Chillaxin’ by the Pool

My family and I recently went on vacation to Arizona.  We missed the big storm in Massachusetts. Yup, we flew out the night before, and came home a couple days after (don’t be a hater).  We didn’t lose electricity, either.  We kinda missed making big forts out of snow drifts but hey, we were enjoying chillaxin' by the poolthe sun.

I took this picture on our first day.  It’s deceiving, though, like so many pictures can be.  I was happily barefoot but had a sweatshirt on. The kids went in the pool cuz a) they are kids and b) it’s a heated pool.  It was gorgeous out.  Cold for Arizona, but gorgeous.  Wonderful air, blue sky, white clouds, rolling mountains.  Ah.

It’s important to spend some time just relaxing with the kids.  We went to the zoo.  The kids hand-fed and petted stingrays.  We climbed 1/2 of Camelback Mountain together.  My hubby and I went on a date.  I saw some friends.  (Yeah, I worked a little bit but mostly on the plane while the kids enjoyed a movie.)

Sometimes people ask me, “how was your weekend?”  And I can’t remember.  Is that so bad?  If I had such a good weekend that my brain didn’t even process what I did? I think it’s not so bad, really.  Must have been good.  Maybe not quite as good as chillaxin’ by the pool, but good enough.  That’s all that matters in life, right?  That it’s good enough.

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Blanket: a Confession

I have a confession to make. Well, those who know me well know this already. I sleep with a blanket. Not just any blanket, but one that my Great Auntie Anna made for me when I was two.

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It doesn’t have a pet name. It’s not called Blankie. It’s just Blanket. Just like Michael Jackson’s son.

Blanket has been my friend for more years than I need to admit here. In cold moments, warm moments, good dreams, bad dreams, getting cozy moments and watching-scary-movie moments. My kids have grown to like it, too. (And yes, even my hubby likes it–occasionally.)

Most people think that a blanket or lovey or special toy is something just for kids. I’m here to tell you that I disagree. I’m happy to have Blanket in my life.

Just call me Linus, okay?

Do you have a special something that you need to have with you from your childhood?

50 Minutes of Therapy

[25/365] On the couch (Explored)

[25/365] On the couch (Explored) (Photo credit: pasukaru76)

Therapy.  A word the evokes different emotions.  For some it’s a warm feeling.  For others it instills fear.  For others it indicates weakness.

Therapy–the 50 minutes per week that a person might choose to spend with a social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist–isn’t a new concept.  It is, however, something not everyone is comfortable doing.

I have met a lot of people in my line of work:  those who don’t need therapy, those who need it and get it, those who need it and don’t get it (for various reasons).

Who admits they have gone to therapy?  The media makes it appear that everyone goes, especially if you live in New York City or Los Angeles.  But what about in Massachusetts, where I live?

Me.  I’ve done it.  I was hesitant at first, despite having friends and colleagues who ARE therapists.  I went later than I should have, in retrospect. But hey, at least I got my ass there, sat on the couch (chair) and used lots and lots of tissues.  There she was in front of me, a person I didn’t know much about (except what I saw in her online profile–yes, it’s like online dating, I know).  I didn’t even know she had kids until maybe 8 sessions in.  I still don’t know how many she has.  She was there because it was about me.  Just.  About.  Me.  When else do you get that kind of dedication from anyone in your life.  It’s customary, even with our BFFs to whine for a while but you’re SUPPOSED to ask THEM how THEY are doing at some point, right?  Not at therapy.  It’s all about you.  So freeing, really.

It’s also such hard work.  Yeah, you can cry and whine and use profanity all you want, but in the end you have to face your fears.  Figure out why you are sad, angry, depressed, unmotivated, insecure and whatever other emotion the talented therapist helps you identify.  The questions you are asked can be jarring.  Can’t I just explain it to you in the nice little package I’ve put together in my head and present that to you with a bow on top and you’ll tell me what to do?  Nope.

And the 50 minute thing.  It sucks.  It’s just enough time to really get deeply into one aspect of your issues and then they have to let you go.  I asked why it’s only 50 minutes when 90 seems better.  She said it’s because that’s how much insurance will cover.  I think it’s because a person can only take so much whining and crying in front of them before they need a break.  Plus they do have to pee at some point.  If they are really human, that is.

Did therapy help?  Hell yeah.  Did I stop going?  Yup.  Have I felt like I could go back since then?  Yup.  But then I felt better the next day.  I know what to look for, though, in myself.  And I’m not afraid of it.  I grew to enjoy it.  I learned so much about myself and those around me, too.

Have you experienced therapy?  Willing to share some nugget of wisdom you learned?  Or maybe a comment about what you got out of it?  Please comment below.

By the way, going to yoga also helped.  Just sayin’.

P.S.  If any of this resonates with you, please go ahead and be a gutsy mama and go.  Sign yourself up for therapy.  Need a referral, let me know.  I know lots of folks in that field (just one of them was mine, the rest I’ve met through my work).

Development

Taught Day 2 of a natural childbirth class today and was brought back several times to the days when I was expecting one of my babies and how, especially with the first, it was so exciting, full of fear, full of joy and there was a bit of hubris involved as well.  I’ll be honest. I thought I was so smart.  So well-prepared.  Well, if you’re a parent, you know that having a baby, as one of my clients said, knocks you off your feet and right onto your ass.  Hard.  Yup, it does. 

I was as well prepared as my best clients are now…took every class, had my doula, read all the best books.  But bringing that baby home was hard.  Yes, it was sweet.  She was perfect.  My breasts took a couple months to work correctly but I got through it and so did she.  It took months to heal from her birth but I’m okay now (with a little help from my chiropractor). 

And it’s been almost 12 years.  I’ve learned more about birth, breastfeeding and parenting since then.  I had another baby since then (and learned more about myself through her birth as well).  The best thing I’ve learned is that I learn something new about every day, especially related to parenting and getting to know myself.  I do miss the anticipation that I felt when waiting to find out who exactly I was carrying in my belly. 

But now I wait each day to see how my kids are developing into the people they are becoming and also to see how I’m growing as well.  Middle-aged mama but developing a little bit more just the same.