Friday, January 16, 2009

Showing Up

It's been a crazy week. Sam started coughing on Saturday night (in a tent, on a cub scout camp out), had fever on Sunday, and was still coughing on Monday. I'm pretty laid back when my kids are sick. I don't run to the dr. I don't give tylenol for a fever except at night to help them sleep. For some reason I made a dr's appt for Tuesday afternoon. And it turns out I was wise to do so. As she listened to his lungs the dr asked "does he have asthma?" Nope. So he's got bronchitis or pneumonia. So I've been home all week, administering nebulizer treatments, dispensing steroids and antibiotics. The one day Erik was going to use a sick day to care for him, his boss asked him to do something special. So there went that.

I've completely checked out this week- surfing the web all day as Sam watches tv or reads. I've squandered a great opportunity to be home and DO STUFF! I could have sewed, crafted, written, read. I did some dishes and some laundry, but that's about it. I did take care of my boy, but I wasn't necessarily present with him.

November and December were wonderful for me. I baked, cooked, sewed, created. It was wonderful, I felt that ever elusive flow. And then it just seemed to vanish after the holidays. Maybe having the holiday as a deadline for my creativity helped, I don't know. I know I've felt a little adrift since I ended my daily photography on December 31st.

Right before New Year's Eve I signed up for Jen Louden's Virtual Retreat. A lot of the topics appealed to me, and I've always enjoyed Jen's books. It wasn't too pricey, and I can listen to the recordings after the weekend if I can't catch all the ones I want to hear in real time. Last night I'm thinking how on earth will I do this? I really, really need to get my heart and my brain aligned again. So I decided at a minimum that I would make the first call this morning at 10 am.

I lit some candles and dialed the conference number. I didn't know what to expect. Jen led us through some relaxation breathing. It felt wonderful to be still, with purpose, as opposed to passing out in bed at midnight. We did some journaling, and that is when the ideas started flowing. How could I retreat and act with purpose as I go about my daily life- the life that has a lung re-check at two and all that other stuff? Jen talked about giving up our shadow comforts or time monsters for the weekend. Ooh boy do I have a lot of these. She also talked about doing the things you normally do in a different way. This is what I've worked out.

I'm going to do as much as I can this weekend using candle light. I did the dishes by candle light, I lit about six big candles. I took out a new scented dish soap, even though the unscented one is not quite empty yet. I am drinking my water in a wine glass. I sprinkled some ylang ylang essential oil on top of the Bon Ami when I cleaned out the sink. I did a pilates tape that I've been telling myself I was going to try for a few months now. I burned a paper containing the time monster I am giving up this weekend- mindless surfing on the internet.

What do I want out of the retreat? I want to align my heart and my head so that I can show up. I don't know what happened these first days of 2009, but I have not been living my values. It came pretty naturally at the end of last year, and somehow I've fallen off the path. This weekend I am showing up.


laughingyogini said...

Hi, Loved your post. Glad you wrote about the retreat. I am so moved also that I have a feeling, I won't be able to keep the pen from the paper - the bird kinda threw me off for a bit this morning.

Anyway, I had three kids with asthma and sickness was the hardest part of mothering for me. Hang in there! Most eventually grow out of it - mine are in their twenties now and rarely get it.

Hope to hear more of your thoughts about this weekend's experience.

Suna said...

Great post. Sounds wonderful to go to a retreat like that. Thanks for sharing!

cathy said...

It was good to read about your courage. You even changed the mood at your sink -- that's the sort of kitchen magic that really works for me.

Alissa said...

Good for you! Hope you are having a great weekend :-)

sassypriscilla said...

Oh, I hope Same is better. Poor kiddo.

I didn't craft at all in December - too overwhelmed by my big craft eyes. Don't worry about not doing anything. We all need down time. Sounds like you need it. I like the idea of doing the dishes by candlelight.

krista said...

Oh those are AWESOME! I love them!

krista said...

Haha, sorry, I meant to comment on the Scrabble Napkin Rings post. Those are what I was referring to as awesome. Although, you showing up- that is pretty awesome too! :)