I'm not quite sure what to say. It's been so long since I've shared my adventures (such as they are) with you. One moment I was busy blogging and sharing my goals and projects, and the next moment I was closing my computer and stepping back. It just didn't feel right anymore, and I'll tell you why.
Now before you kindly reassure me that I'm so lucky to have had the time off from the stress and chaos of full-time school or that I am blessed to have the experience of staying home with my daughters, please know that I know all this. And in between all the times my year off from school has sucked, I've loved the time I've spent with my children, and the quiet hours at home while they're at school. But this doesn't change how I've felt this past year, and I don't want to brush these feelings aside anymore.
I had taken a break from my midwifery program for a few different reasons, but mostly it was about taking a year or so to become my healthiest self. Midwifery is demanding, parenting is demanding, and I wasn't getting any younger. I was out of shape, in pain, struggling with my moods, and in need of a reset of sorts. I believed that I owed it to myself to spend some time getting healthier in order to both meet the demands of life and to enjoy the hell out of it.
But then life got hard and I wasn't ready for it. There I was, with all this time in front of me, and yet I couldn't seem to find a single moment with which to devote to the changes I knew I needed to make to my life. Yes I was working and spending a lot of time with my girlies, but I also had a lot of freedom that just brimmed with possibilities. I would go to bed at night with big goals and plans for the next day, but then the next day would come and nothing. All I felt was unmotivated, grumpy, and still out of shape, in pain, and struggling with my moods. Nothing seemed to change. So I'd just take a nap and see if tomorrow was better. And it wasn't.
Looking back, there were many reasons why I felt so low this year. It was a shock to my system to go from a hectic midwifery placement to life at home and I needed more for an adjustment period than I realized. I was struggling with Alyce and all of her new eight-year-old needs. I'm not the greatest at self-motivation. And also--the biggest reason--change is fucking hard.
But here are a few things that I've learned about myself this year:
- It's dangerous to spend too much time on my own. I am one of those tricky extroverted introverts and if I'm not careful I'll stay home in a quiet house for too many days in a row. Do you know what I do while I'm home by myself (besides obsessively clean)? I dwell. I sit on the couch and dwell. And that's not good for anyone. I have the kind of job where I work by myself, but even leaving the house to go work in a coffee shop or library forces me out a good rut. And friends--I need more time with my friends. They soothe my soul.
- I need get more exercise. I've surprised myself lately with regular walks and I'm always in a better and more productive place after these excursions. Fresh air + moving my body cures so many ills.
- I need structure. Like I REALLY need structure. Cue my husband rolling his eyes because all he ever does is tell me this.
- I'm a good parent. While Alyce might find it terribly annoying that I'm around all the time, I know deep down that she's needed me this year. Shira has been overjoyed by my omnipresence and it's nothing short of magic to be loved that hard.
- I need to be okay with doing hard things. I started the year with so many big goals and then I crumbled under the pressure because it was difficult. It isn't easy to quit smoking or to change how you eat. But I'm starting to see that life won't fall apart just because things get hard. I have to believe that I'm stronger than I realize.
- I really just want to be a midwife. How wonderful that I've taken this year off school and realized just how badly I want to be a midwife!
- It's okay to take a year off and hate it.
So why am I back? Because I think I'm feeling better. I have four months left before I return to school and I'm ready--really ready--to move forward. Spring is in the air, there's sunshine on my face, and I'm ready to go. I've decided to show up here and again and share my days and efforts and challenges with you all over again. Maybe you are too, and we can do this together.
Get ready for goals you guys.