I am exhausted. November and December, in hindsight, look like the insides of a tornado. Okay okay, that's not fair, November was actually really awesome, but December - December was certainly a tornado. In its mix: husband touring extensively, toddler cutting 8 teeth (which made him forget how to sleep), and a persistent cold that turned into a crazy sinus infection (I'm still coughing).
It is incredibly crucial to pay close attention to your anxieties. Why? Because all that anxious thought will bite you in the ass. If I had a bumper sticker which would have summed up my greatest anxieties of the past year, it would read: ALL ALONE AT HOME WITH NON-SLEEPING TODDLER. So what happened? I ended up all alone at home with a non-sleeping toddler. And here's the thing: it wasn't that bad. In fact, it forced me to finally surrender to all those things which are really out of my control. This is such a breakthrough for a control freak, to realize that there are things I can't control so can just stop trying. It's like a vacation!
I have a tendency to make busy. Plan plan plan, do do do, fix fix fix. I exhaust myself. I am certainly the culprit of my own insanity. My pattern has always been to fit as much as possible into each day, and do this for weeks on end, then take a trip somewhere by myself. I've always believed that in order to feel life at its peak, it has to be crammed full of experience. Then the vacation serves as time to unwind and reflect before heading into the next bout of creative madness. Here's the hitch: having a kid means that I don't take those trips by myself to decompress. So I am faced with two choices: stay on the crazy train without a vacation, or get off the crazy train and find a new way.
What I want to tell you, from the other side, is that what I gain from 5 minutes of open-hearted joyous play with my kid does not compare with a trip by myself to Tulum. Sigh. I think I just lied. Trips to Tulum are amazing, but my kid is even more amazing.
So what to do now that there isn't that chance for the getaway? I make the ordinary moments my salvation. I discovered this one night in the midst of December's madness when I had to drive to Canadian Tire in a rainstorm to pick-up a steam cleaner (long story). I get to Canadian Tire and am bulldozing my way through the aisles looking for lightbulbs, a stepladder, bob skates, all the while getting more worked up and stressed. Then I hit the customer service line-up to order the steam cleaner. It was a Sunday night. Long line-up. I could have lost it completely, but instead I took a breath and realized THAT was my moment to escape, to find some peace, to relax, to take a little vacation in my mind and pray. I prayed for things to calm down, I prayed for some patience, I prayed for Cedar to take up sleeping again. And a moment which could have gone awry went beautifully instead. I think I even listened to Hungry Like the Wolf on the way home at full volume and whipped my hair around a bit.
So take my advice: make life your temple. Make life your vacation. Listen to old Duran Duran. Eat more cookies. Be kind. Practice patience. Eat more cookies. Forgive your parents. Forgive yourself. Welcome a new year with open arms.
Off to bed.