i was sinking into the house of illness. leaving the shades in the bedrooms drawn and the yesterdays clothes on the floor of the bathroom. both kids were coughing and sneezing and feverish and clinging to me through day and night. meek voices, loud coughs, streaming noses and tears. i could feel my own body fighting off the same virus. i am sore and tired and stuffed up and achey. but it barely is worth mentioning or noticing your own illness when the kids are that sick. we got hit so hard.
we got hit so hard and i was sinking into it. so yesterday i set myself to the task of inspiring. flash asked me, amidst the running noses and viral tantrums, how i spend so much time with them without yearning for a break? this is a question difficult to answer. i do need breaks but i find them in the quiet moments of the day. when they fall asleep at night and then i stay a moment to kiss them in the silence marked by their deep breathing. when i sink onto the couch after finishing the tidy up. these are my breaks.
i think it is worth noting as well, and i said to him, this is what i do. i couldn’t take on another person’s job without wondering how on earth they do it. but this is it for me. it is what i do. my body, my heart and soul, we are used to the rhythm and pace of this work. as with any full time commitment there is an ebb and flow of ease. some times being a full time parent and earnest homemaker just happens. i wake and get to it and the day passes by with smiles and homemade bread and pots of kale soup. train tracks are built and cleaned up and pictures are drawn for daddy. we eat healthy snacks and catch ourselves laughing and playing outside for longer than anticpated on a cold day. then i sneak in a quick vacuum with them trailing after me with their vacuums. those days i feel accomplished and sure i am on to something good.
then other times i sink into a house of illness. it feels like every room is overrun with dust bunnies and misplaced toy bits. i find stickers on the bottom of my shoe and catch myself cursing whomever chose white tile for our kitchen floor. the children keep falling into rumpled piles of tears at my feet begging, “hold me hold me.” i can’t think when was the last time the toilets were scrubbed or a carrot was eaten. the art decorating our walls is from at least a month ago. i can’t figure what to make for dinner.
i want to sit on the couch and sigh a lot and then perhaps take a moment to yell at someone. i want to watch television and have a pizza delivered. i eye my knitting basket wearily.
what is a woman to do when she is sinking into it?
i have learned over the last four years what i need. i need to reinspire myself. i need to dream big and eek out the baby steps to get us there.
me, i hit the books. i hit the blogs and the files on the yahoo groups. i seek the vision of the life i want for my children and my husband and my self. i begin to imagine it is truly possible. even just dreaming what it would be like starts to lift my fog. i suddenly see the sparkle in their eyes even if it only lasts for thirty seconds and is followed by more sick tears. i sit on the floor and ask, “have i told you today how much i love you ?” i imagine what we can do tomorrow, and tuesday, and wednesday. i take one more step in the direction of a rhythm. i set another layer of goals down in my mind. i ask myself to do more for them and instead of overwhelming me it lifts me up.
being stuck, sucked down, into the mire of their one and three year old emotions. wanting to plug them into something else so that you can stop feeling so sapped. of course it happens. and i am not saying i catch it right away and jump off the couch with my apron tied tight and lead us in a rousing hour of clapping games. no no. i sink down and get snappy and tread water like the best of them. it is just that i am learning how to move out of the stuck with more ease and grace. i don’t bother getting so angry with myself over it. i don’t fret and regret i simply follow my heart and mind in the direction that feels like it is igniting me. then i take the smallest step.
this morning it meant i pulled up the blinds, i threw open the windows, i stripped all the beds and made them up with fresh sheets. i invited the illness to exit our life. i brought in some energy and vigor. we drew pictures and hung them up. we built a tent/fort with a tunnel and every playsilk we have. i baked a loaf of bread and we had fresh cooked grains and chickpeas for lunch. i cleaned all the old food out of the fridge and handwashed the containers with my little helpers.
i still have a cold and i snapped the bean more than i should have when he needed me this morning. yes i did and i am sure to stumble over my feet as i seek out my path again and again this afternoon and evening and again tomorrow and on and on. seeking, falling, yelling, apologizing, kissing, wiping my hands, dreaming and creating our life. that is the work. it pushes me harder than anything i could have dreamed of doing with my life. i feel called to it. i feel blessed by it. it crushes me and makes me want to rebuild myself. it is a way of life and i constantly seek the sources that help me to grow into it. i let the work be life changing. i want it to be that big.
do you let your life move you? do you seek out your forms of inspiration when you are stuck in the mud? do you thank the universe for giving you each challenge more insane than the last so that you get to grow and grow and learn in this lifetime? do you know that to dream is to bring into being? do you jump start your joy?
try it out. i dare you.
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