baby / family / myself / yoga

Emptiness

Throughout the day, I have great ideas for blog posts: a story from NPR might inspire a mental rant that would be provocative to share, a personal reflection could bring dynamic comment conversation, an article might spark new insights for all of us (and possibly more articles…).

But then I do all the things (care for Abraham, care for everyone else, care for the house, care for any work on my plate) and then…my brain is empty. I can’t remember what I wanted to write about. It’s gone.

Isn’t this why I practice yoga? Yogascittavritti nirodhah. Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. Yoga is when the thoughts stop. And here I am, thoughts stopped.

But I don’t think that is what they really meant.

How is it that I could once wake up early, practice yoga, work all day teaching and creating theatre, go home for big conversations with roommates or yoga classes or craft projects, read a novel for fun, and then sleep peacefully? Now, I don’t do half of that in a day, but I struggle to remember to make a phone call to get my oil changed or to pick up a book at the end of the day.

I know, I know…I have an infant, don’t be so hard on myself. I’m not being hard on myself. I want to read, craft, create art, and practice yoga. And that is just solo projects. I want to spend time with my husband, talk to my far away friends (and close by friends!) and family.

But at the end of the day, I plop down at the kitchen table and mull over…facebook. Over pinterest. Over things don’t deepen my days. No offense to facebook.

But my brain is empty.  I don’t have the motivation to close Whitey (yes, my computer is named Whitey. He’s white. What would you name him?) and pick up my book/craft project/script. By 9 or 10pm, I’m not able to start a meaningful yoga practice.

So…what do you do? How do you, friends and readers, motivate yourself to do the things you love? That just sounds ridiculous – if I love them, why is it effort?

And please don’t tell me not to worry about it right now. I am not worrying, but I want to be a great mom for Abraham, a great wife for David, a great step-mom for Zoe and Nathan and I can’t if I’m not feeling like myself. You know?

Am I just writing in circles?

7 thoughts on “Emptiness

  1. I don’t have kids, so please take everything I say with a pinch of salt – but one thing yoga taught me was that I cannot adequately care for others if I haven’t properly taken care of myself before. Only if you’re at peace you can bring peace to others. I know it sounds awful, but maybe a bit of egoism (just that tiny bit from time to time?) could do the trick…?
    @David: Yessss, indeed – why not? FB is the biggest time sucker on this planet, completely useless!

    • yes! you are right – i know that I can’t teach yoga unless I practice myself. the same would be true of parenting and personing – I can’t raise a little person if I’m not practicing being a person myself. it is just hard to carve out the time. patanjali defines yoga as kriya yoga – tapas, svadyaya, and ishvara pranidhana. i need more of the discipline. i have lots of self-study going on.🙂

      and yes, i keep getting sucked back into facebook, but i usually only check it when i’m lying down with my son or if i need to be in touch with someone there.

  2. I couldn’t have said it better myself! I feel EXACTLY the same. The only difference is that I can no longer remember being so productive before kids. If I remember correctly, the part about your brain being soup-like and unable to remember ordinary things comes back once the littlest one stops needing you for their every move in this world. But I too feel useless at the end of most days. I have friends I yearn to catch up with, but I feel so wiped by the end of the day that I just want to sit on the couch (if only for 30) min before heading off to bed. I think it is that our children (especially the littlest ones) and our homes take all of our energy and brain power during the day. WIth any other job, you can set your pace or at least know the pace that is expected of you. With a child, you are always “on” and ready to take care of their next need/want, so you don’t have time in the day to just be. So, while I don’t have any suggestions, know that you are not alone in these feelings. 🙂 And that I think you are pretty amazing!

    • I think you nailed it, Shannon – I’m “on” all day. And that is exhausting. Who knew sitting on the floor, reading Barnyard Dance over and over again could be so exhausting.🙂
      Knowing I am not alone, knowing we are not alone, is a big deal. I hope we’ll see you in a few weeks when we come visit!

  3. I have started riding my bike. Like anything, it can be annoying to get dressed and get going but once I do, it’s so worth it. Of course, I have help because I work part time now and my daughter is in full time care. I feel a bit guilty about it but also I feel so much better having some me time, I think it’s worth it.

    • Yes, Erica! I read about your bike riding – that is brilliant. It is almost too cold to bike here, and Abraham doesn’t like the trailer yet, but next summer…I’m hoping to get to my yoga mat more, but I need to stop hoping and just do it!
      I have a babysitter who comes 2x per week so I can work. Not the same as “me” time, but at least it is a completely different way to use my brain.

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