Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Dance of Life

Since this journey of special needs has begun, everyone has had some advice on how to overcome this  personal struggle; my friends, family,  colleagues, therapists, the Indigo Girls. It often  goes a little something like  " live in the present, focus on the positive, " or "the less you seek your source for some definitive, the closer you are to fine..."  Well as much as I love that song, I still sometimes want to "wrap my fear around me like a blanket and sail my ship of safety till I sank it" (cue Indigo Girsl chorus).

Recently, one of my dear  old friends wrote me some beautiful words worth sharing:  " we may lose ourselves in our pain, but we find ourselves in our strength. It's the dance of life and the music never stops". These words resonate strongly with me. Life is hard, but even in the darkest of times there is light and there is music. You  just have to open your heart and listen.

So while my days of clubbing and 2 am pizza with my girls may be long gone, I still got some moves. They just mostly involve throwing my 1 yr old and 3 yr old in the air with my husband in our weekly dance parties. Sam may not walk yet,  but he sure loves to dance. No  matter how bad our day was, we let the music heal our wounds and wash away our worry. For those 5 minutes, we get lost in the present, forgetting the past and the future. For those 5 minutes, we smile until our cheeks burn.  For those 5 minutes we let our boys laughter  fill our hearts, until they  almost burst with happiness and gratitude for all that we have.

I don't have to tell you that being a parent is hard and at times you may not even recognize your life or the person you have become;  so take the time every day  as a family to lose yourselves in a  moment and remember that it's the little things in life that matter.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Zen and the art of Compartmentalization

After 15 months of devoting every waking (and sleeping moment) to my son, I go back to work Monday; I go back to my "other life", back to attempting to balance my career and my family. I won't lie this terrifies me, as I don't know if I fit into that "other" world anymore. So bare with me  will you, as I delve into a cliché  "who am I" Zoolander moment.

You see I am a lot of people: I am a Mother ( a damn good one I might add) to a rambunxious 3 year old and an angelic hypotonic 1 year old who has different needs. But I am also a wife, a director of environmental affairs and an MBA candidate (on hold for the moment). Oh and in my "spare time" I am also a sister, a daughter, a friend and a rock climber. In addition to these more generic titles, I have also been the outgoing smiley one and the type A Nerd (with a capital N). I have had my heart broken (the "I will never love again" kind of heartbreak) and I have broken hearts. I have held my children and laughed till my cheeks burn and I have cried till my heart aches. I have been vulnerable and scared and I have been ambitious and strong.

So I ask again "who am I".... This is not a rhetorical question,  seriously, "who am I" and how for the life of me do I reconcile  all these different facets of myself? Anyone?  Well according to Google, to reconcile oneself means to " make compatible, harmonious or consistent". If only it were so simple Google, if only it were so simple...

 So as I return to "other world", I will have to navigate these muddy waters carefully; lining up the little versions of myself, like little Russian nesting dolls, fitting the little ones (sister, daughter, rock climber, friend) into the bigger ones (director, wife and mother): practicing what I will call "Zen and the art of compartmentalization".

You see Google, the beauty is that in the end we are all tucked harmoniously inside ourselves, existing simultaneously, each version making us  exactly into the person we are supposed to be.

My best advice is to be yourself. Unless you’re psychotic, then you might want to try a different tactic.”
Gwen Hayes, So Over You