These photos are totally unrelated to the post, and if you don't want to read a few paragraphs about me, then feel free to just skip this one. :)
Recently I've been feeling a bit more "whole" than I have for the past year or so.
I think now that I'm two and a half year post-pregnancy (last pregnancy, too) and a year and a half done with nursing, I am finally adjusting to my body being my own again.
And on top of that, I'm also finding that not just my body but also my self is more my own as well.
While motherhood is extremely fulfilling, it isn't all-fulfilling, at least for me.
In that while I love my job and am so happy with what I'm doing, it isn't as if child development are my ONLY interests in life.
And I've recently realized that reading the internet on my iPhone isn't exactly an "interest," and is merely a way to kill time (whilst somehow not enjoying much of that time in the end).
For the kids' preschool, part of the program includes night classes every other week for the parents. In one of the night meetings for Bennett's class, the topic was parental fulfillment and happiness and there was discussion about the things that the adults in the room were interested in and filled their time with. We were encouraged to think about the ways we spend our time and what things we do that make us happy (I mentioned photography and going for walks). It wasn't as if that meeting was so life changing for me, but it did cause me to reflect a bit and realize that I wanted to prioritize certain things I did over the time-suck that my phone had become.
In the past two months I've renewed my interest in art and I've taken up watercolor painting. It's just a hobby I do for myself - mainly during nap time - painting my friends' kids or flowers around the yard. Words can't even really express how much more I enjoy this over an extra thirty minutes on the internet.
I'm spending a ton of time walking around my neighborhood with headphones in my ears. The weather has been phenomenal, but even when it's not, I've found a walk in the rain is better than no walk. Maybe I'm like Bennett - if I'm cooped up inside too long I start to go a bit stir crazy.
I used to spend tons of time talking about and listening to music, but since we moved to California, I primarily listened to Top 40 radio in the car and that was about it. Right before John and I went to New York I created a play list of "walking around" type music. Ever since we got back from New York, I can't stop remembering my old favorite bands and listening to hours and hours of this music that makes me smile and relaxes me. This also coincided with the realization that both Orelia and Bennett were paying slightly too much attention to the songs playing in the car, and every song I heard seemed to remind me of that saying "little pitchers have big ears."
Photography and reading are two interests of mine that have remained constant pre and post children, and I hope to keep it that way.
I'm also dipping my toe back into the waters of health, fitness, and cooking again. It's surprising how quickly I've felt a difference when taking better care of myself. It takes more time and energy to cook, grocery shop, etc., but somehow it seems to be worth it so far.
Today on my midday walk this blog post came to mind and while it seems very self-involved, this is my blog and I'm sure my parents and mother-in-law read to the end. Thanks, guys!
The conclusion is that I'm feeling a bit more like a whole person these days. If each person is a puzzle, I'm feeling pretty complete right now in ways I wasn't a few months ago (I was fine before but feel better now). Not that watercolors or music are essential "pieces" to my life necessarily, but they help round me out a lot better than reading Facebook ever did. I'm feeling like not just "a mother," but "a mother AND..." which makes a big difference.