I remember writing this around this same time last year:
"Then all of a sudden it's like there isn't five minutes of extra time for anything. We become busy with the tasks of daily living, the days go by, the weeks go by and suddenly it's almost April. I've realized that writing a blog keeps you accountable. It documents the days, the time spent away. The silence."
I've found myself in the same place, and feeling in a bit of a slump. Things are busy; juggling schedules, childcare and just the day to day stuff. And usually during D's nap time, I relish in some solo time to cook, clean up a bit and get things done. But this last week I've just been sitting, blank. Sitting at the dining table feeling unmotivated to do anything.
It wasn't until I was doing my daily meditation with the help of Headspace (which I mentioned a few weeks ago) when Andy addressed the "boredom" that some experience when starting a meditation practice, when I realized that that was exactly what I was feeling, not just in meditation but in life. He went on to explain that the boredom we experience, the feeling of wanting to be somewhere else or doing something else, comes from a lack of curiosity about the process and that we're not really present with what’s happening.
"If we’re only interested in getting a result from the exercise and we’re not really interested in the journey and the process of it, then we’re never really going to find the answer we’re looking for. Because the journey and the process is the answer. It’s learning to observe with a soft focus. It is with a curious mind, with an open mind, that we start to experience a greater sense of calm and clarity in everyday life."
I didn't realize how much I was looking ahead until Andy mentioned it. Maybe it happens to all parents of small children. Maybe we do it in the interest of self-preservation - a reminder that these tough times are fleeting and it won’t always be like this. No matter how wonderful your kid is, these formative years are really tough. The demanding, near constant attention required of you as a parent, setting boundaries, battles over diaper changing and lots of "I want to do it all by myself!" make it not always easy to be fully present.
I felt instant relief when I could recognize it and wouldn't you know I came out of my boredom and got up from the dining table. It's an ongoing challenge, to be present. But it's something I work on every day and happy to say, am getting better at. Having a kid has certainly changed me in expected ways. But I do love being surprised by the unforeseen changes as well. I don't think I would have held the goal of "be more present" as highly as I do now had I not had a child. And working on that ultimately makes me a happier, well-balanced human being and it's a skill I can carry throughout my life.
And now here we are. It is already the second week of April. And there are other important things to discuss. Like rhubarb.
I am a complete sucker for rhubarb and those bright red stalks find their way into my shopping cart pretty much every time I go to the market. As Nigel Slater says, "How could anyone not love something known as the pie plant?" I'd love to make this rhubarb-almond cake from this month's Bon Appetit...