What to do when Everything Sucks (the list)

The lovely Goddess Leonie recently made a post about her list of things to do when everything sucks.  By “recently” I mean “a while ago, but I have been a) insanely busy, b) in a place where I actually needed this list too much to make one because I was too cranky/upset/stressed to think of anything…if that makes sense.  Fun times.  But last night, after a truly terriblehorriblenogoodverybad day, I FINALLY made the list.  So, you know, next time I need it I’ll have it…I hope.

What To Do When Everything Sucks:

1. Give yourself permission to Not-Do whatever it is you’re trying to get done (for me it tends to be dishes).
2. Take a deep breath (or several).  Hyperventilating does NOT count.
3. Light a candle.
4. Smudge (at this point it doesn’t matter WHAT you smudge as long as you smudge something…cedar is my favourite smudge-material).
5. Sniff some vetivert, sandalwood, or lavender.
6. Smile at yourself in the mirror.
7. Take some Rescue Remedy.
8. Put on some dance-y music and…DANCE.
9. Choose giggles (play “chase-you” or make fart music)
10. Ask for a hug.
11. Sing.
12. Have some more tea.
13. Go for a walk in the woods.
14. Step into another room for a minute and Let It Out.
15. Call a friend.
16. Get more sleep that night.
17. Remind yourself that every day is a fresh start.

Items on the list don’t necessarily have to be done in this order, although I did arrange them in a way that made sense to me.  Some day I’d like to have the list memorized so as SOON as I feel crappy I can go “Ok, down the list we go!” and do it.



Monday Intention: {Be}

Happy Monday!

What a whirlwind of a weekend (of a week, really)!  Our friends came over and helped us with the final push for packing on Friday night, but it was still a mad dash starting at about 5:45am on Saturday and going until the movers left at 3.  I had 4.5 hours of sleep, and Matty had less.  And then we had a brief nap and started unpacking.  On Saturday night I had my birthday party, at which I got slightly tipsy, and on Sunday I got the cold that Matthew and Xander had been battling for days.  Of course.  Today I felt moderately OK most of the time, and managed to get about 2/3 of the boxes unpacked…leaving all of the random-clutter (aka the not-fun-to-unpack) boxes still to do.

*deep breath*

Thank goodness for Matthew, who put Xander down for his nap today and then instructed me to go out and get myself a drink at Starbucks and TAKE A BREAK.  (Have I mentioned how amazing it is that I can now walk to places like Starbucks?  PRETTY DARN AMAZING).  I think it was the first time I had sat still (and alone) for more than 10 minutes in weeks.  While I was there I did a lot of journalling and a lot of thinking.

Here’s the thing: I haven’t been a very good mama lately.  I’ve been stressed out of my mind and trying to get things done, and my relationship with Xander has been very antagonistic lately.  A lot more yelling than I’d like.  Not enough gentleness and fun.  He’s begun to feel like a chore, which, frankly, is the way kids are generally portrayed, but it’s not the way I believe parenting should be.  I’ve had this hideous nagging feeling of not-right-ness, very similar (believe it or not) to the feelings I used to get when I was working on a paper and I could tell that it wasn’t my best work.  I don’t like the feeling, especially not when the outcome is a person and not a paper.

I thought and thought and wrote and thought and I realized that I’ve stopped being Present with Xander.  I used to be really good about this, but lately I’ve been largely ignoring him and trying to get my own thing done…plugging him into the TV or handing him a pencil and paper and then going about my business.  I’m not advocating hyper-intense helicopter parenting here, but SOME time each day in which you are mentally and emotionally available to your kid is probably a good thing, right?  Oy.

And then I realized that this isn’t just a parenting issue.  This is a life issue.  I’ve been off-center for ages.  Part of it is the moving-induced stress, but that’s not all of it.  It’s been slowly creeping up for ages.  I never stop.  I never breathe.  I never get really truly centered.   This is  a Big Deal.  I miss feeling at home with myself and being truly at rest.  I’m a very GO GO GO personality, but sometimes -often of late- I start feeling that if I keep this up I’ll burn myself out in a few years and die really young.  It’s scary.

Anyway, all of this thought happened and I realized that I need to take some time and try to {Be} again.  Be present.  Be mindful.  Be HERE.  Breathe.  Stretch.  Play.  Pause.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to unpack like a demon, but I’d like to incorporate some breathing/stretching time and some playing-with-Xander time back into my daily routine (if you can call what we have right now a routine…we’re not really settled yet).  So that’s my intention for this week: to explore the ways I can be present in my life and present for my son, and to create habits which support this intention.  I have a few ideas already: stretching (he loves yoga), breathing before bed, listening to different music, actually doing art/crafts with Xander instead of sticking him at the table and going off to do my own thing, inviting help with chores, being OK with slowness…

I want this move to be the catalyst for a lot of positive change in all of our lives.  I also want 30 to be a magical age for me.  I feel very hopeful about this…it’s going to be great.  It’s just going to take Presence…

Happy Birthday to ME.

October 15th.

Today is my double-champagne birthday.

Don’t know what that is?  That’s OK.  I made it up.  Your champagne birthday is when you turn the same age as the number of the day of the month.  I turned 15 on my champagne birthday.  But today I turn 30.  So it’s my double-champagne birthday and I get to drink TWICE the champagne.  Only, in point of fact, I don’t get to do that until tomorrow because today is uber-insane-day-before-moving-day-and-oh-yeah-people-are-coming-to-view-the-house-too.  ACK.

Needless to say, while I feel like today *should* feel like a momentous occasion in birthdays, the truth is that it does not feel like a birthday at all.  Or it didn’t…until my husband told me his idea for my present.

I asked for 2 things for my birthday: a new purse and membership in Goddess Leonie’s Goddess Circle.  When we were in Toronto I found and was given a MARVELOUS Guess bag in shades of purple leather with studs and a shoulder strap (I have never felt such perfect love for an accessory in my ENTIRE life).  And today Matthew said “What I really want to give you is the Turquoise Membership to the Goddess Circle.”  My jaw dropped.  That, right there, is beyond my wildest dreams.  Seriously.  Way too expensive, I told myself.  Way too much.  I don’t deserve it.  But you know what?  WHAT A WAY TO CELEBRATE THIRTY!!!  To have a whole year of magical goddess goodies and personal coaching and healing and workshops and connection?  It’s perfect.  Suddenly my birthday, which was feeling so anticlimactic, became special.

We’re not signing me up today.  We’re waiting until we’ve settled into the new place a little.  I don’t want the energy of this house anywhere near my Goddess Year.  But yeah…I’m beyond happy about it.  Happy birthday to ME.