Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reflections, Part I

Tonight's one of those late nights where the mind wanders and the inner spirit tremors with worry, with trepidation.  So many times I've wanted to write, yet so many times it's been easier to wrap myself in my blanket, close my eyes and wish for my mind to clear and allow myself some calm wave of inner peace.

Not tonight.

Where do I begin? To look ahead to the future would be just to look at my past.  What has happened within the past year?

My little girl is about to turn 9 months this week, and I'm not kidding when time really does fly by. She's a real beauty, at least I'm reassured by others, and we all love her to pieces. Not to belittle the presence of my two older boys, but she has made our lives complete, filling me with pensive joy even when I'm on Hour 2 of rocking her to sleep because she needed the extra comfort. Jokes on her when it is really I who needs the comfort, and I'm glad to hold her a little bit longer in the darkness of her room.

I'll be returning to work in a couple of months, two months early (who's counting? I am.) Financially, it's the most logical choice, but emotionally it's been a battle.  Loving this little girl, holding her with me all day, knowing this will likely be the last child I will bear as I approach my 40's, I don't want to let go. As much as I could never be a stay-at-home mother, it is essentially that which I seemed to have enjoyed these past few months. I wished the hiatus would last as long as allowed but I'd be lying to myself that we wouldn't be crushed financially by doing so.  Partly to blame could be my husband who decided to start his own plumbing business when I was pregnant (self-employment isn't exactly lucrative, yet, anyways), but I can't fault what we agreed upon as a couple --through thick and thin, richer or poorer. No, it is what it is. We want the house, we gotta pay for it.  We'll need a larger vehicle, and I haven't found anyone giving any of those away for free. Not to mention the kids' winter and spring hockey seasons (nevermind the hubby's), going back to work early should be a no-brainer.  But no one ever said that I didn't have to go back feeling happy about it.

I'll also be returning to my Masters degree program in January.  Scared shitless? Uh huh. It was hard enough heading back to school after 15 years. I persevered and had many late nights reading, typing papers, finishing projects, and by the time I took my leave from school, I had at least an 80% average. How the hell am I supposed to do that again? I don't know if I have enough juice in me to tackle another 8 courses and a thesis (don't get me started on that! Unless you have an idea for a topic!). Life is different now compared to a year ago. People said I'm crazy for being a mom, working full time and going to school. Yep, I am, I'd say, and would have probably elbowed you to the wall and ask if you had a problem with that. Ask me today and likely I'd likely bow my head and feel the self-doubts fill my throat and teary eyes swell as I cower away. I won't know my new cohort, and I imagine the half year of school I do have left will be spent in a virtual isolation booth, with no one to commiserate with,  no one to rely on for help. So wants to help a "mother" (gasp!) in the classroom? Not these young, enthusiastic, twenty-somethings I heard this cohort mostly consists of.

But not all my days are filled with this dread and forlorness. In anticipation of returning back to my old self, my old life, I've been running more and watching my eating habits, to fit into my old clothes again.  I can breathe better, deeper, now, especially after a long run. Many people hate running because it's hard, but ironically it's because it's hard that I find running appealing.  The mental challenge of the repetitiveness pushes me, the monotony of my breathing speaks rhythms to my mind. In the last 50 days, I've lost 11 pounds. And I can, for the most part, fit back into my jeans I used to wear before I was pregnant. Not one to shy away from challenges (obviously), I have another 10 pounds on my radar, 15, tops.

Fast forward to January 6, 2014's my reflections on this night kept me away from completion....

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Birthday, Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter,

Today you were born.

If my life wasn't so blessed already with your two brothers and your daddy, one might say that there was no void for you to fill.  But my life is made more blessed with your presence, your little light.

I wonder what you have in store for us....I wonder what we have in store for you.  We've never had a little princess before, and that is what you shall remain in both your daddy's eyes and mine.

We love you and can't be more happier than we are today.

Mommy and Daddy,
February 1st, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013

End of an Era...Sort Of.


"No more school, no more books, no more teachers, dirty looks!"

Kinda.....for now.

Having had one more paper left hanging from my last class that ended in December, I finally polished it off and hit that SEND button just minutes ago.

My last paper for the year.

As I breathe heavily and glance soulfully at the papers and textbooks strewn around me, I try to collect my feelings of.....accomplishment?  Of dread? Of forlornness?

My feelings are mixed: like waiting for the other shoe to drop, I'm waiting for the jubilee I expected from completing my final assignment before my pending maternity leave from work and school, but it's just not coming.  It's like I'm missing something: is it a fear? A fear of a lack of purpose in life?  Perhaps not a fear of a lack of purpose but perhaps a fear of being rejected from the life I knew, a built-up, dream-like state of academia life and being lost within my real reality, of family and obligations.

Is that wrong?

School will be there for me next January when I resume my degree, and although it's difficult to envision now, next January will come around so fast I'll likely be cursing the passage of time and longingly look back to what the future holds for me today.

So, as parallelisms go, as I gather my papers and close my books, I end another chapter in my life and open another one.  Instead of going to classes, taking notes, writing papers, one thing that will remain the same are my group projects, albeit of a different kind.

My group will now consist of my husband, my two little boys and my new little girl who arrives in 3 weeks, and my new projects will be more colourful, likely messy and dysfunctional, and most definitely more satisfying than I could possibly imagine.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year, 2013!

I forgot that once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I used to make New Year's Resolutions each year.

Will lose weight.
Will exercise more.
Will eat healthier.

See a trend?

My resolutions were usually about improving the physical side of me.  Maybe because that's what seemed obvious.  Maybe because everyone was doing the same.

But I haven't made these resolutions in the longest time, nor do I remember when the last time I did so.

What happened to me?

I became a mom.

I see my kids' smiling faces each day, and I forget that my daily existence revolves around them.  And with a new baby just around the corner, I see the need to state the resolution that has gone unsaid, unspoken all these years:

Will be a better mom.

Sure, I'll be thinking about the losing weight, exercise more, eating healthier in the meantime.  But as I reflect on the meaning of a new beginning, a new year, what better way to pay homage to the one important role in my life that has given me meaning, shaped my life, and made me who I am today.  Not that I know HOW to be a better mom...but to try my hardest to enjoy my kids more,  shape them into responsible little citizens of the world, and to help them be who they are and what they know best: being a kid.

They're only young once, and so am I.

Happy New Year, 2013!  2012 was a year of many blessings, and I'm looking forward to year of another round of joyful surprises and happiness, for our family and for yours!