Monday, February 21, 2011

Meditating Mama...maybe?

At the encouragement of my friends, family, several self-help books, and Oprah I decided to try meditation. The first instruction I got was to find a clean, quiet, relaxing space where I could spend several minutes alone each day. Seriously? If this is step one I'm in trouble! I haven't been relaxed or alone since 2005, when my kids were born; the last time the house was quiet was the day before we moved in. And clean, well I somewhat took care of that with my, "If -you-don't want-to-pick-it-up-I'll-throw-it-away", spree! I thought to myself, wasn't that the point of this meditation thing, to gain the tools needed to maintain calm despite being in the midst of turmoil." I began to feel defeated before I even began.

I thought to myself, "I can't do this, this is not going to work, I need prescription drugs and probably lots of them, to get me sane." I thought, "I'm not like those people in the books, those who have their breakdown only to realize it was their breakthrough, who meditate for 5 minutes then proceed to possess the truths of life. I'm just a mom." I was right, I was not those people. I couldn't pick up the story of someone Else's life and make it my own. I had to create my own story. There is nothing wrong with reading about the routes other people take to reach their goals, but ultimately, its up to us as individuals to pave our own way, and trust me sometime,s that way may not actually be paved at all. Must haves for me on my journey: a machete, tall rubber boots, several first aid kits, and lots of bug repellent. No paved ways here!

So I decided to give this meditation thing a real try. On my terms. A somewhat quiet corner, in a somewhat clean house. I had a comfortable cushion, the children were occupied, and so I sat.  I closed my eyes with a slight smile on my face. I was ready for my stress and worries to melt, replacing them with peace and euphoria. Well not quite, but I figured I would at least not be sitting there thinking about the time my husband forgot to pick me up from yoga class, During The Winter. I Was Outside FreeZING FOR 2 HOURS! Okay, where did that come from? "Breath and relax", I thought. Here we go I have it together. Well, I really don't, what are we eating for dinner tonight. Oh, and I so forgot to pay the power bill! Breath and relax, I thought. My back hurts! Breath and relax, breath and relax, breath and..."SHE HIT MEEEE!"


Okay, that was no Eat, Pray, Love realize your higher self session, but after looking at the clock I realized I had sat there for nearly 15 min. Sometime after the 9th or 10th "breath and relax", I did. My mind was being flooded with thoughts, but every time I thought just breath and relax, it became a little easier to just let those thoughts...float away.

I did feel a little better, not much, but enough to decide to do it again. "Wow", I thought to myself, maybe I am on my way to finding my way. "I like this feeling", I thought, as I stood up and stretched. But 15 min. break is over and mama is back on the clock...


Monday, February 7, 2011

A Mad Woman's Quest For...

I marched through the house with a feeling similar to what a military general charging in to battle might feel. My heart raced, my teeth were clenched, my eyes were as wide as saucers.  I'd had enough. I was tired of being disrespected, unappreciated, and taken for granted. I had a garbage bag in one hand and Barbie in the other, as my girls cried out in horror. I had been through the entire house. No chair, blankie, or toy chest had been left unturned. I left 2 garbage bags full of toys in my wake and I wasn't done. Barbie was the last toy in the house and she was going down. I felt better than I had in as long as I could remember, I felt euphoric. At this point things seemed to be going in slow motion. I stuffed Barbie into the trash bag and threw it towards the door as I wallowed in my victory, I possibly even threw my hands in the air with satisfaction. I had won. They didn't want to pick up their clothes, shoes, toys, trash, or anything else. Well now they didn't have to, because it was all in garbage bags and the trash man is coming tomorrow!

My adrenaline began to come down and I returned to reality.

The look on my children's faces was heart breaking. They went from upset about their things being thrown away to shocked by the way I marched through the house like a mad woman to finally scared and afraid of the monster that had taken over their mother's body. What was I thinking marching through the house like General Custer? Stomping around throwing a very adult sized temper tantrum! I was so disappointed in myself and the guilt flooded right in. I've said it to myself thousands of time since before they were even born: It's up to the adult to set the example. If I lose control then they will not only lose control, but learn that it's an appropriate response to anger, frustration and other emotions. I had to maintain order.

Easier said than done.

Later that evening, after making things right with my girls which had to start by convincing them I was indeed their mother and had not been abducted by aliens, I spent some time alone trying to figure out where I went wrong. It may sometimes seem like volcanoes just suddenly erupt, but that is not the case. Below the surface the pressure is building. I'm no volcano, although I have yet to lose my baby weight, but I work in a similar way. Below the surface the pressure builds. The frustration, the anxiety, the disappointment, the resentment, the negativity builds. The  monotonous repetitiveness of asking for something to be done over and over again until you finally have to do it yourself, again, wears on your sanity until Mt. Mama erupts and nobody, not even Barbie, can stand in your way!

Do I like to feel this way? No. So it's time to put me first and get to the bottom of this. This mama has gone mad and it's time for ME to find my way.