Change

Panic sets in whenever I have a blog topic assigned to me. Today’s Five for Five topic is Change.

The parent in me wants to talk about how children change: how each day with a newborn is completely different, how infants can be the same for a week and then pivot in a new direction, how older children change in little ways every day but you really notice new words, new skills, new moods…

But the human in me wants bigger change. I’m tired of talking about children. I’m tired of thinking about only them. I want to change my focus. I want an evolution for myself and my writing. There are so many tactical things I need to change: the way I eat, the way I treat myself, the way I handle my day, the way I react to flashpoint moments with my children, the way I bill clients, the way I spend time on the Internet.

I’ve done a lot of work to become more mindful in my work, both writing work and parenting work. New Year’s Resolutions have become ongoing projects that I evaluate weekly and change as needed. I’m trying to balance priorities and passions, align my needs with the few minutes a day I have to myself.

The process of change, then, is changing, too.

I want my day to change so I can focus on the things that are important to me. Reading. Editing. Writing. Friends. Good food. Joy. Exercise. Sunshine. Blueberries. There has to be a way to blink in the 13 hours of full-time, unceasing child-rearing so I can get some of these. Sunshine and blueberries should be easy. Reading and exercise sure aren’t.

One of the things nobody can really tell you about becoming a parent is how the day’s rhythms, timing, and flow are completely and totally out of your control once a child comes into your life. The timing of when my body goes, stops, eats, and thinks, is in the hands of someone else. Someone whose very important job is being entirely selfish and not caring what I want or need.

Part of me thinks I need to change my expectations. Another part suggests I need to work harder to eliminate the time waste and focus on what’s important. Another part says enough already with the organic food and the “eat your protein” and the “I can’t I have to work because they’re asleep”: we need to play hooky in this family and watch movies and eat popcorn all day. Organic cheese popcorn, of course. It has more protein.

Maybe the change I need is to slow down and hope things don’t change. Because as tight as the moments are, I do stay present to focus on each moment. I do try to be and do my best. I do try to just love and live and learn.

Why the hell would I change that?

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36 thoughts on “Change

  1. Reading and exercise are little absolute joys that I hardly ever get to induldge in anymore. Oh my! I get this. I get this. I get this. I get this.

    Do ya get that I get this? ;)

    Alita

    • Hey, Alita, do you get this? ;-) God I miss reading. And running. I’ve never just sat and stared at the ceiling, but I’m betting it’s REALLY nice…
      Welcome and thanks for stopping by!

  2. oh, that fine balance of being OKAY with who you are and also being willing to grow.
    It’s a fine pickle to be in. Thanks for being honest about it–I’m right there with you.

  3. I love playing hooky. That’s what weekends are for here, which is better than never. We watch movies and play at the park and just feel the sunshine. It is good to balance hooky with work though, or we might not have a house to play hooky in!

    • Oh, Laurie, that sounds amazing. I’d love to. I’m trying way to hard to rekindle my freelance career and use every spare second after bedtime and on weekends to edit and write and pretend to be a grownup. I really should watch a movie soon.

      To be fair, I play at the park most days and DRINK the sunshine every day it’s available. So life is good. It just needs a few thousand tweaks here and there.

  4. Letting go of our expectations of achievement is hard. We’re seriously brainwashed into rating our lives in terms of accomplishment. I still rant about the sheer frustration of not being able to start and finish something all at one sitting. Go frolic amongst the blueberries!

    • Ah, Karyn. The pull between “yes, I should” and “oh, I want and need to do that instead of ‘should'” is what wakes me up at night.

      I love blueberries.

  5. Change is good – but I like the change to slow down. It’s a requirement for good mental health. Glad to see you over at momalom Nap!

    • Hey, Cathy. I’m a long-time Momalom fan but have never participated in their shenanigans because of the sheer volume of work.

      But you can’t fight the ladies when the ladies are right.

  6. And there it is. We want things to change because we need to get out of the monotony. But then, well, the monotony is beautiful. And, not exactly monotonous. Just demanding. And neverending. And exhausting. But beautiful.

  7. If you can stay present, why mess with a good thing? Although, a good thing + a day of protein-filled hooky never hurt anyone!

    • Millermix, I can stay present, but very few of the moments are what I want. I’d like to be present in a whole different ball of wax, you know?
      Welcome, by the way, and come back often!

  8. I LOOOOVE this. Especially “One of the things nobody can really tell you about becoming a parent is how the day’s rhythms, timing, and flow are completely and totally out of your control once a child comes into your life. The timing of when my body goes, stops, eats, and thinks, is in the hands of someone else. Someone whose very important job is being entirely selfish and not caring what I want or need.Part of me thinks I need to change my expectations.”
    It is the total chaos within the routine of daily life as a parent that nearly destroys me everyday, and I wonder all the time: if I can’t change that, maybe I need to change me? I’m working on the whole being present in the moment thing.

    • Sun4flower, I am completely with you. The daily struggle is “I can’t do this…yes I can.” The part about changing me because I can’t change the rest is: I don’t want to. I know that’s selfish and wrong and counter to the SuperMom b.s. bill of goods, but I don’t want to change myself so much that I’m happy *just* getting through the day with well adjusted kids.

      And now the AP police are coming to take me away…

  9. I love this. There has to be an easy way to make some small changes. Some little changes that would do big things for my life. I definitely need to make some of those changes. Before I self destruct in a heap of Clean but unfolded laundry, under a mound of matchbox cars and American girl pajamas.
    Thank you for this!

    • Hey, Becca! Long time no see! I’ve missed you. Hope all is good in your neck of Crazytown.

      Ugh with the small changes. I gave up soda this week and it feels good, but stupid, self-destructive habits feel like self care at a certain point in the insanity.

  10. Embracing the present moment is something I’ve always struggled with. Trying to strive for what is and what isn’t always is an obstacle for me. You raise a valid point, How do we effectively seek balance between what we love and what we have to do? No answers here. Simple solution for tomorrow: eat more blueberries.

    Nice to “meet” you through Five for Five.

    • Welcome, Rudri! I, too, struggle with what is vs. what isn’t. If we just accept what is, we don’t grow, progress, or feed the fire within; but if we fight against who we are today and what is available to us, we’re miserable both within ourselves and to the others in our lives.

      Yes to blueberries. Won’t cure existential angst, but will definitely give my teeth a lovely bluish hue…

    • Melissa, isn’t it silly that if someone gives you a great opportunity to not have to think of a topic it feels like a test…

      Glad you’re playing along.

  11. Take it one step at a time. I started by reading at night, after the kids went to bed, despite my exhaustion from the day. Maybe only a chapter, but it’s better than the zero chapters I was reading before. Sit in the sunshine and eat the blueberries. You’ll be happier for it.

    • Hey, Kristin! Thanks for reading, here and at night.
      After my kids are in bed I work. So it feels as though if I read for pleasure I’m short-circuiting my career and the income I’m trying to provide.
      But a few pages can’t hurt…

  12. Oh, not saying you’re _there_ yet, dear. Just that we’re all trying to get there. Perhaps together ;)

  13. I’ve found that the rhythm of my life naturally changes as my son gets older – and then I’m forced to change along with him. He’s 8 now, and I have a lot if time for reading…it’s bittersweet, because we’re both needing to become more independent now.

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