What a Day!

Today was a doozy of a day. It started with it becoming arctic cold overnight, which I guess happened in most of the Northern Hemisphere since I kept reading that there were freezing temperatures in all 50 states. Here are some of the bad/annoying/irritating things that happened today:

– Declan’s slight, morning head-stuffiness morphed into an actual cold, no lie, en route to the allergist.

– We were sent home by the allergist with no food challenge and a hope of a cancellation in the near future.

– Despite not having the food challenge I still went all the way to the West Side in the freezing cold and spent $30 on cabs.

– Declan’s actual cold became a terrible cold.

IMG_0900

– TWO people walked right past me in the line at the grocery store as if I wasn’t there waiting too! (Cutting in line is my #1 pet peeve.)

– My two pairs of warm boots arrived from Zappos and NEITHER fit me and it promises to be just as cold again tomorrow.

– I had to drag my children into the cold and dark to volunteer for the last CSA shift to make my volunteer quota for the season.

– Declan created this masterpiece on the wall in the hallway.

IMG_0901

– I got my period. (Sorry for the TMI, but seriously, it’s the day that just won’t stop giving.)

But, all day my yogi-self kept telling me to step back and take a breath, to look at what was happening and see the positive. So, because of that, and because looking at the list above I seriously look like a whiny baby, I will oblige my yogi-self and see the positives.  So here are some of the good/nice/not annoying things that happened today:

– Declan and I stopped at the bookstore and it was story time and he LOVED it! That kids loves songs with hand gestures and being read stories.

IMG_0899

– Since Declan didn’t feel good he snuggled me all day. (I didn’t mind the snot that came with it too much.)

– I somehow got in some freelance work.

– Zappos has free shipping and returns.

– The other lovely people who were volunteering saw that I had my kids with me and that it was cold and let me sign in and go home! Yay for nice people! I did do a little restocking of veggies for good measure while we were there.

– Magic Eraser removes pencil on a wall like, well, magic.

– Declan fell immediately asleep and I got to snuggle with Brady a little. He told me about the stories he makes up while he’s falling asleep and it was incredible! It involves him making a legendary basketball shot, being sent to a special middle school in California to play basketball, coming back to New York for high school and leaving basketball to play football and perfecting the “rocket throw.” How cool is this kid?

How’s that for balance? I’m working on it. I really am.

Advertisements

Balance

Image

This morning at the start of my yoga class I bowed my head to my prayer hands and set an intention of balance. I wasn’t thinking of poses, although I’ve got a mean repertoire of arm balances in my practice these days. I was actually thinking in particular of jealousy. I was feeling very envious of someone yesterday and it was weighing on my mind this morning. When I set balance as my intention I was thinking specifically of balancing the jealousy I sometimes feel toward others with gratitude for the wonderful things I have. I realize that I cannot completely eliminate the green-eyed monster from my life. I will always look at what others have and sometimes I will think “I want that too.” Sometimes I will think “why do they have that when I don’t?” What I can do is temper these thoughts and feelings with thoughts and feelings of graciousness and contentment in my own life. When these thoughts pop up I can push back by reminding myself of what I do have and why it makes me happy.

After class I went to mass with Brady. The Gospel was one that is often used as proof that the end times are coming, Luke 21:5-19. You know, “nation will rise against nation…there will be great earthquakes…etc”. It is certainly not one of my favorite passages, so I was curious to see what the priest would say in his homily. He told a story of a man who went into his wife’s drawer after her passing and pulled out an unworn, expensive item of clothing. She had never worn it in all the years she owned it because she was waiting for a special occasion, one that never came. He chose to concentrate on the message that we should always be prepared, that we should live each day as a special occasion because each day is a gift from God and we never know how many more there will be.

It is a wonderful and true lesson and I tried to relate it to Brady in terms he could understand. I told him that the priest was saying that we shouldn’t worry about the end of the world, we should live today. But as we walked home I began to think. Of course we should take each day as a gift and we should try to remember to live in the moment. Yoga teaches us this same thing, be present. As a person living with anxiety, this is something I constantly struggle with. I live too much in the what-ifs and far too little in the right now. It’s one of the reasons I do yoga in the first place. But again, we must find balance. Nothing would be gained by actually living each day as if it were our last. While we need to be present and to remember that right now is the only thing that is guaranteed to us, we still have to live as if there is a tomorrow or we will be seriously out of luck when we wake up with the gift of another day.

Balance is something I find much easier to master in the form of standing split or tree or even firefly pose than I do in my everyday life. Yes, there is that constant in the life of a mother, balancing your family and yourself, your children and your husband, work and play. But in truth, it is everywhere we look. The instructor in my class today talked about knowing when to take the most basic form a pose and when to take the advanced option. It is often difficult to know if you are pushing yourself to a place you can go or torturing yourself needlessly – to know if you are taking the easy way out or resting when you really need to. And isn’t that the way of so many things in life? Balancing the guilt of letting the kids watch TV with the ability to cook dinner without herding them out of the kitchen 18 times in a row. Balancing the desire for one more glass of wine with the contentment of enjoying what you’ve already had. Balancing what is good for yourself with what is good for others. For most of us, it will always be a struggle, and maybe that’s a little piece of the meaning of life – the work of finding balance.

Clearly, I was in a contemplative place today and I thought I’d share. I don’t think this line of thought is something unique to me or my life. How do you work for balance? Do you find value in the work you have to do to find it?

I found the image after I had written this post. Anubis weighing someone’s heart to determine their fate in the afterlife certainly adds a whole new layer to the discussion, but I think I’ll leave that one alone. By the way, this particular image is from the Met Museum’s collectioAmun Nany’s Funerary Papyrus.

Some Wise Words from the Huff

 

ImageI wouldn’t call myself a fan of Ariana Huffington. While I’ll admit I don’t really know all that much about her and that, on the surface, I really should like her, she sort of rubs me the wrong way a lot of the time. I think maybe it’s because of all the mean comments people make on HuffPo. But she had an opinion piece on the last page of yesterday’s Businessweek that I just had to share.

She said exactly what I’ve been thinking since the media blitz over Marissa Mayer’s edict that Yahoo employees no longer work from home. She said exactly what I’ve been feeling since the economic downturn and what I see as employers taking all they can get by using the fear of joblessness to make one employee do the job of many. 

Enough of my words, check out hers.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-14/arianna-huffington-on-burning-out-at-work

And I believe this is true for all of us, not just those with high-powered jobs or even with paid-work jobs at all. Everyone can burn out when they’re trying to do too much, whether that be balancing an executive position with soccer practice or balancing potty training with a field trip and getting dinner on the table by 6, I think everyone needs to take a step back and unplug sometimes. 

When do you feel like burning out? How do you “unplug”?

Workin Mama

I refuse to let the blog suffer! As I said in my last post, I’ve been working WAY too much lately. I only have a certain amount of childcare each week and a certain amount of baby nap time. When work starts to spill over into evenings, I start to get crabby. I need some time in the day to relax. But when work starts invading the time I’m with the kids, there’s a problem. I’m ok with telling Brady to take his brother and go play in their room sometimes, although that usually results in some toy argument or another. But when I have to put on the television to get work done, I am not a happy mama.

At the moment, I feel like my apartment is a disaster, cooking is nearly impossible, everything is a rush, I’m exhausted, my kids are feeling neglected, and it just is not the overall situation that I would like to be in.

For the most part, I’m grateful to have some time devoted to work and some time devoted to staying with the kids. As a freelancer, it’s never that cut and dry, but I try my best to balance it. I’m hoping this project will be finished up soon so that I can get back to what I’m usually working on and feel more present in both my work life and my home life. The way things are now, I just feel stressed out and unhappy.

Luckily, I have a cute little helper for those times when I just have to fit it all in.