Spring Awakening

Whew, what a fall/winter it was. In September, we were considering moving back to Brooklyn. In October, we bought a house. In December, we moved, while Jack and I had the flu (the sickest either of us had ever been). That flu lasted for three weeks. Then, we proceeded to get sick again…and again…and again. Somewhere in there, I broke my arm (specifically, my radial head). Wyatt continued to wake up during the night, every night, past his second birthday. I’m just now getting over my fifth (fifth!) virus in five months. We’ve had the flu, strep, norovirus and various mystery bugs. Now I’m better, but slowly dying of allergies. Le sigh. When I tell you I NEED this spring like I’ve never needed spring before…I mean it. 

It’s interesting how you often don’t realize how hard things have been until you come out of it. Lately, the sun has come out. Various trees and bushes in our new yard have started to bloom. I was cleared by my orthopedist to start working out again. We finally (finally!) got a second car, which is life-changing now that we live in an area that is beautiful but not walkable. Wyatt has started to sleep through the night…maybe 65% of the time. I’ll take it! Listen, we are the luckiest people ever, we are so blessed and have so many privileges. But entering this new season literally and figuratively has made me realize just how hard the previous season was. I was pretty low. Probably mildly depressed. In survival mode, every day. Not really a way to live, if you ask me.

I’ve been having a lot of thoughts lately, about a lot of things–now that I have some time and space to actually think! I’m writing essays in my head all the time, but it’s so hard to find the time and really the energy to write it down. I’m having lots of thoughts about aging, and maturing, and living in our bodies. Lots of thoughts about who “Adult Tara” (a great term coined by my therapist) is, what middle life will look like for me, and how I want to live now that I’m a real grown up and have “arrived” (I guess?). I’m coming up on my 35th birthday and…I feel fine about it? I feel a mix of excitement and trepidation and…neutrality. Aging is hard, aging is a gift, aging is just…part of life. It’s only in the past couple of years where I’ve started to really feel that I’m aging, like actually not really that young anymore (lol). I’m thinking about it terms of vanity, but really I’m mostly trying to think about it in terms of being and staying healthy. ACTUALLY getting the sleep that I need. ACTUALLY working out multiple times per week, every week (breaking my arm made me realize how much I love working out now, which is shocking). ACTUALLY cutting down on how much I’m drinking alcohol. Lots of thoughts about alcohol! I’m very proud to say that I’ve cut back on my drinking a lot, and have sober nights probably 4 nights a week now. I’m thinking about our vices in general. (Another vice of mine? Shopping. That one’s a toughie.) How do we take care of ourselves and lean into the things that are good for us when shit gets hard, instead of wasting time and energy and resources on empty highs? Shira Gill has this question that she’s shared when it comes to self-care and indulging: “Is this numbing, or is this nourishing?” I love this idea, and am rolling it around in my brain a lot.

I’m thinking about work; how to love what you do and do it well, without it creeping its way toward taking over your entire brain and identity. I’m thinking about women and time; how there is never enough of it, how it can feel so hard to live well when it always feels like the to dos are overflowing out of every 24 hour period. I’m thinking about faith and what I want in a church. I’m thinking about family, about generations, and caring for aging parents while caring for children. I’m thinking about parenting. One day, you’re just trying to keep tiny nuggets fed and alive. The next, they are small people, and you’re trying to love them and guide them and protect them and let them be who they are meant to be. There are just a few things on my mind. But for now, I am soaking up spring. I am delighting in every single bud and every single leaf. I am embarrassing myself in front of my neighbors and snapping photos of Eastern redbud trees and sniffing lilacs and driving with the windows down until my hair is insane. I’m watching the birds outside my window–cardinals, bluejays, a mystery chocolate brown beauty with white polka dots on its back. There was a rabbit today! It’s a miracle, isn’t it? That children grow, that love remains, that new leaves unfurl every year. Every year, I reach out and touch a just-birthed leaf, all young green and fetus-like. There is so much to do and so much to learn, but for now, I am going to positively delight in spring. I’ve needed it so.

If stroking leaves is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s