Monday, October 29, 2012

Swinging yourself, higher and higher

Lilly has loved being in the swing since she was a baby.  I could push her in her baby swing in the backyard for hours.  Going to the park could be torture because all she wanted was to be pushed in the swing...the entire time.  

For the past year or so I have been trying to teach Lilly to pump her legs so that she could swing herself.  It wasn't working.  Last summer I figured she was just too young and I would just teach her next summer.  Well, this summer came and all summer long I came up with all different ways to teach Lilly to pump her legs.  All summer long she refused to learn.  I knew she was able to at this point, but she just wanted me to push her.  Toward the end of August she was trying to pump her legs, at my insistence, sometimes.  We would compromise.  I would push her for 10 pushes and then she had to try and pump for a few minutes and I would push her again at the end.

I don't know what the trigger was or what connection she made, but one day, she got it.  Right there, in front of my eyes I saw it click and she started pumping her legs.  And when I asked her if she wanted me to push her she said, "No thanks Mom."  Oh, did my heart almost break in half.  After all the times I complained about having to push her, now I was not needed to do so.

We have a swingset in the backyard and there is barely a day when Lilly does not go out, even just for a few minutes, to swing.  She soars higher and higher, it seems, each time.  When I watch her I am filled with pride in what she can do.

Learning how to swing is a metaphor for so many things in life.  How many times have I been afraid to do something.  Nervous, hesitant, not confident.  And then when I do the task, fully, not half-assed, I can really be successful.  I was so afraid to start graduate school.  I was not smart enough.  I did not know what I wanted to study.  What if I failed.  I was given many nudges along the way to get started.  I finally started back in 2006.  I didn't fail.  Not in the least.  I aced graduate school.  I soared.

the blur that is Lilly
Sometimes I have to remember the things I have accomplished so that I can have the confidence to move on in the next chapter in my life.  I am not sure what that entails yet, or when it will start.  But I hope I can remember Lilly pumping her little legs as hard as she can and soaring above the grass and laughing with pure joy.

Singing at the top of her lungs

Monday, October 8, 2012


A wise relative recently reminded me that I needed to take time for myself, even for 5 minutes.  "The point of recreation (i.e., 'play' and playtime) is to literally "re-create" yourself--that is, re-energize and rebuild and reconstruct." (Thanks UP) And if you go to the link, you will see that Webster's agrees with him, naturally.  I have been ruminating about this since I read it.  I know that I need time for myself.  Like, I know it in my head.  I even give this advice to others.  I need to do this for myself.  But I usually think that I need a large chunk of time for myself, which frankly, is impossible.  So I started thinking about the things I do that help me re-energize.  How can I make more time for myself for the things I like to do?  

Walking has always beens my "me" time.  I need to and will make more time to do this, as my feet feel better.  That is not a quick 5 minutes but I have been making it more of a priority.  I would love to take a yoga class somewhere, but since that is not a feasible option right now, I can do a dvd.  Again, not a quick 5 minutes, but I don't have to leave the house.  I try to check in once a day on my Lose It forums so that I can keep myself motivated and accountable.  But what else can I do that would be considered recreation?  

I am slightly completely obsessed with Pinterest. I love cooking and baking and I totally love being crafty.  Homemade Pumpkin Creamer?  Yes please!  Pumpkin Crunch cake? Delicious! Cupcakes that look like witch hats?  I am so on that!  Do you detect the autumnal theme here?  My time on Pinterest is often spent looking at things that are knit, crocheted or quilted.  I have been practicing my knitting some.  My MIL taught me the basics but I have not graduated to a pattern yet.  I have a feeling I will turn back to crocheting.  Add the 2nd needle and I start getting so confused.   I have lots of wonderful Christmas gift ideas for my nieces and nephews now and I am itching to start sewing again.

What is my point?  I realized that sometimes I am doing activities that re-energize and re-charge me.   Maybe I just need to recognize them as such.  Spending time on Pinterest with my evening cup of tea could sometimes feel like a waste of time.  Perhaps  in labeling my Pinterest-ing and resultant baking as "me" time will help me actually do it without feeling guilty and not put it off for something that is NOT re-energizing.  Like scrubbing the bathroom.  Unless of course I have made homemade bathroom cleanser. (It works, by the way.)  Maybe I need to look at things I do in a different light.  After all, if I looked at walking the dog as a chore it certainly would be one.  But I look at it as more me-time, and so I enjoy it.

For this upcoming week I hope that we can all do this:  put at least 5 minutes aside each day, just for you.  Unplug.  Unwind.  Re-energize.  Re-create yourself.