Friday, October 21, 2011

Hangin' With the Ducks

Playful, brisk breezes
Dancing on
Rings of rippling water
Wings flapping overhead
Symphonic swoosh
Feathered creatures
Birds, geese, ducks
Tweeting, honking, quacking
Calls and answers in their communal habitat.

I have about five hours of "free" time per week. Both of our families live on the opposite coast, so there is no dropping the kids off with Mom to run an errand or two.  I get a babysitter that we really can't afford, two days a week for two and a half hours each day. Such a blessing, but never enough time.   Usually I have the best intentions for these limited hours.  I plan to take a yoga class, or a hike, or to just sit in a coffee shop and read.

Well, I can count on one finger how many times in the past 6 months I have actually used this coveted time in such a way. I wind up going to the grocery store, talking on the phone, taking one of the kids to the doctor, or driving aimlessly, wondering what on earth I am doing driving on the traffic jammed highways of Los Angeles with no destination.

Today, although I had many chances to diverge away from my intended path, with 25 other things on my list, I forced myself to take a small 1 hour retreat to a secluded pond, one of the Valley’s best kept secrets.

As I sat and allowed my breath to sweep through dust and cobwebs in neglected places, my mind slowed, my shoulders found respite from my ears, and my soul emerged to shake my hand, almost as if to say "Hey there. Haven't seen you in awhile. Should we start from the beginning?"

As the saying goes, "you must secure your own mask before assisting others". Yes. We all know that. Nothing new. Why then, is it so hard to remember or follow through with?  While it is wonderful to talk to friends with whom we never get to finish sentences, and necessary to prepare meals and run errands, it is just as imperative to be still, and reacquaint ourselves with...ourselves.

So, in answer to a question in my previous post about why some of us as mothers feel insecure at times, I’ll pose another question. How can we be secure with someone we hardly know? Perhaps we just need to reconnect with who we are sans labels... Mom, Wife, Artist, Employee, Boss, Sister, Friend, etc.

If I don't take time to open my arms up to myself, I can't very well open them up to anyone else, can I?  Maybe this would explain my short fuse and lack of patience lately with normal two-year-old behavior.

As mothers, time to do this is limited, if nonexistent, and yet maybe more necessary than for any other. So, as I have been looking for the "Off" switch on the treadmill for quite some time, today it was just a matter of simply stepping off and hanging with the ducks.

Yes, dinner was left unprepared, and voicemails and emails remain unanswered, but thank God for takeout and tomorrows.  What small thing can you do for yourself today to "hang with the ducks"?

After several people alerted me to the fact that they attempted to comment on this blog and were unable, I investigated.  It seems as though "blogger" has been trying to rectify a technical problem with the "embedded comment form".  I have changed the format, hopefully avoiding the issue. I can't tell you how much I appreciate what all of you have to say, and how much I LOVE all of my facebook messages, but if you have attempted to comment here and have been unable, please be so kind as to try again and let me know if you still encounter a problem.


Jessie said...

Thank God for take out, tomorrow & you Mrs. Smith

Emily said...

thanks Emily! Putting yoga back on my routine... if I can find the super fast version ;) Continuing to enjoy your blog!

Unknown said...

Well done, Emily! Catching a glimpse of ourselves every once in a while is good medicine.

Love you.

Emily @motherfog said...

Thanks, Jess!

Good luck with those downward dogs, Emily!

And, thanks Heather!