This week I have been trying to slow down and pay attention to what is really going on.
To be fair, this sort of thing happens to me a lot -- cyclically -- I gallop down the road thinking everything is fine, and then all of a sudden I am done, totally empty, like a used tube of toothpaste, and I haven't got the slightest idea what happened. So I have to dramatically cut back and figure out what's going on.
To be more concrete in my explanation, I realized all at once about a week ago that I was not eating enough, exercising too much, still somehow not losing weight, being a little too obsessed with losing weight, and also completely exhausted from not sleeping enough at night. All of these were problems that needed dealing with, but it was hard to know where to start.
I signed up for an excellent calorie tracking website, to get my calorie totals back up where they need to be, and I have had three great days with that. I am cutting back on my employment, which gives me the shakes and the chills and the heebie-jeebies, but I'm doing it anyway because it's the right thing to do. I realized I am obsessed with staying employed, and not just employed but extremely employed, because I feel like it will somehow "save" me from housewife syndrome -- no woman can be a dull drudge if she's earning a bunch of money, right?? But this is in the same category of doing things just because someone told you not to. Living reactively and acting from a sense of fear is not authentic, not joyful. I should not work excessively, because then I don't rest enough and I become a pain to be around.
Which leads me to the latest and most important change to incorporate. C stayed with B's mom overnight and I got a nice little mini-break from the stresses of toddler-mothering, and I read some great material sent to me by a friend, which stresses a sort of present-moment type of parenting. There is a lot of wisdom in what I read -- things like, just make the next interaction you have with your child a positive one. It's so simple, but it's so profound, and it is exactly the kind of idea that I was looking for.
God heard my cry and answered my prayer SO quickly on that one -- just two nights ago I was praying to find a better way to relate to C, and then it literally fell in my lap -- through Facebook, no less -- and it was the answer, as surely as gravity holds me to the earth. A peaceful afternoon and evening, even in the face of some high toddler emotion.
And the greatest of all -- so healing -- several spontaneous hugs from C. I love knowing that he feels comfortable to just come up and hug me, whenever he needs to.