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Just Being

30 Apr

kale

Last night I was sitting on my turquoise sofa, in my tiny living room, the front door open and a cool breaze coming in through the screen door. I was breathing heavily and dripping sweat from my run, and on the coffee table before me a big cardbord box of organic veggies that had just been delivered awaited me. I took a deep breath, and for the first time in months I felt happy and healthy.

This move is probably one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I love my new home. It’s bright and cheerful, I take good care of the little garden, I’m actually attempting to grow some herbs and veggies. I feel at home here. It’s suddenly clear to me how detached I felt in my old apartment, and I lived there for almost four years. It’s incredible how often in my life I have overlooked opportunities for change, how many times I told myself that it would be better to just stay where I was. But the last two years have been so dramatically life changing, that sometimes I look in the mirror and I feel like I hardly recognize myself.

I stopped putting other people’s needs before mine. I began to be kind to myself.

I stopped thinking I wasn’t attractive. I learned to love my body.

I stopped saying no to things, without really understanding why. I opened myself up to new possibilities.

I stopped being afraid of many, many things. I began to be brave.

I stopped being so grave in my desicion making. I started to take things more lightly.

I stopped worrying about what other people thought of me. I learned to listen more to myself and less to others.

I stopped shutting unpleasant thougts away in a little drawer at the back of my mind. I began dealing with things that are painful.

I stopped feeling guilty for being happy. I began feeling healthy.

I stopped trying to plan everything. I began living a little more for now. This new home that my son and I live in, it’s ours. Sure we rent it. Sure we might have to move at some point. But it’s ours for now, and it’s wonderful to feel that we belong here. I love walking around the house naked when I come out of the shower. I love discovering a new veggie supplier and cooking Kale for the first time in my life (yum btw). I love watching Castle on my laptop in bed, or sipping tea on my porchswing. And I love inviting that guy I recently met into my bed on my night off and not worrying about where it’s going or what it means.

Just being is so damn good for us, isn’t it? I wonder why I don’t do it more often.

 

 

Time Heals

7 Aug

time heals

Exhausted after a very long day, a very long week, a very long few months. When was it that SG and I broke up? It feels like forever ago. Sometimes time does heal all wounds. Or maybe it wasn’t as big a wound as I thought.

Isn’t it weird that you can be so utterly obsessed with something, or someone, and then wake up one morning and just be over it? I will always cherish my time with SG. He came into my life like nothing less than a miracle, and gave me everything I needed at the time. But I’m in a different place now, and the things that I need, that I long for in a relationship – I cannot get from him. And there you have it.

I’ve been drowning myself in work, and pulling out Carlos (my new vibrant purple purchase) on occasion to release some stress. I’ve never owned a vibrator before, and I have to admit, it’s really a huge improvement in the quality of my life. No strings attatched, no long talks, no sleeping together, no where-is-this-going mornings. Just orgasms whenever I want them, however I want them.

And that’s what I’ve been doing. Drowning in the buzz of everyday life is my way of healing. And I am. Gradually.

My sweet boy has started calling me papa. Yes, I realize I’m his mom. But it’s the most darling thing ever, really. He also calls his grandma papa, as well as basically, every other adult that he’s fond of. He’s also started running, and he’s been climbing like crazy on the sofas and the coffee table, and chairs around the house. His evergy is soothing, I look at him in his crazed search of something to climb on, and I know that everything is going to be alright.

Nex week I’m taking some time off to spend with him. We’ll be travelling with my family and sleeping over at a friend’s house in the country. I look forward to shutting off my computer and my mind, with the hopes that I’ve healed enough to deal with the stillness and solitude of me and my boy, quality time.

Faces and Keys and Emoticons, Oh My!

4 Feb

sleepOne of those days I guess, nothing extraordinary. Just one of those days when I feel a little more like everything that’s been happening in my life lately is real, and a little less like I am actually capable of dealing with it all.

Baby’s been restless all day and for the past couple of nights, and I haven’t been sleeping very well which usually plays a part in lower levels of optimism. Sleep is a tricky thing, it is. When Baby is tired, nothing will satisfy him. He’s hungry, but he won’t eat. He doesn’t want to play with anything, he doesn’t even want to be held. The only thing that will soothe him is if I somehow, miraculously, manage to put him down for a nap. As for me, when I’m over exhausted, I stop feeling tired. I actually feel like I could go on for hours and hours without calling it a day. But things seem more difficult than they usually are. I bump into furniture and hurt my pinky toe, or  drop a bottle of milk on the floor and feel like it’s the worst thing in the world that could have possibly happened to me. I’m more pessimistic about being able to move on with my life. I feel more angry at BD for having caused all this chaos. And I am personally offended by everything and anything, from people’s facial expressions, to text messages lacking punctuation and emoticons, from keys I can’t find, to pens that stop working, as if they are all conspiring against me in a grand scheme to make my life miserable.

I want to end this day, but it’s only 20:00 and I have finally put baby down for the night. It wasn’t easy. I have a TON of work that I’m behind on and have vowed that I would catch up on it today. I have to get at least one load of laundry done because Baby literally has no more clothes left to wear. I know you think I’m exaggerating but he’s really down to his last reasonable night time outfit, and last pair of socks. And I know he’s going to want his bottle at 23:00, so I might as well hang in there.

A book in bed? Yes, that would make me feel better, but I did mention that I have to get work done, didn’t I? Ahhh. I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, and you can’t make me. I hate my body for having needs, for requiring food and sleep, for demanding warmth and attention and getting me all confused about a new guy and an old guy, for being so clumsy and dropping a box of oatmeal all over the floor and having to mop it up. Frankly, if I were my own mother, I’d take me in my arms, hold me tightly, and walk back and forth around the room, making shushing sounds, until I fell reluctantly asleep.  Instead, I’m going to start the laundry and stare at the computer for an hour, realizing that there’s no point in working today, and finally collapse on the sofa.

Those Who Never Fall Have Never Tried Anything New

25 Jan

 skating

Part 1: Standing Up and Falling Down

Baby has finally figured out how to stand! Well, finally is a slight exaggeration, he’s not even eight months old yet, but he’s been trying really hard for the past two weeks, and I was so proud of him when he managed to do it on his own! And now that he’s learned this new trick it’s literally all he ever wants to do. No crawling, no rolling over, seriously mom, that’s so 2012, he seems to be telling me. So everywhere I put him he grabs onto something and stands, smiling at me with the joy of accomplishment, making his little excited-noises: Heh! Heh! Heh! Often he gets so excited that he loses his balance and falls. I’m usually able to break his fall, and I surround him with pillows as he plays, so that helps, but every so often, I miss, he misses, and he bangs his head and cries.

I felt terrible about this the first time it happened, and the second time, and the third. But then I realized that the only way that I was going to be able to prevent him from banging his head was if I never put him down for a second. I’m still trying to minimize injury, but I accept the fact that head-banging, and I mean that in the literal sense, is a part of growing up. So now, when he falls, I pick him up, give him a hug and say as calmly as I can: That’s OK Baby. You fell. Falling is a part of life. Sometimes mommy falls down too, but the important thing is that she gets back up again.  Those who never fall have never tried anything new. As he calms down I kiss his belly which makes him laugh and forget that he has ever fallen. And within two minutes he’s already squirming around, wanting to get back to it.

Part 2: Ice Skating and LOWLOWLOW Self Esteem

My girlfriends and I have decided that we are sick of movies and coffee shops and we are going to start doing more unconventional things when we go out. So this week we went ice-skating. As we were standing in line to pay for our skates, the ice-instructor-guy started chatting with us, well, with me. He asked if I had read any books by Margaret Atwood, if I read a lot in general, if I liked Haruki Murakami, and finally if he could come skate with me later.

After a few rounds on the ice I began to feel a bit less wobbly and there he was, Mr. instructor guy. Kind of cute, very young, a 25-year-old-kid basically, coming to chat to me, 31-year-old-single-mom. Well, I decided to just go with it. And since I was in a good mood, it worked. We chatted for about an hour, about books mostly, and then a bit about music, travels, cooking. Eventually there came the point where he asked where I lived and if I had roommates, and I told him I lived with my son. But surprisingly he was not totally freaked out (only a bit weirded out maybe) and he still asked for my phone number, and also asked if I’d go out with him, to which I replied that I would.

And then, the following day, there I was at home, thinking back to how much fun I had had skating with a boy, and the LOWLOWLOW thoughts started pushing their way into my head. What does a cute 25-year-old see in me. I’m not that fit. He can get a better looking girl. I’m old. I have a baby. Maybe he just felt bad after I told him I was a single mom so he took my number with no intention of using it. Maybe his friends had put him up to some bet, like getting as many phone numbers from girls as he could that night. STOP IT! GO AWAY! I hate it when I get like this. But it’s hard to shake it off once it starts. It’s the same part of my brain that produces the: “You must have done something to drive BD away”, “Baby must be mad at you for sending him to his grandparents”, “Who’s ever going to want to date you when you’re Divorced+1?” and “A good mother wouldn’t have let her Baby hit his head!”

Part 3: Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Vodka

I set up our first divorce-meeting yesterday. We’re going to try working together with the same divorce lawyer and try to come to an agreement without too many battles.  I had to set it up of course because if it’s up to BD he’ll never get around to it. He’s comfortable just being separated, he’d gladly keep things the way they are for a year or two until he figures out what he wants. But it’s a terrible place for me to be. On hold. Waiting for him to wake up and realize what he’s missing. His family. So I’m not waiting. I’m moving on. It’s the only healthy thing that I can do right now.

BUT after having set up the meeting, letting BD know, having him email me back saying thank you for setting it up, then having him come pick Baby up for his night with him, it was all just too much. So I sat on the sofa and stared into space, and then I decided that I needed a drink, or make that two, or make that three, and I basically got wasted and drunk-statused on Facebook. Good thing I don’t have any guy-friends to drunk dial because I would have.

I woke up this morning, still slightly intoxicated, drank a liter of water and thought to myself: Those who never down three vodka-apple-juices, have never tried anything new. Like divorce. And I smiled to myself and hit the shower.

Bubble Bath and Contemplation

12 Jan

bath

My friend B told me I was brave for writing this blog so candidly. I was going to argue with her and say it didn’t count, since I was hiding behind a nickname and an email account that I had set up specifically for the purpose of this blog, but then I remembered that I was trying to stop arguing with people who gave me compliments, so I just said thank you and shut up. Well B, I’m taking things to another level with this one, because the topic of today’s post is my body, and why it rocks.

Once a day, I like to turn the heat up in Baby’s room, take his clothes off and let him play naked in his bed. He LOVES it. He can keep busy for a good 30 minutes, just looking at himself in wonder. He kicks with joy, grabs his foot and puts it in his mouth. He rolls from tummy to back, from back to tummy, examines his hands with pleasure. He loves his body, and why shouldn’t he? It’s perfect. It’s a perfect body because it functions perfectly. It can do stuff. He’s amazed at the movements he’s capable of producing. He’s mesmerized by his toes, watching them twitch as he tries to grab them.

Thirty years from now, I imagine him checking himself out in the mirror after a shower, or maybe having been with a girl, and I wonder if he’ll stand there, looking at his body in awe, thinking to himself – Damn, I’m fine! He is a boy, so that may mean slightly fewer body image issues, and still… As adults, so many of us, men and women, hate our bodies, think that they are inadequate, unattractive, faulty.

Here I was last night, taking a nice long candle lit bubble bath, and I looked at my body, at my curves, at my thighs, which I’ve always despised, my belly, which hasn’t exactly returned to form since the pregnancy, my breasts which, is seems, used to be a little perkier, my feet which I’ve always thought were oversized, and as I was relaxing in the warm soapy water, I suddenly felt uncomfortable, and I covered myself up with suds, because I didn’t really want to have to look at myself.

I closed me eyes, and took a deep breath, and I thought about my body, and what it can do. My body can run, not long distances and not very fast, but it can run, and more than that, it can learn to do things that are difficult for it to do. I couldn’t run 500 meters  a couple of months ago, and the other day I ran 3 kilometers.

What else? My body can work around the house, it can carry groceries and wash dishes. It can drive a car, and go to work, and my face can smile and my mouth can talk and laugh, and my nose can smell a cake baking in the oven, and my eyes can cry when I’m chopping an onion, or when I’m not.

My body can  wrap itself around another body, it can give and receive immense pleasure.

My uterus can conceive a baby and carry it inside me and feed it and take care of all its needs for nine months. My belly can grow and expand to five times its size and then shrink back to (almost) what it used to be. My body can tell when it’s time for the baby to come out, and it can create contractions and push and expand in places I didn’t know could expand and bring a human being into the world, and my breasts, on their own, without consulting me, can start squirting milk all over the place, to feed the little one.

With all these miracles that my body can conjure, how could I possibly not respect it, how could I not be appreciative of it? How could I not love it?

With this in my mind, I wiped the suds off my belly and breasts and examined myself, and I thought to myself: this is nice. A nice, feminine, curvy body, beautiful with its imperfections. A little plump, a little saggy, but proportional, functional, enjoyable.

Running

5 Jan

shoes

It’s a rainy Saturday morning. Baby is taking his morning nap, my sister is staying with him, and I’m hitting the gym. Running. Since BD left it’s become my therapy. Even though I was never the running type, even though I was only 3 months after birth and in terrible shape the day he left, intuitively, I knew that running would make me feel good. So I started with two minute runs. Taking a walk, running for a couple of minutes until I was out of breath and then starting again. Then it was three minutes, five, ten, now I can run up to twenty minutes without stopping.

I run in the park, wind in my hair, sweat trickling down from my forehead to my neck and back, endorphins zooming though my body, and I feel sexy, I feel strong, I feel capable. I don’t listen to music, I listen to the birds, and to my breath, I look at the trees and the grass, and the river and the sky with its clouds, and I try to take in everything, like I’m refilling some stock of optimism in my chest.

At the gym, on the treadmill, it’s a different experience. Music is blasting in my earphones. I like to work out when the gym is crammed and there is an electric vibe of bodies in motion surrounding me, dozens of people together in one place, but each doing their own thing, concentrating on themselves. The hottest thing in the world to me is  a guy running on the treadmill, in the zone, not looking around at anyone else, just being present in the intensity of flexed muscles and heavy breathing.

I warm up, taking the atmosphere in, and then I start to run, and as I do, I take my glasses off, enjoying for once the blurriness, not wanting to see anyone or anything but myself, my needs, my wants, my energy, concentrating on my rhythmic breathing, the warmth of my face, that song that I like. I am a queen and the world is my subordinate, and everything will happen as I demand.

When my heart feels like it’s going to pop out of my chest, that’s when it’s time to slow down to a walk. Head rush, I feel dizzy and happy, sexy and satisfied, able – practically omnipotent. And I think to myself. OK, world, I’m ready for you now. Bring it on.

Kicking 2013’s Butt

2 Jan

toys

It’s so easy to be happy. Doesn’t it always seem that way when you are? People are always searching for the recipe to happiness, and here I am, 31 years old, single mom, on the way to a divorce, and I’ve found it. I know that sounds presumptuous but I’m pretty sure I have.  And yet, even though I know what the things that make me happy are, it’s so difficult sometimes to give them to myself, to feel that I am worthy of them. There are always things that “need” to be done, way too many obligations, way too few pleasures.

Now just imagine a world where the only things that you engage in are things that you’ve chosen, things that you want to be part of. I’m not saying you have to be enthusiastic about them every single second of your day, but they are things that in general make you feel good. Work that you like. Friends that make you laugh. Sex on a regular basis. Exercise. Delicious food and great entertainment.  No more job that you despise but stay at out of fear. Lose touch with that friend that tends to put you down. No more trashing your body with processed shit. Goodbye dry spells that last a year. Just imagine that you could give the world the finger, and only do whatever made you feel good. Just imagine that you could say what you want and really mean it, and really feel that you deserved it. I want a good job. I want to be in better shape. I want to be touched. I want to be loved. I’m pretty sure living like that makes you fucking invincible. I know that if I lived that way I could do practically anything.

My experience throughout the years has been that I don’t always get what I want. But often, I realize too late, that it was because I didn’t have the guts to say, out loud, not to myself but to the world, that I wanted it, that I desreved it, that I was going to get it. And here I am, finally, taking care of myslef. Expressing myself, not repressing myself – man, Madonna got at least one thing right.

2013 has only just begun and already I’m kicking its butt. New years eve was the beginning of a new era for me. An era of expressing my needs, of demanding for them to be met, of not settling for less than what is healthy and good for my body and soul. People can live on bread and water. But life is not about surviving. I think this was a very basic mistake that I have lived by for many years. Keep calm and carry on. Survive. No. I don’t ever want to live that way again. I don’t want my son to live that way. We will never be bread and water people, him and I, we are going to lead plentiful lives, cry when we’re sad, shout when we’re mad, laugh when we’re happy, and know that we are loved always, and that we rock, and we deserve a rockin life.