And we're here. First day of school came and went and was a success on all accounts. Pancakes were eaten, new dresses worn, and the day was enjoyed. Alyce was most excited to find out where she was going to sit in class (she chose the front row, just like her mama) and was more than a little devastated to find out that she wouldn't have any homework tonight (again, just like her mama would be). Shira cruised through the day give high fives to friends and teachers and then promptly suffered a meltdown after school because it is too hot and she was tired.
I'm not returning to midwifery school this year and it makes my heart a bit sad. It's only a one year break, and the rational side of my brain is busy listing all the good reasons for my year off (namely to look after myself), but the other side of my brain, the side with all of the feelings, is blue. Most of my friends have returned to school this week too and they are busy learning all of the things I want to be learning. Adulting is hard sometimes, isn't it? It means that I just have to accept that my year off is necessary and go about my business of getting healthy. But it's difficult stepping back from something I love so much.
I've been quiet here this week, in part because I've been spending the days sleeping after working too many overnight shifts, but also because I've been sitting with these feelings of sadness over not returning to school, mixed up with frustration that I haven't yet made any of the changes I've talked about since May. I'm still not feeling well, not getting exercise, not really making the eating changes I so desperately need, and most of all, not taking care of my stress. Not having made progress on all these goals makes missing the work of midwifery school this year even harder to take. I'm feeling all failure-like.
I think it's important not to get to run down by these (as of yet) unmet goals, but at the same time I want to listen and reflect on what it feels like to struggle. I want to learn from this process, to be open to loving myself even when I'm not my ideal self.
So have I learned anything yet? I hope so. I'm coming to realize that left to my own devices I am pretty lazy about making hard changes. Being home with girlies all summer made me a bit lazy, though looking back it wasn't a great time to try, what with the constant demands of a seven and five year old declaring that they were bored every ten minutes. It was hard to give over the time to myself that I needed to work toward my goals. I'm realizing that I suck at putting my own priorities first (as so many parents do in the face of their childrens' needs and the demands of work) and that I might need to set up a more structured approach to my health-improvement project, to create some new boundaries. (I also suck at boundaries.)
Today is the first evening of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah. It seems fitting that I re-commit to my goals tonight, right here. This year, amidst all these practical ideals of mine, I need to give myself permission to be more selfish, carving out enough time to do the work I want to do. I hope that you can do the same for whatever you need from this year. It is my wish that you can find the time and space to give yourself over to whatever is important to you in the coming months.
Let's do this. Shana Tova (Happy New Year) everyone!