Thursday, November 28, 2013

So Thankful...

It's been a long time since I've felt compelled to post, but I find myself feeling particularly motivated today as I scroll through countless Facebook posts full of of my friends' thanksgivings. So hold on to your hats because it's about to get a little touchy-feely here.  

It's hard to blog, keep up with my family, keep house, keep reading, keep working, and keep doing all of the things I love to do.  But I try.  Joan Didion wrote a book called The Year of Magical Thinking, chronicling the year following her husband's death.  And while I (thankfully) do not relate to her subject matter, I can say that this year has been my own year of magical thinking. I have found out where I belong in the grand scheme of the world as I've shifted from being more selfish to selfless, careless to caring, self-involved to self aware.  And I couldn't be more grateful for it.  

Having a partner in life and starting our family has made me a better person.  Period.  And until this week I have struggled through this first part of parenthood--on an emotional and social level.  Most of my friends embraced this part of my life with me, but a few (some of them surprising) didn't get behind the movement.  And it hurt.  I felt abandoned even though I knew that logically I had to abandon all else to adopt my new role.  The selfish part of me wanted to fight for those pieces of my past, but the selfless part of me needed to prioritize my family. The people who value me enough as a friend have kept me and for that I couldn't be more thankful.  

On another front, I know that less than a year ago if someone had handed me their baby to go use the restroom or, God forbid, run an errand that would take almost any length of time, I would have held that child out in front of me just waiting for it to detonate. I did not grow up around small children. I did not understand how hard it is to maneuver your whole existence around one tiny, adorable, often screaming ball of need. I did not understand the importance of nap schedules and would cavalierly say things like, "pfftttt....just take the kid out, for Pere's sake!"  I was so careless in that thinking.  And now that I know better, I know to offer help.  I know to be more understanding.  And the people I love most and who love me back care enough to rally behind me instead of railing against my family's limitations.  Again, I couldn't be thankful enough.

We humans are so so selfish.  Even those of us who care for others have to keep our own best interests at heart.  Until we can't.  Joe and I have a lot of what we call "want-tos" and "need-tos". And since having the baby, a lot of things have fallen off of the want-to list as non-negotiables have clogged up our need-to list.  And while the selfish part of me wants to "have it all" and rail against the fact that I can't maintain a consistent schedule to work out yet, or that I should be able to go to coffee or dinner with my friends instead of home with my son in order to maintain the sanctity of his schedule, I have to be honest.  No cup of coffee or meal with great people is worth upsetting the schedule he needs feel comforted and safe at home.  And that's the selfless part of me.  And being able to tap into that is something I am thankful for, as well.

To those in my life who have mattered most, thank you for teaching me so much about myself.  And to my son and husband and thankful to have been introduced to an improved version of myself.  

Declan with Aunt Jules

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!