today started a bit shaky – to bed at 12:30 and then up again at 6 with a very awake toddler-guy who was very clear that he was not going back to sleep (though he usually sleeps until 8:30). After breakfast, I sent him to grandma’s early.
Though I had a slight headache from not enough sleep, I made it out to the drum room and dug into a sticking that was throwing me off in rehearsal and it immediately revealed itself. So satisfying to see the practicing working. A half hour (15 min of sticking work and 15 min of other marimba practice) flew by and with enough child-care time to work with David on some music too. Yippee.
And then a nap with the little one who tried to convince me he wasn’t sleepy, but I was sleepy enough for the both of us and he’s still resting (2 hours later).
Hello again, I see that the blogging habit did not stick the last time that it circled back around, though it is often in my thoughts.
Lately I’ve been busy being mama, and playing music. Mostly they work really well together. It feels more graceful now that the little one’s just a little bigger. This past weekend for Harvest Festival the little ones grandparents, uncle, and aunt worked magic for me to be able to play a three hour gig (and help load and unload and teach workshops). Gratitude. Here we are:
Today I’ve been antsy with “the list” and trying to get little bits done here and there as well as being present for the making of a pile of red, yellow, and green leaves on the bench.
I just pulled the latest pickles into the fridge and they’re working!
Fresh pickling cucumbers – unwashed – straight from the garden (this is important because the skin has some of the bacteria needed for fermentation)
brine – 1 gallon of water to 1 cup salt – boil the water, add the salt, let cool before pouring on
spices – as desired – fresh dill, pickling spice, whole peeled garlic cloves, whole peppercorns
a couple of grape leaves (for crunch)
tuck the final cuke under the edge of the jar so it can’t stick out. Then I cover with a plastic bag stuck into the water to create a seal and lightly cap with a lid. store out of the sun in a place where they will go undisturbed but remembered. 7 days has been working nicely for me – a cool spot in summer, a warmer spot in the winter – as stable as possible
skim off scum and refrigerate.
Lately I’ve been noticing that I have a really amazing blessed life.
I’ve also been noticing that I’m stressed out and/or tired a lot of the time making it harder to enjoy this lovely life. It has made me start thinking about fulcrums and pivot points and how to use the least amount of effort to make the greatest difference in my happiness factor. What little changes can I make that will help make a big difference?
A few days ago David came home with a book called, “Triggers” and it’s exactly the sort of book that I love full of wisdom, stories, and good advice. And it came at the perfect time for me.
The author, Marshall Goldsmith, recommends “active questions” among other things.
Not just, “are you happy with your life?”
But rather, “have I done my best today to be happy with my life?” And then you ask yourself every evening the active questions that help you live the sort of life that you want to be living and rate them on a 1-10 scale – for me, for now, these are a few:
“Have I done my best today to be at peace?”
“Have I done my best today to spend time outside?”
“Have I done my best today to do what needs to be done?”
“Have I done my best today to take care of myself?”
My yoga teacher in Boulder, Sofia Diaz, said during class something along the lines of – if we could feel the grace that pours on us every moment of every day, we would be melted completely.
I have tasted the edges of this grace the past few evenings, walking at dusk in these warm late-summer days with our five-month-old snuggled in my arms, listening to the crickets and other clattering insects and watching the light from the day go from pink to dark on the mountains that I love.
May I also remember that grace when the same five-month-old needs to be carried around the kitchen instead of watching me cook or do dishes from the comfort of his bouncy chair or wakes me up in the night for the 6th time.
May I connect with the grace as I move through the world.
This summer has cruised by at a remarkable rate – though I feel like I’ve been more present for the individual moments more than at other points in my life.
It is incredible to watch a new being explore this world. From eyes and ears and nose, now everything is being explored by hands and mouth. He got to sit in his new high-chair today and gum some cucumber rings. AC flings himself forward from my lap trusting that he’ll be safe.
He doesn’t know about winter coming and I’m thankful for the bag of clothes that arrived yesterday with some good winter gear for him.
It’s curious to want to write about what this is to become a mother but also the feeling of holding it close, like a secret that I’m not quite ready to share with the world. Plus, my mind is fuzzy from the interrupted sleep which makes it trickier to feel like I’m making sense. I’ve been reading books about other mothers, and it’s good to hear stories, it makes me want to write, but also not sure how it would feel to be the child or husband to the storyteller as the stories go out into the world. We’ll see what balance I find.