Monday, July 16, 2012
Death after life.
What a grim title, eh? I don't mean it literally. It's just that my first few days back home after spending a week alone in California have been...an adjustment. Maybe it's just that I forgot what it was like to be momming it up 24/7, but what I recall as a moderate challenge seems to have become a vertical climb up a slippery mud mountain. During monsoon season.
I spent the week in California contemplating a simple lifestyle. I passed the days focusing on where my body was in space, separating one movement from another, learning how to turn off muscles that weren't essential to the task, turning down the level of noise in the background of my life. My thoughts were clear, my body relaxed. Without having to calm a tantrum, wash a dish, sweep a floor, or cook a proper meal everyday my mind was quiet enough to have real thoughts. I even started coming up with epiphanies on the plane ride home about forgiveness, responsibility, letting go, and serving others. I was seriously feeling my consciousness elevate into some kind of freaky enlightenment and I was going all Siddhartha Gautama all over the place.
But then real life began again at the baggage claim in the airport, with an immediate cry for milk (from my daughter addressed to me) followed by a long drawn out bedtime, which ended in watching a movie on the couch with a toddler awkwardly flopping in my arms as she finally allowed herself to succumb. The baby I returned to seems older, smarter, more determined and curious, with a heaping extra spoonful of impatience, and about 50% less emotional stability. I've never seen someone lose it so hard over whether on not their sippy cup has a lid. I'm looking around the kitchen for a severed finger, or a missing foot, certainly something dreadful must have happened as I was putting the lid on her cup to cause her to scream and collapse and lament "noooo, nooooo NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" Finally, from her position face down on the floor, she gasps "cup. open" between sobs. I remove the lid. The clouds break and light beams from her face. "Merci mommy". I wanted to ask "WHAT THE F*@K WAS THAT?!" But that would be inappropriate.
So now I'm presented with this new challenge. How do I get back to that mental state while still living in the real world? It was so easy for me to wisely talk about responding to stimulus appropriately, only experiencing the minimum amount of emotion necessary in response to crap that goes on in life, keeping calm through adversity and all that crap...but that was when I was sleeping and didn't have someone groping and squeezing my boobs yelling "milk! nurse!" every 2 seconds. Now, back in reality I want to be face down on the floor screaming NOOOO as well. Was it really like this before I left? Had I just become numb to the stimulus, had I just adapted to my crazy environment? Get back to me next week and I'll let you know if I figured it out. Right now I have to go decide what to make for lunch and empty the garbage and bring out the compost and wash the diapers and put away the dishes I washed this morning and...and...and....stretch my hamstrings.