You need to achieve a level of balance, EVEN in lockdown.
I didn’t realise ’til today that I too, like I said for baby girl last week, had started to withdraw. Sure, I’m eager as to have my freedoms, see my family and friends again, resume life as we were before all this happened.
But at the same time, being home all the time, has made me wanna stay home, and kinda, be up-to-date on everything.
Not even important things.
It wasn’t until today after I finished work at 3pm, that I realised my old ways. I had several things to tick off my to-do list, but given the sunshine, and my promise last week to get her out more, I instead asked baby girl “what do you wanna do?”
She wanted to have coffee and babycino on the deck.
(We don’t have furniture yet, so we just sat on the floor).
But it was actually really beautiful.
Then, still ignoring the growing pile of dishes on the sink, I asked her –
“Which park do you wanna go to?”
Well it had to be the one with the big net that she loves to climb to the top of.
Even better, I messaged her friend’s Mum, and they joined us too. The kids were running, screaming, we all stayed way too long, and when I came home…
I quickly rushed to start dinner, get the cat out, put the dishwasher on…
Ahhh. Like the good ol’ days. To hell with routine. Who needs an orderly and clean house anyway? 😉🤣
I hit a wall after lunchtime, I was freezing cold, and then BANG!
Sleep overwhelmed me.
Well I couldn’t sleep, duh I have a child. But I did lay down on the couch, and baby girl brought me her musical merry-go-round figurine to lull me to sleep, and my water bottle and my phone, all within reach.
But balance… she oh-so-quietly complained I had to get up and make my coffee, as well as her BABYCINO.
No rest for the tired here. Just as well we have caffeine. 💪☕
Today I did something that I haven’t done for a long time.
Yoga… in a class.
I started doing home-based practice last year during covid, before other things turned pear-shaped… there were also a couple of online videos here and there, but…
Let me tell YOU. Class yoga is a whole different ball game.
You don’t get to break for as long as you want between poses. The moves come faster after one another. And then the clincher, you actually do try harder when there are 15 other people in the room with you!
Today the instructor started with a whole lot of breathwork. And I was sitting there cross-legged with hands in prayer pose, thinking to myself –
“Crap. This is gonna be too easy.”
Ha! How wrong I was. I was huffing, breathing deeply, building up a sweat, taking off my hoodie… it was intense. The kind of thigh-burning, leg quivering, heart-pumping and wobbly kind of intense that you get with yoga.
But I loved one thing that the instructor said. She was likening a really hard pose she was going to get us to try, to life. She said –
“You probably will fail. But you’ll get up, and you’ll try and try again. It’s like life. You fail, but you try, and eventually, you’ll get there.”
It was this little moment of motivation, of high significance for me, in amongst downward dogs, cobras, and triangle poses, that made me smile, and even tear up a little.
I too, struggled to achieve poses today, and had to re-centre and adjust several times.
But I’m very used to doing that. Hopefully soon, I will find greater balance. 💖🧘♂️
It was a day to look a little closer at the beauty in front of us…
And a day to whinge and moan about what is IN us.
The holiday reality is, life doesn’t just escape you. Meaning you still feel all the bad, as much as you feel the natural highs of being away.
Your feelings don’t change when you’re away. You just have less of other stuff to do while you keep those same thoughts, or have that same life. Just a change of scenery, which is what we’re all craving, right?
But, despite the whinging and the moaning, the change of environment can provide us with insights, not usually granted to us when at home and in the everyday routine of life.
Is there a lesson to be learnt?
Can I take this newfound experience home with me?
How can I deal with this in a more learned manner in future?
I took her to a birthday party after school… then LEFT HER THERE.
It was part under the belief that it was kids only… and part knowing that she was old enough to be left alone.
It was only 90 minutes long… but I drove off going “I AM FREE!”
(And then proceeded to stop and buy groceries, start dinner prep, then lie on the couch for 7 minutes ONLY because that was all the time I allowed myself and I was exhausted).
This is the remnant of this afternoon’s party.
Yes. A half-eaten chocolate cupcake. I picked up a girl who was emotional from not wanting to go home, high from all the kids, fairy bread and chips, and tired from doing the conga line and jumping in the bouncy castle.
Yes. It was a successful first foray into ‘solo’ kids parties.
And by the way… I was the only parent who ‘dumped’ their child and left. Turns out other kids were there… with their Mums in tow.
That’s ok. Last year we were at the same girls party, and I was the ONLY Mum there… at a kids pretty in pink themed play room.
I’m about to tell you a little tale about vegetables.
And… news break! You can actually overdose on them.
This isn’t one of these posts where I will end up telling you to eat more chocolate, no. Vegetables are definitely, undeniably, good for you.
It’s all about balance.
You know how sometimes you do one thing, or look for one thing, and then something else occurs, but you wouldn’t have known about the other thing, or come across it at all, without that first thing occurring?
I was thinking this today as I had a phone consult with my GP.
Because when I’d been in her office about 2 weeks ago for an infection, in her analysis of me, she had suddenly said “show me your palms.”
Her suspicion was that my skin was slightly yellow-ing. Taking on an orange tinge even. Very slightly.
She asked me outright “do you eat a lot of carrots?”
“Uh, no, not carrots.”
“Anything with carotene, any orange things?”
“Well I have sweet potato and pumpkin, almost every single night,” I replied.
She went on to explain that I may have too much beta carotene in my blood. The possible condition was called carotenemia, and was a result of consumption of too many orange and yellow foods.
She arranged a test with my other bloods to be done, and today I got the result.
Yep. I had elevated levels.
It was nothing serious… just as she said, if it continued, it was “unsightly.” She would get me re-tested in 6 months time to see if my levels had changed, but advised that I skip the orange vegies to every second day, and said to watch out for baby girl, because if we were eating the same thing, it could affect her too.
What about Hubbie?
He was all about the steamed vegies! Steamed sweet potato, steamed pumpkin, steamed carrots… it was what we ate almost every night, and most nights gave us leftovers that he popped into his lunch the next day with rice, or pasta.
“I’m not yellow. Am I?” I asked him today after the call.
“No,” he said, observing me.
“Actually, I think I can see a tinge in you now,” I said.
We were both ON ALERT.
Immediately, we were instantly turned off the thought of any orange-type vegies for our dinner tonight.
It was weird, because it was like it HAD TO HAPPEN. Suddenly we could see our ways, our routine ways of the same old vegies, each and every night, with the same bloody leftovers for lunch the next day… and we were bored and wanted change.
I made a quick stop at the supermarket and bought…
Now, I’ve actually been looking up this condition, this carotenemia, and it’s an excess of orange, yellow AND green foods that can cause this appearance.
Having said that, you would imagine that orange/yellow foods were the main offenders, and contained much more beta carotene that their green vegie counterparts.
For the first time in ages, I bought brussel sprouts (yes that famously infamous vegie!) and string beans.
I looked up a few online recipes to spice it up, and decided on pan-frying the lot with some basic salt and pepper.
Oh. My. God.
It was DELICIOUS! A post about my brussels will surely come at another time, so I’ll save my ultimate gratitude for that one later. 😉 But it kinda proved to me that we’d been majorly missing out, by only doing the same thing… when there were so many other ways to eat and enjoy other vegetables.
So there you go. My public service announcement. Mix up your vegies guys, and if anyone has any great non-orange vegie recipes for me that are easy to incorporate into a dinner routine (emphasis: ‘easy’), hit me up!
I’ve been trying to cultivate more yin in my life lately.
Living in the world we’re in, it ain’t easy. Especially these days. There is so much pressure on women, put on by no one but themselves.
She is all YANG.
She has to do everything.
She has to be as good as, or better than her male counterparts.
She is meant to be a wife and career woman, while also being a stay-at-home Mum, pursuing her passions in all her free moments, and dedicating her weekends to long walks/jogs, cooking healthy in bulk to set her up for the week, all while looking immaculate with her clothes ALWAYS laundered.
It is TOO MUCH.
There is no calm. There is no ease. It is go-go-go.
25 items on your to-do list, and as you’re ticking one off, off you go rushing into the next one.
There is no present moment. Things are too fast.
There is so much doing. There is so much aggression.
There is SO MUCH.
It was easier back in the cavemen era. Stay with me. Biologically, the man is the hunter, and the woman is the gatherer. She would stay at the cave with her offspring, and the man would go off in search of food.
But I mentioned biology? Well think about it. A man’s genitals are on the outside… if he was speared or harmed, his little men would just regenerate in a few months.
A women’s genitals are on the inside… what we are born with, WE ARE BORN WITH.
We were biologically made to stay protected.
The man was active.
The woman was passive.
Now we are all bloody ACTIVE.
None of this is to suggest that a woman is not meant to, or is not capable or achieving anything that a man can. We can do all that and more.
But finding that fine balance between the active, aggressive, go-go-go yang power, and looking instead for our innate inner feminine, calm, receptive, yin energy… that’s something I am working on.
I think in some way all us women are.
Look at this virus. Like, so many women I know are happy to have slowed down. Our biology tells us we go too fast, too hard, and do too much, and yet it takes the entire world practically shutting down to make us think, “huh. Maybe we were doing things all wrong.”
I diverge, I babble too much.
But today, it happened. I went way too YANG.
It happened during the first lockdown. Working from home, home-schooling… it all got too much for me, and many a time I found myself breaking down.
My first breakdown of this second lockdown happened today.
I was shitty, fuming, pacing around the kitchen like a caged animal.
Taking these loud guttural breaths, not yoga-like AT ALL.
Trying my damn-dest to not cry and have the well burst out of me.
I was trying so hard to not let things overwhelm me, but they were. I had a couple of realisations this week, and suddenly, everything was happening at once.
I had to do everything at once.
But I couldn’t do everything at once!
Finally, I spoke up. I started talking to Hubbie… and my yin appeared.
He was at ease. He was calm. He let me stop erupting, and when I was done he put it in perspective. We worked out what I had to do. What I definitely didn’t have to do. And he reminded me that this worldwide virus, was shit. It was screwing with everyone’s lives, some more than others, some more seriously than others…
So some things, in the scheme of things, could wait.
The weight that lifted off me… Here I had been, trying to make all these things happen…
When I had to let go. Just let things happen.
Remind myself of my inner yin, that part of me that longed for the slow-down, quiet, the receptive nature of life that we have all forgotten.
But in times where we forget… I was so lucky to have someone to remind me.
Sometimes I am his yin, sometimes he is mine…
And just like that, his yin, became mine again.
But let’s not forget… it’s yin, AND yang for a reason.
And the best time of all, was after lunch when we went out for the first time in months… and had –
Since cafes and restaurants have loosened restrictions this week, I know there have been people heading out, enjoying their new-found freedom, and supporting these struggling businesses in the process.
We have been inside so much. We have been doing things by the book, listening to the rules, washing our hands, sanitising every second…
But today Hubbie said it best when he said: “Let’s go out. Everyone is out. We’re the only ones staying inside.”
I don’t want that to come across the wrong way. We are doing the right thing, according to us, just as others are doing the right thing, according to them.
I guess we have been super cautious, and fair enough. And we will continue to be.
But sometimes, we need to provide concessions for ourselves. Yesterday was not the best day for me mentally.
But taking my own advice,after a good sleep, I woke happier, lighter, even healthier, and my mind was in a better place…
But getting out of the house and doing something with those I love, in a safe and hygienic way, was so necessary. So important.
I feel for those who can’t get out. Or who don’t have happy homes in the first place. Who have no solace. No respite.
We need to break the monotony. For the most well-meaning and healthy-minded among us, this isolation can break you.
I love baby girl sooooo much. But we have been combining working from home, with home schooling, for over 73 days! And all this home home home is just TOO much.
We all need a break.
And today it came in the simple form of a coffee break.
We sat outside. We sanitised in the car when we left. Baby girl was even wearing her school jacket on top (poor girl misses school).
It was short, but oh so sweet. And I am hopeful that we will have many more outings like these in the weeks – no, DAYS – to come.