July 11, 2011

input and output

no. this is not a post about poo.

i promise.

Summer is always an intense time when you have small kids. I have no idea who coined the phrase 'lazy days of summer', but they must have been referring to that point when you flop yourself on the back porch with a cold beverage out of sheer exhaustion. They must not have had young kids. Or a garden. Or much of anything going on.

This is the time of year, and the time of mothering - the age of one and a bit is proving to be just as taxing as I remember it! - that I depend more heavily on what I read, what I look at, who I talk to, to nourish me emotionally and spiritually. There is so much creative energy involved in parenting - especially in the summer - that I find if I don't keep my "input well" full enough, my output gets cranky, tired, and usually sick. And that's no fun in the summer!

Here's what I've been filling up my soul with recently:

- Mindfulness for Beginners. It's a cd series about mindfulness and helps with beginning the practice of meditation. It has been on my ipod for months and I just marvel at how the timing is always right with this sort of thing. I listened to the first half - a series of talks about mindfulness - over a few days and every dang time I turned it on I got weepy. Total perfect timing.

- an e-class called Calm, Productive, Upbeat Days for Busy Moms by Lisa Byrne. I wasn't going to do this because sometimes these things are kind of blah blah blah make your to-do list and get more sleep blah blah blah. But then I figured I could just turn it off if it sucked -- but it didn't suck. In fact it's really good and I have already implemented some of her suggestions. It's free and you can sign up too! I think they'll be online until early August. One thing though is that she has you write out all the responsibilities you have on a piece of paper. I had a friend once who, right before her divorce calculated up how many loads of laundry she had done over the years and while probably enlightening, was pretty destructive I think to her well being. I'm trying to remember that my page is really full right now because my life is really full - and that it won't always be so. She's got some great ways of thinking about the full time of our lives. Just sign up for it - I don't want to give away all the great advice!

- John brought home a new series to us - The Parasol Protectorate. I'm still on the first one - he's waiting for payday so we can get #4. It is so well written, I'm just loving it.

- my new Elizabeth Zimmerman knitting book bought with a gift certificate from Auntie Teresa for my b-day! I find her writing just so restful. She reminds me of my mother's friend's mothers. Does that make sense? Along with a dose of Tasha Tudor. Yay!

- and then my blog reel of course. But that one's tricky. The second you get overwhelmed or envious or my-their-grass-is-SO-much-greener you must turn the computer off and go find your children because you've hit your input limit - time for some output!

what's been nourishing your spirit lately?

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