I need to unwind. I need a life. I must listen to the sound of silence. I need to relax with a cup of tea. I need to put my feet up for just five minutes with no sense of responsibility. No worry about baby needing attention, to be fed, changed, clothed, kept from dispersing fistfuls of mud all over the living room floor. I need to take a shower, the kind where I get to scrub the soles of my feet not the kindly-get-the-grime-off-quickly type. Please somebody give me that. I need an adult conversation. I need to go visit a bookstore or a library and pick up books on a whim, and come home and read them cover to cover. Why didn’t I do that when I still had the luxury? Why did I think ‘there will be time for that too’? And even now my friends with two kids fill me with dread when they say with a smirk, ‘you think you don’t have time NOW? Wait for the second one.’ Why must they scare me so?
You may have guessed by now my baby is a handful. Lately. He has always been a calm baby but as he is nearing the thirteen month mark, his separation anxiety is off-the-charts. He must sit in my lap for at least eleven of the twelve hours that he is awake. I hate to sound like I’m complaining- my baby is incredibly precious and I have many rewarding moments in the day. I just want to reach out to all of you who don’t have babies or have children who are all grown up – cherish your quiet time, your me-time. I remember I spent many a day in my twenties feeling ‘lonely’. If you are there right now, live in the NOW please.
Just remember, when you sit with your hot beverage- be it coffee, tea, green tea- and whatever it is you are reading, take each sip with recognition of the fact that it is a blessing. Don’t take it for granted. Brew the coffee with love. Mostly, love for yourself. If you are sitting with friends, engage in the discussion soulfully. Dive into it whatever you are doing- the cup of tea, the book, the discussion, the movie. Celebrate your ‘me-time’, celebrate your life. To borrow a quote from Dead Poets’ Society– ‘suck all the marrow out of life’. You know how on a hot day you are sipping a cool drink and all you have is ice in the glass… and you take a deep sip even when there is no drink left and you are trying your best that not a drop escapes you. And you hear a slurrrrpppp. Live your life like that. Please. I try to. I know my baby will grow up so fast, the last thirteen months have been a blur. I want to remember every single day. I want to record all his milestones. It’s alright if I can’t take 25 minutes to take tiny sips of my green tea, I choose to live in the now. I choose to tend to this clingy, cranky toddler for the moment so that come morning he can give me his cheesy, scrunched nose, two-tooth grin and for those two seconds time stands still and the world seem irrelevant.
Right now my baby is down for the night, I have my feet up and I am tapping away at my keyboard. I am alone with my thoughts. This screen where I see the disjointed thoughts in my head gain some shape, this screen is my happy place. Of the various people inside me – the weird wife, the crazy mother, the nutso daughter, the garrulous friend, the advise-dispensing sister – they have all retired for the night. Who remains? Me, my most true self, spilling out on the page. I am afraid these thoughts are not coherent, it’s ok, I don’t seek coherence, I need to be out with the jumble of thoughts in that mushy brain of mine. They are flowing. So pick up that pen, write that diary, and get it out. Don’t give a damn about organization of paragraphs and structure, about grammar or syntax. Be your true self. Let your words resonate. That feeling in the pit of your stomach, get that onto the page and eventually you will see how words weave magic.