It’s a fun challenge trying to strike that balance between looking forward and looking around exactly at where you are right now….I’ve practiced yoga for nearly a decade. I enjoy how it makes my head and my physical body feel. And I rely on my practice to remind me of the importance of being present. It’s such a cliche, but I don’t know how I would manage if I didn’t allow that as an ‘excuse’ to shut some of the other noise out from time to time…I’ve lost that ability to focus lately, and am feeling a bit scattered as a result. Unable to turn on and off, unable to keep perspective, unable to remind myself of my goals and my purposes.
Again, nothing heroic or exceptional necessarily happening in my life. Quite the contrary, I think.
We’ve been through a big change, yes, and are days away from the big 6 month milestone of setting up camp in our new home… Which inherently implies that some things are starting to feel much more settled and predictable and comfortable. But it doesn’t mean that day-to-day tasks and chores and duties can’t seem overwhelming or exhausting to the most organized, most calm, or most centered of people. It gets you, and it’s getting to me now.
A theme I continue to encounter, with mixed sympathies, I must admit, is the need to be kinder and gentler and forgiving of ourselves…
Not even just women or mothers. People in general , slogging along day-to-day, trying to be contributing, respectful, aware, involved global citizens.
Cut yourself some slack, I hear.
Give yourself a break, I read.
Allow yourself to make mistakes, I watch.
And really, it all resonates. How could it not?
Pressures of work, of child-rearing, of home-tending all conflicting on a daily basis.
Being a top-shelf mother, wife, sister, daughter, employee, friend, aunt, cousin, blah blah blah… It’s no wonder we reach for the Top-shelf when it seems like we aren’t reaching anything even close to mid-shelf…
And while saying these things are making me cringe ever so slightly at the teenage-angst-wridden-whiny-voiced-self absorbed –esque tone that it could represent, I think it’s still healthy to recognize the funk, the struggles, however big or small we or others might think they are in comparison to others, however fortunate or stretched we might see ourselves on whatever day, and use this reflection to gain perspective. To remind ourselves of where we are, where we’re going, where we want to pause…. And centre. For a moment.
Don’t take ourselves too seriously. Be kind to others. And smile. That’s what I’m centring on today.
While I hear the taxi horns honking and look out at both the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building from my office desk.
We are moving offices today.
I think because we knew this was the eventuality, I’ve always looked at the current space and neighbourhood as temporary.
Transferring each morning at Times Square, to then exit at Grand Central- temporary. Hopping on at Wall Street on other days and hopping off Grand Central- temporary.
Taking the occasional stroll at lunch past the United Nations- temporary.
So I haven’t really established any regular ‘spots’ in the current area- no delis with a fall-back sandwich, no favourite coffee shops where they know my order ( although Grumpys did offer me some early morning solace on occasion).
It’ll be an interesting adventure to now actually establish and commit to the new space and neighbourhood.
Work out the new kid shuttling routines, become accustomed to the new view from the windows, coordinate coffee stops…
While away from ‘home’ this week people asked me what I thought of New York.
How in the hell do you answer that?
It’s awesome. It’s crazy. It’s intense. It’s kinda dirty. It’s a bit overwhelming. It’s inspiring. It’s tiring. And it’s here for us to explore.
And as temporary residents of the city ( for now anyway), I find us trying to strike that balance in becoming woven into the fabric of every day sort of living, while also allowing our curiosity as visitors to explore…
Is it way too naive to seek that balance now just when moving to a brand new city?
I’ll be honest.
Not all day. Not even every day. And in no heroic measure in any way. At all.
I’m supported and loved and respected. Enough for right now, anyway …
But I’m not winning all the time. And I’m learning, sometimes only after I’ve done something regrettable, or made a disappointing judgement, or just plain gotten too stuck in my own head for too long, that I need to be ok with cutting myself some breaks, with picking one thing over everything, with saying yes to help and no to more.
I wrote this to a friend going through some big changes today, and it brought me some peace, reflecting on things from this perspective…
‘Sadly we all know that nothing is certain in life… But what does need to feel as certain as it can is that you will each have each other’s backs in good and bad. And adventures aren’t easy. Sure, there’s the excitement and the inspiring parts. But it is also scary and tiring at times. And knowing that regardless of good or scary, you will be there with each other is what I think matters most …
And the Kids are awesome; they fill me up.’
These little ones this week, growing and learning and crying and screaming…but filling me up each day.
E awake at 10 PM one night to take a poo. And N with her hand on my leg as I was the Mystery Reader in her kindergarten class last week.
Now off to order the Creme de la Mer that exactly everyone here ( ok, maybe 5 New Yorkers in 3 days) uses.
Building the old self-esteem one awkward day at a time.