(This post is going to be kind of all over the place, sort of like my brain right now.)
It’s time for a little update from the trenches – I want to share what’s helping me in case it could help someone else. I’m finally sleeping better after I started taking contrast showers again (basically switching between warm and cold water, ending on cold) and decreasing my evening liquid consumption (this really should have occurred to me sooner, but I never claimed I was very bright). JK and Nora dragged me out on a couple of walks last week, and this week I promised myself I would go for at least one every day. Crying a little bit less. Still eating way too much chocolate, because it’s really hard to not treat myself when I feel like this.
Yesterday a friend encouraged me to look closely at all the different thought processes in my head right now, all the little negative, ruminating thoughts that are causing all sorts of anxiety and general malaise. I wrote them all down, all those ugly thoughts, and it was incredibly helpful to see them listed out like that. It let me see those thoughts a bit more objectively, and come up with some concrete steps I can take that might help counteract and disprove them. Even just feeling that I have a plan has made me feel a little more confident and…more positively inclined again.
And while I can clearly see that it’s worrisome that I’ve seemingly totally lost interest in my favorite hobby, hiking (but one part of my action plan is to force myself to go out on a real hike anyway and just see what happens), the good news is that I’m still able to notice and appreciate happy little moments throughout my days. This means I haven’t quite hit full-blown depression yet, which should give me a healthy chance of getting out of this hole reasonably quickly. I’ve talked about this before, how important it is to fully take in all those little beautiful little parts of your life, and I am fully embracing that now (and hoping to crowd out those negative thoughts in the process).
This quote really resonated with me, and I think it’ll be a good one to keep in mind in the upcoming years of domesticity when our life might feel a little small but will actually be pretty damn big.
In the name of economy, of time or capital, we have outsourced to others those key activities that define the day-to-day. Don’t want to make lunch? Buy a Lunchable. Don’t want to help your kids with algebra? Hire a tutor. But what is life if not the day-to-day? Sunsets in Nicaragua and family vacations in the Canadian Rockies are spectacular, but if that’s what we’re waiting around for, what is the point of a Wednesday evening? The tasks we have decided to label mundane – as tasks! – are that which accumulate into relationships and memories. Cooking dinner or helping your kids with homework.
– Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food by Megan Kimble
In the spirit of all of this, here are some things I’m loving right now:
Nora is not a fan of napping, even when she’s in desperate need of one, but lately I’ve been able to bribe her into taking naps by promising her that she can eat a baked potato when she wakes up. She used to not even like potatoes, which made me worry that there was some sort of mixup at the hospital since this simply could not be my child, but now she loves them to the point where she’ll take a glorious 1.5 hour nap and wake up super happy, yelling “BAKED POTATOOOO” the second I walk in the door to get her. Loving this while it lasts.
Mrs. Meyer’s Geranium cleaning products. This has been my favorite late summer/early autumn scent since I discovered them in 2009, and it gives me happy little flashbacks from seasons of yore. It makes doing the dishes feel downright delightful.
Evenings on the deck, especially now that we’ve lined it with mosquito-repelling plants and herbs. And Nora loves eating said herbs throughout the day, which is good, because they’re basically greens, right?
The way the Powerline Trail smells like ripe blackberries right now.
My early autumn tunes. Every year around this time, I obsessively listen to The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 And Beyond and the Ride the Divide soundtrack, but currently I’m also playing the new Head and the Heart and Bastille singles on repeat.
Cooking! I’ve been trying out a bunch of new recipes lately (JK and Nora were both big fans of Oh She Glows‘ African Peanut Stew), but this time of year I always come back to Daily Garnish’s Blackened Tofu and, my favorite, homemade pasta sauce. We planted our garden late this year so we don’t have any tomatoes yet, but at the Saturday market in our town, you can usually buy big bags of cosmetically challenged ‘maters that are perfect for sauces. I also just bought Vegan Bowl Attack and everything in it looks so amazing that I’m thinking of testing two recipes a week from it as a project for a little while. Thankfully Nora is really good at playing independently while I cook, either playing with her Duplo excavator and Peppa Pig figures or drawing on the little blackboard we have in the kitchen, so I can usually find time to make fuds during the day.
Going to the market as a family outing every Saturday, loading up on juicy donut peaches and fresh flowers. Sometimes there’s live music and Nora gets to show off her dance moves. If I ask Nora “It’s Saturday, what should we do today?” she’ll say (in Norwegian) “The market! Nora in the wagon! Buy peaches tomatoes flowers! Pappa and Nora eat PIZZAAA!” and like all parents before me, I’m amazed by the fact that my baby is now a walking, talking human. She’s talking so much, stringing longer and longer sentences together every day…but my favorite words are still the ones she mispronounces, like “zimmie!” (smoothie) and “wassermomo” (watermelon).
My Born Wild mug.
My new planner from inkWELL Press. I totally don’t need a planner since I’m a stay-at-home-mom (emphasis on the stay-at-home), but I’m finding it really helpful for keeping track of all my little goals and for jotting down random rambly thoughts and cute things Nora says. (Plus it’s just really pretty.)
The way Nora climbs on top of me, melts into my body in the perfect cuddle, and asks me to sing to her. I don’t even mind singing the same song (she usually requests a Norwegian Christmas song) six times in a row, because it’s just snuggle perfection.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Nuff said.
Baby movement! So much! An almost worrisome amount compared to last time, which makes me think that Little Sis won’t be a chillaxed late walker like her Big Sis.