This weekend was a whirlwind of enjoyable activity and the universe felt the need to balance things out a bit by saddling us with a miserable litany of “bottom activities” on the part of the Little Buckaroo, who caught his first stomach virus. On Friday we headed out to my mom’s for the weekend, which is when the pooping commenced. This is the first time we’ve traveled for a weekend since New Years. It has all seemed too hard and too overwhelming to try, but it is time for change. We just didn’t anticipate him falling ill at the exact same time.
As we approach the one-year mark of his first birthday, I have recently found myself in a great deal of reflection and mostly wondering, “How did we get here so soon?” There is no doubt that my life has changed completely from even the days and months before he was born. Now with twelve calendar months flipped over I often feel that I have lost a profound amount of my original self, and have begun the fighting process of getting it back only to realize that everything really has changed for better—and occasionally for worse—and so begins the new era of me.
This revelation has unbound me from previous constraints and I am feeling at liberty to go wherever I want to, within reason, of course with personal growth, even if it is, at times, only attempted. About two years ago on one of our cross-country road trips we stopped in Idaho to see one of my former best-friends whom I hadn’t seen since the middle of eighth grade, when after we all returned from our Christmas break, she did not. She had a somewhat troubled—only for drama, and not for danger—family situation, and as Chris Kringle mounted his sleigh, one parent decided it was their day in the sun—or snow—and off she was whisked from one house, in one state, to another. In the long-long ago of yester-year we didn’t have email, and long-distance phone calls were a sad and expensive substitute for the barrage of pre-teen drama that filled our daily lives, and we fell out of touch. Fifteen years passed, then enter Facebook.
Reconnected, we sat there enjoying a glass of wine in Sun Valley, on the 7th of July in 2010. While recounting old adventures I commented about the dubious nature of changing junior high and high schools so many times. The formidable task of making new friends, fitting in, & defining yourself. How overbearing it all seemed. Her response caught me off-guard, “Actually, I thought it was fun. I could be whoever I wanted to be. If I didn’t like something about myself I could change it, and all these people never knew.”
What a concept! You can actually BE the person you WANT to be? You have the power to change? You do it willingly? You don’t stew in your own self-pity and fall pray to your own woes!
Okay, perhaps I am being a little dramatic, but change is hard. Especially self provoked change. Well, going back further, the self-reflection can be troublesome, too. No one wants to admit that they have faults. So, to admit them and then change them is no small undertaking.
But now is a good time for self-reflection. A birthday can do that to you, especially the first birthday of your first child. So, last week when I received a welcome email from one of my favorite sites, Houzz, that promised: Three Magic Words for a Clean Home and a Better Life, I held my breath as I clicked.
I have never been a clean, or organized person, but I am trying. The older I get the more disciplined I am but still it takes practice and patience. I don’t quite know how it happened, but last week KnitFest occurred all over my house. Yarn everywhere, stitch markers coming out of the ceiling, pens for sketching covering dining room table, trimmed yarn tales trailing from the baby’s mouth, quickly removed. It was a frantic dash towards finishing some projects and designs that in-fact met their end of week deadlines. In an effort to get it all done—which I am proud to say that I did—every clean surface, floors included, suffered the consequences, which I am significantly less proud of. Before leaving for my Mother’s on Friday I did my best to get the situation under control, but when I returned home on Monday afternoon I was horrified. I’d had enough.
I began sweeping and washing while Ramon took the baby out for a few hours. With the dishes done, floor mopped and all yarn not in use put back in the stash I could finally sit down somewhere (anywhere) and relax. Since reading the above mentioned article from Houzz I’ve been thinking a lot about those three key words, promised from the title. What are these three words? How can they really get us there? Will they in-fact change my life for the better as promised? Yes! I can tell you they will:
How about now?
So simple, no? The idea is that we can always put something off until later, but then the little things pile up to be really, really big things that require hours of work to wade through, and tremendous misery, cursing, and disappointment that you cannot be knitting, reading, or really doing anything fun instead. But I feel that this idea may be applied to so much more than just picking up clutter around the house, or doing a few dishes.
In the spirit of figuring out this new me, instead of “How about Now,” I’ve started asking “Why not now?” about just about everything. Asking “Why” is a great stepping stone, and “why” is better for me than “how.” Why lets in all of the things that are real
excuses reasons, like: I cannot knit or do dishes right now, because there is poop running down the baby’s leg because he has a stomach virus. How doesn’t allow for these “must-dos” to come into play without some sort of feeling of sadness or guilt at a perceived loss of opportunity. But with Why, there still feels like wiggle room for later, or as if I have more control over my situation. I am choosing to clean up the baby, and I can choose to knit later, too, or to pick up those dishes. It will only take a few minutes and I certainly have a few minutes to do some things that I need to do, and then I can do something I want to do. So, why not now?
During nap-times and after play-times, in between tummy hurting cries, and in the evening after bedtime, and all while watching the French Open and enjoying the company of my awesome Mom I was able to knit 11 inches in the round, in stockinette stitch to finish the bottom of my Still Light Tunic. That sea of tiny, black stitches took the better part of 450 yards, 21,120 stitches—give or take—on size 2 US needles. I also completed 2 complete pentagons on my Basalt tank, with lace yarn. I also feel more empowered, invigorated by this new me. I am feeling inspired, and that I really can make this change. I can be cleaner, I can be more organized and I can have some fun for myself, too!
After four days of misery, the Little Buckaroo is finally starting to feel a little better. I feel like a good Mommy for being there for him, snuggling him in his discomfort when he really wanted to sit close and just feel better, and for cleaning dozens of messy bottoms, many of which had to be followed by fun bath-time. This weekend I got to be everything that I wanted to be, and do more than I thought or in some cases really desired. I even managed to shampoo an entire carpet, mere minutes before my husband took a crow-bar and ripped the entire carpet out, and hauled it to his truck. I guess he’s started asking, “Why not now,” too.
What could you do if you started asking yourself, “Why not now?”