A few weeks ago I was on Facebook and saw someone’s status update. The update was from a mom. It said something about a relaxing activity and then asked how other moms relaxed.
I thought about that for a long time. I thought about my usual routine for the day. Jack takes a nap in the middle of the day so that seems like the opportune moment for relaxing. Usually I would use that time to work on my writing, clean the house or more likely cruise stupid Facebook for two hours until Jack wakes up. Those activities are not so relaxing. What’s more is I would usually have music on in the background or a podcast if I was working on something crafty.
I don’t mind noise normally, but I haven’t been feeling myself lately. I’ve been going overboard on the negativity and complaining. Part of that might have something to do with me being stupid lonely all the time. I don’t get enough time with adult people since my sister moved away. I know that’s somewhat on me. I could join a MOPS group or start going to those single parent meetups again. It’s just a matter of me getting out of this funk. It’s hard enough trying to make new friends without having a dark cloud hanging over your head.
So I’m taking small steps to feeling better. I’m trying to reach out more to the friends I already have, making an effort to reconnect with them. I’m also trying to take better care of myself. There are two things I’ve been trying to do each day to accomplish that.
The first thing I’m trying to do is get up before Jack wakes up. If I do that I can workout, have a shower and a cup of coffee and feel more ready to take on a toddler each day. This has only been mildly successful. To get up early I have to go to bed early and I don’t like to do that. Because I’m stubborn and the night is my time. I don’t have to watch Alice in Wonderland (for the millionth time), I can watch Battlestar Galactica or Russell Peters. I can read a book, I can have a bubble bath, hell I could dance around naked if I wanted to, cause my kid is asleep!
I don’t have to play “crawl under the bed to explore a cave” or “trapping mama and tying her up.” As much as I love playing with my child, my adult mind can only take so much before I start to think, really you’re chasing me around the house with a rope again? So it’s hard for me to get to bed early enough to get up before Jack, because I like being able to do what I want for a change.
With that said, I have had a little success this week. I’ve only worked out once, but I think I’ve been up before the kiddo every day so that’s a step in the right direction.
The second thing I’m doing in an attempt to make myself better is having a quiet naptime. That’s not to say I’m taking naps. I hate naps. My house is quiet at naptimes though.
I’ve started giving myself one chore a day during nap, clean the bathroom, clean the kitchen, make an important call; then after the chore is done and things are in relatively good order I pick up a book, sit in my reading corner and read until I hear the stirrings of an awakening toddler. So far this has been working out really well.
I love books and adore reading, so this has been really healing for my mind and soul. That sounds ridiculously cheesy, but it’s true. My house may be a little less tidy, but at least I’m getting an hour or more of something I love everyday.
There is something so rewarding to me about reading a book, finishing a book. I’m a big nerd and keep a journal of the books I’ve read. Yes, a paper journal where I write down every single book I’ve read.
I started it in 2006, but I don’t remember why. I even used to write mini-reviews of each book, but stopped that, too much work. I love to look through it and remember how each story impacted my life. How it made me feel, what I was doing when I read said book, how long it took me to finally finish one, seeing those months where there’s nothing makes me so sad, thinking I had no time to read.
I make it a point to read now. Because reading and books is part of who I am. Loving the written word is so deeply ingrained in my heart that I just feel crappy when I don’t read something. So I sit, in the quiet of my house, while the wild thing slumbers, I lose myself in a good book. And I really am starting to feel better.