud of how I'm growing up, too. I'm working on my next set of 40 day goals, and I'm pretty sure one is going to focus on no more apologies! At least not for things that I can't change about myself and the past. I want to keep focusing on being present and also living authentically. Finding out more about who I am and what drives me and then setting intentions to live that truth. And not worrying about being judged (mostly being judged by myself!) I think it will be a great process!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Three Years

Happy anniversary to me and Hubby!! How can it be that it was three years ago that I married my best friend? A cliche? Yes, and one I scoffed at for years, but I'm lucky enough to see that it can be true.

I am so very grateful for second chances. After emerging from my first marriage a shell, confused and broken-spirited, I swore I'd never remarry. I'd lost all sense of what was normal in a relationship. All I knew was control, ridicule, anger, resentment. I realized I had to leave at the point when I found myself walking in the rain along the beach, cold to the bone, not knowing where to go and not wanting to go home. At that moment, I knew if I didn't leave, I'd slowly die inside.

Jon has renewed my belief in love, in goodness. He spoils me. Not in an overindulgent way, but in how he takes care of me: a selfless and loving devotion that I was not accustomed to. He allows me the freedom to be me, encourages me to find the best parts of myself; he supports me and pushes me to meet my goals.

We are a team, a partnership. We don't keep score; we work together to care for our children, our home, our relationship. We focus on communication and always try to maintain a loving connection. Do we argue and disagree? We do sometimes, but we always work together to resolve it.

This is what marriage should be. This is what I didn't believe existed. Today especially, I'm so very grateful for my life. For knowing a real love that does not judge, for seeing a softness, a tenderness in the eyes of my husband. For trusting in the longevity of this relationship and the journey we are on.

Today, with the help of our sweet girl, we celebrate the day of our very happy union!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The sunshine and warm spring weather finally returned today! Rowan and I celebrated by going to the park for the first time in a week.

I watched her wander around, marveling at how much she has changed. She walks effortlessly, as if she's always known how. She is starting to say words, and once you show her something, she remembers what it is and will point to it when you ask her where it is. She amazes me, day after day.

And she is simply sunshine, my sunshine. Her happy personality and cheerful disposition fill my days. She loves being ornery, and her satisfying giggle melts my heart. Her smile each morning affirms my decision to resign mid-year. I've grown with her over the past two months, each day learning how to be a better mom.

Our neighbors stop us on our walks, gushing over how adorable she is. They wonder how it is that she's grown so fast already. The ones with adult children, eyes filled with nostalgia, warn us how quickly it goes. I understand this too well. I see pictures of my boys, and that painful longing, the guttural ache for time gone by washes over me. So I try to immerse myself in each stage, in each day, neither longing for the next nor staying absorbed in the past. I see the light, the sunshine each of them brings to my days, and it warms me, reminds me that life is good.