Do you ever catch yourself answering “so how are you?” with the usual “oh fine” or “I’m good” or “hanging in there.” And then you realize suddenly that actually no you haven’t really been feeling fine or good and you don’t know where “there” is but actually if there is a “there” you fell off of it a long time ago. And of course if left with more time, you then inevitably counter that answer with actually how you really have been feeling and you wonder then why you didn’t just lead with that in the first place, or maybe in fact you have now shared too much and you have scared this individual away from ever bringing up the question in the first place let alone interacting with you again.
As an introvert who hates small talk, this is such an irritation for me.
And yet, just today, as I found myself answering this question with “good,” I realized, in fact, this was the truth. I was feeling good. Not great. Not awesome. But good. And it felt good to feel good.
Maybe I have lost you.
You see, postpartum is not a season of good for me, in the past anyway. I have struggled with the ups and downs and emotional shifts. But the beauty of a subsequent pregnancy is hindsight. I have an awareness now that the “not good” parts will be present. Leaning into them is okay too. But also, taking care of myself and not just a needy baby is part of that process. It is part off the journey toward “good".”
I was drafting up a Life Currently post, the check ins I like to do on the little things that are woven into my life lately. And as I did this, I noticed a trend. I noticed many were things that focused on making me better. Healthy body, healthy mind, and healthy spirit. I think this is exactly what should be influencing me right now.
Today I feel good. And maybe tomorrow I won’t be so quick to answer that way. But I know if I need some help getting back to good, these are a few places to start. Maybe they can help you too.
Snacking on...apples and almond butter. Not at all a unique combination. But sometimes I am reminded that simple flavors and seasonal ingredients just taste right. I also do this combo in the morning for a lighter breakfast and sprinkle on some hemp seeds for extra protein. I get my almond butter and hemp at Trader Joe’s so if you are thinking it sounds weird and expensive, TJs seems to have the best price I can find. Don’t worry, it’s not as hippy as it seems. Also, PS, the kids love this too. I cut the apple into circles and we call it apple cookies. Sometime I oughta do a round up of some of our favorite snacks.
And speaking of TJs and health, I recently found collagen powder at Trader Joe’s. Have you tried collagen? It’s supposed to be great for smoothies to add extra protein and nutrients to your diet. But I’m also thinking of trying this recipe for Apple Pie Protein bars because I LOVE the Rx bars and this looks like a much more affordable version.
Listening to...my favorite podcasts. Taking my morning walk on the way to a playground where I zone out for a “just me” moment was missing during the summer. With the start of the school year, though, it’s back. Elliott takes off on his scooter, I toddler behind him, he sings to himslef, and I listen to my podcasts. The first time I walked around the lake with my headphones catching up on all of my favorites, I could feel a little bit of me coming back. It’s always good to great an old friend again.
The Lazy Genius Podcast is one I’ve been listening to for awhile but I don’t think I have ever shared it. Which is a shame because Kendra is like the best friend who always has the most brilliant ideas but never makes you feel shamed that you don’t. Her philosophy is be genius about the things that matter, and lazy about the things that don’t. She has ideas for everything from cleaning your bathroom to menu planning to finding a daily routine. Give her a listen and you’ll be hooked.
Starting...my day at 4:30. While I realize this could change the second I hit publish on this post, for now I have been enjoying my mornings and felt the need to share. Little Leo is on a nice routine these days where he gives me a good solid stretch of sleep until around 4:30 in the morning. As long as I can get myself to bed around 8:30 or 9:00, waking with him and then sneaking downstairs, I am getting a chance to take advantage of the quietest part of my day. With a hot cup of coffee in hand, I can read a book or even do a little writing. It feels magical and indulgent and I have zero regrets. So Leo, if you are reading this, feel free to keep this up as long as you want, K?
Drinking...all of the tea. While oh so cozy, I also am appreciating the ritual of tea in the afternoon and evening to curb my snacking and try other beverages during the week that are not wine. No, there is nothing wrong with a glass of wine at the end of the day, and please don’t ever think I see anything wrong with that. But I am also recognizing I don’t need the wine every day and I can enjoy the same relaxing enjoyment from a yummy cup of tea. Because of this, I am investing in teas that excite me. These two from David’s teas are my new favorites: Lemon Cayenne Cleanse and Serenity Now. Both are low caffeine with a punch of flavor.
Moving to...YouTube workout videos. Oh boy am I late to this game. Or maybe I just never had the right set up. I just had no idea how many great options there are out there. You name it, the internet has it.
A gym membership is not in our cards these days, not my lifestyle with a newborn or in our budget. But getting in daily movement is so important for me. I’ve written about it before. I am trying to fit in a run here and there. We walk a ton. But I am also anxious to start recognizing my own strength again. For this, I am turning to YouTube for my favorite Barre classes, HIIT core exercises, and a new favorite, baby wearing workouts. This baby of mine is not a fan of being put down. So I’m using that to my advantage and using him as an added weight. Those lunges are KILLER with a baby in tow. But when he is happy I am happy. So we go with it.
Reading...The cozy mystery series by Louise Penney featuring Inspector Gamache. After hearing enough people rave about this series I couldn’t stay away. And I’m so glad I did. It’s the perfect palate cleanser between some of my heavier reads to keep the momentum of reading going. And it’s not just an entertaining mystery that captures my attention. I love the writing and the way the author explores human nature and how the characters personalities interact with one another. The more I write the more I appreciate good writing.
Snuggling...under this cozy blanket my grandmother made for Leo (seen in the picture above) and finding myself so much more present and patient with the slow pace that life brings in this season. Caring for our children is hard. I long for and dream about a life where I can let my own gifts shine beyond motherhood. But it somehow brings me comfort to know my grandmother who thoughtfully sewed this quilt was also sitting with her little ones once, wondering if she would ever get to use her hands and her mind for herself again. Spoiler alert she did. I will too.