Last night, I settled down to go to bed at 10. I had my podcast, the latest from The Moth, all cued. I had my lavender oil on my wrists. I had taken all my pills. Of course, at 10:13, Bran started crying. This has been the theme of the last month or more: Do my best to take care of myself only to be constantly foiled by my children (or the dog). It's getting old. Really, really old. I haven't sat to write for weeks, I mean really write, using my brain. I have grasped at time to churn out a couple of easy twitter posts, repot a plant, thin the carrots, or do a little craft, but all those times have been presided over by a needy baby or the guilt of knowing that Brendan is suffering for the sake of me getting a moment (and I mean a moment) to be something other than "MAMA!!!"
I feel like a garden plant struggling through a drought or like the hydrangea I rescued from the discount rack (forced to bloom in time to hit a peak buying season, even though it is not time to bloom, then neglected, probably because of the fakey-looking, though real, varieated petal colors). I got the thing home and, in my sleep-deprived fog, planted it in a spot that I instantly knew was a bit too sunny for a hydrangea. I didn't move it because I was too tired. It's out there. It's doing better than it was at the grocery store, but I can see it's trying hard to smile in the less than ideal conditions. I try to get out and give it extra water. Hydrangeas love water, especially when their place is too sunny, but of course I am not keeping up with it very well. I feel like that plant. I'm happy to be what I am, but sometimes I feel like I'm just not planted in the right spot and don't have the time to do the extra care and maintenance I need to really thrive.
Over the Winter, I made peace with the fact that I am an artsy girl (not quite brave enough to call myself "Artist"), and I like myself that way. For years, I had been developing and living with the notion that art was not a vital part of me and could, even should, be ignored. Therapy has it's perks, people; through counseling and lots of thought and prayer, I have been able to start undoing that self-loathing and appreciating the fact that I'm brimming with enthusiasm for creative projects of all kinds, including sharing through writing. I've enjoyed my personal renaissance!
Trouble is (well, let's say "fact")... FACT is I am blessed (and I mean that) with my pack of kids which includes a baby who, for all his magic, is still entering the age range I most dislike: 12-18months, the don't-kill-yourself-boundary-testing-begins-demanding-about-everything-because-they-don't-know-better-so-you-better-teach-'em phase. Advanced child that he is :/, he has begun early at nearly 10 months. Yeah, yeah, I know: it'll go by fast. I have no doubt of that, and I also know I will indeed miss this phase because it is also the starts-hugging-you-on-purpose-trying-to-make-real-kisses-using-language-playing-games-and-being-totally-precious phase. This week (MONTH), it is wearing me out.
I am one peaked hydrangea. This phase prevents me from doing so many things that I know contribute to my health, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Thankfully, I know it won't kill me. Just like I know that hydrangea is going to be OK until I get a chance to get in the shadier spot. It won't be there forever, and I can water it extra in the meantime. I'm trying to water myself more too. The house is a DISASTER right now, but I managed to get Bran IN HIS BED for a nap (going on 90 minutes!!!) and heck if I'm going to clean! I planted a delphinium (in a great spot), took a shower, applied my sample of self-tanning lotion from my Birch Box (ummm, we'll see if that's a mistake), read an encouraging passage in the Bible, used pretty cursive to write down a hymn verse, and now I've written. (I should confess that I also ate 3 cookies and plan to eat more. When I'm sleep-deprived, I've noticed, I feel compelled to fill my house with easy, crappy carbs! I know it's wrong, so don't need to tell me!)
So, I may look a little wilted and can't help that I'm a weird color (unless it's from the self-tanner), but I'm still growing and eager to bloom.