Thursday, April 26, 2012

Disconnecting to ReConnect

Yesterday was one of those inspiring days. We had a playdate with a very-adored family in the morning, and then Kiddo and I took off on a spontaneous walk for most of the afternoon. It had started out as just a short venture to get a treat-- small soy latte for me, Hamentashen for him--and ended up being a three hour stroll. I admired the gardens we passed, all dressed up fancy for spring. I thought of how good it felt to be moving my body, to be away from the distractions and just focused on Kiddo. 

Something was stirring, deep in my heart. At home, we had our Snack Storytime, then split up for a while. I did the dishes, read a bit online, and felt somewhat bored until the timer went ding! and Kiddo popped out, ready to help me make pizza for dinner. 

There is something so fun about Kiddo and working with him in the kitchen.  We put on some Moxy Fruvous (which I must admit, I love to sing along to) and he ground up herbs to mix with olive oil to rub on in lieu of a sauce. We chopped up olives, red peppers, opened up a tin of artichoke hearts and a tin of anchovies.  Can I tell you how much I love it that my son also likes the Bon 'Chovies? (They are good,  thus the translation is correct, albeit very silly.) We had a great evening which continued through until bedtime.

Later that night I thought about the day. These are the days I want to have regularly: a sense of purpose, active, busy, fun. Lounging in an old skirt and watching Doc Martin, I fingered a rough patch of stuff on the fabric and realized it was old, dried Mod Podge, likely from a time not so many years ago when I would do decoupage work whilst watching the trash tv of the evening.  So different from these days, when I often feel spent by the time eight o'clock has come along. 


Life has changed a lot, not just in the fact that we have Kiddo in our lives, but also, I believe, because of the wireless card in my laptop. It used to be that I spent a lot of my free time walking around for hours, working in the garden more and doing the more meaningful writing or activities simply for my own pleasure. Keeping a wireless card in my laptop has not been particularly good for me. There are too many empty distractions and it hasn't had the most positive effect on my relationships, or the size of my butt, if you want real honesty. This last winter-- far too many rainy days for my liking-- had kept me indoors and online. While writing is stimulating, the kind of writing one might do online feels depleting in some way. Yet, there's a sense of obligation when one keeps a blog that pulls on me to keep producing for others. 


I've decided to try to  move away from this way of life for a while. I've asked Joe to remove the wireless card from my laptop so that it can be exclusively for writing again.  Hopefully, when I do want to go online on the basement office computer, it will be a more purposeful expenditure of time.  This morning I  dropped Kiddo off to preschool and walked the mile to the grocery store, then took my full bags home on the bus.  I found that I had plenty of time to sort through the green beans I was selecting for tomorrow night's dinner, time to read labels and move at my own pace without answering a thousand questions or deflecting the Gimme Gimmes which often come when one shops with a child Kiddo's age. It was good not to be in a hurry, to be alone, to have the brain-space to pause for a few minutes while the older shoppers navigated the aisles ahead of me. I liked shopping without distractions and plan on keeping this habit up, at least until preschool ends in month and a half.


The ending of preschool is a reminder of all the change to come. Summer will be upon us soon, and fuller days with Kiddo will demand a lot of creativity, time and energy. Because of kindergarten looming in the distance, I want to savor this time with him. Being present is so important to how our days go. The wi-fi enabled laptop offers too much mental junk food, too much distraction. Summer is a time when mornings need to be spent focusing on gardening, setting up my day with Kiddo and using our time well, so that come evenings, the dinner was already made and a stove is not heating up the house.  Too, too soon after that and I will be fighting hard to make more time for us. I don't want to be disconnected from him, one of the parents whose kids are jealous of the computer. This is something I want to be in charge of, reconnecting on a daily basis to the people who are present and not attending to the transient conversations of people I do not really know. 


So, that's that, right? It will be more work, again, to go downstairs to research recipes or check my email, but I think that's the point of it: using my time with intention. I haven't felt like that's been my path lately-- mostly, the last few months have just been a head-down endurance march to just get through winter. Slogging through it is not fun. But not slogging through it, outdoors, makes me cranky, makes my butt big and makes me feel unfulfilled, purposeless. Sometimes we have to decide that change is necessary, to figure out what we don't want (even if we're not sure what we do want) and to hit that reset button. To chance change and figure out that even it the next thing isn't perfect, at least I'm not feeling so stuck, and that I'll be likely to be a better mom, even on the harder days, because I'm keeping my focus where it needs to be. Right here at home, offline and connected even more strongly to those I love.

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