There is no denying that I’ve had a difficult time constructing a well-balanced life since Cia came along. All routine and structure was simply shredded to pieces by that tiny child, and my sense of self took a bit of a hit as well. I’ve spent the last six months striving to take care of everyone in my family and still find time to blow off a little steam, but was left feeling ultimately drained and sluggish, and couldn’t seem to concentrate or find joy in my daily routine. Near the end of December, I’d decided that in order to be a decent mother, I would first have to be a happy, well-rounded human. I needed to focus on cultivating my interests outside of the domestic sphere, foster habits that nurture (rather than destroy) my body, and work on a flexible yet somewhat regular routine.
January was about getting out of my self-destructive “comfort” zone. I confronted my post-partum body insecurity head-on and registered for an adult gymnastics class. I had developed the habit of stress-eating French fries after Cia went down for the night, something that made me feel good for about 20 minutes but obviously wasn’t in line with my goals for my health and led to a sense of disappointment on a nearly nightly basis. I picked up drawing again, an old passion of mine. I began exploring aerial hoop, watching videos, and following circus blogs. I settled on a new goal for my body, one that isn’t based on exercising for the sake of weight loss (which feels like a battle I find horribly demoralizing, frustrating, and ineffective) but rather based on accomplishing something new and challenging with my body. I thought about how much I missed music as a more integral part of my life (beyond just dancing in my underwear while doing laundry) and decided to throw caution to the wind and sprung for a rather obscure, difficult, and wild instrument known as a theremin.
That brings us to February: four weeks, 28 days, a nice even number. This seems like the ideal month for committing to changes that align with my goals. While sweeping changes and completely revamping my life straight out of the gate would be nice, it seems impractical. Implementing a few goals each week and building on those seems like the path to crafting a more permanent and satisfying change. Here are the goals for Week 1:
- Fresh juice or smoothies for breakfast every day
- Stretching routine every morning
- Complete one hand-lettering piece
- 3 hours of theremin practice, spread out however possible (between the neighbors and baby naps, this will have to remain a more flexible part of my schedule)
- No eating out (this is a HUGE one)
- Bake cupcakes with Miette (as part of a weekly cooking project)
- Devote the 30 minutes before bed to reading books, not the blog feed on my phone
That seems like a good start. And for good measure, here is this morning’s breakfast juice, a slightly altered version of the “Immune Boost” from Crazy Sexy Kitchen.
- 3 Cucumbers
- 2 Green Apples, cored
- 1 Heart of Romaine (or a handful or two of romaine leaves)
- 1 Lemon, peeled
- 2 inch nub of ginger, peeled (use less if you aren’t that into ginger, but I happen to love it)
Just run all this through your juicer; makes 2 servings. It’s a nice balance of tart, spicy, and sweet.