Practices that are Saving my Sanity
I originally wrote this in mid-April, when the snow had been coming down for 36 hours and counting, 6 inches? a foot? The accumulation didn't even matter since the signs of spring were hidden. We tell ourselves we expect this in my part of the world, but still slap! when it happens.
At the time, tempers were short, patience was limited, cabin fever is real. A March retreat to Arizona reminded us that summer exists, though travel handed us nasty rounds of illness - pinkeye once, twice, three times?, barking coughs, sinus congestion - that we tried to shake for three weeks and counting. And then, the mounds of snow. Summer does exist, right?
These are, of course, silly complaints. When the toddler naps I remind myself that the snow is good for the earth, that we're blessed with good health overall, that I directly influence how cozy my home is, that there are things I can do to restore my patience in only a few minutes. When she wakes and whines, I still catch myself in impatient sighs, snapping my tongue, setting things down with too much force in an effort to express my frustration. What am I? A two year old?
Now in late summer, we've just returned from an incredible child-free, other-side-of-the-world adventure. Reintroduction is always trickier than I expect. The relaxation and mental clarity of days and nights away slowly become memories, and these reminders feel just as necessary as they did when spring-time snow arrived.
And so I am forever learning a practice in patience here, a deep breath there.
A stretch, a release, ten minutes of morning yoga;
Orange carrots, yellow chicks, Crayolas and old Easter coloring sheets,
reminders of spring;
Pencil scratches as I ambitiously calendar my week, then reconsider and erase,
Steamy shower, before the toddler wakes;
Breakfast, hearty and delicious so I don't wonder why I'm an emotional wreck at 9am;
Crisp sheets, pulled tight, a made bed;
Three pages of a current book, There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather, fitting, right?;
A plan to break the cabin fever: the pancakes I promised require milk but we're all out.
Maybe it doesn't look like it to the outside observer, or my husband at times, but I know I'm learning, growing; my toddler's antics, giggles, and kindness show me that I too can be kind. This new, snow-covered day, can be a good one, if I choose. I must choose.