Sunday, 2 August 2015

Lesson 19: Even a little change is good

It's easy to get stuck in a routine.  I think that's especially true when you are raising kids.

We are all guilty of cycling and recycling the same handful of meals for dinner.  Who hasn't had days, weeks or even months of rocking a messy bun because it was faster to do than a full blowout? Even those date nights with our partner can fall into a monotonous lull; snuggly movie night on the couch loses its appeal when it happens week after week.  I often get bored of hearing my own voice bark the same phrases to my kids daily:

Close the door.
Flush the toilet.
No, you can't have another lollipop.
That's enough Minecraft for today.
Don't hit your brother.
Yes, you have to wear underwear.

Family life, especially in the burbs, is conducive to routine.

The last year was hard and boring all at the same time.  I wanted to shake things up just a little; I was starting to feel like the wife in Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road (minus the desire to bleed to death in my living room).  I needed to feel less robotic and I needed to get my endorphin levels back up. Coffee could have done the trick but my five daily Nespresso capsules were costing me a pretty penny.

What I did was far from mind blowing or dramatic.  There was no skydiving or repelling from a rock face mountain.  I didn't trek through Europe.  I didn't go back to school.  I didn't have an affair.
Instead, I did a bunch of stuff I had put aside for years.  I went to watch movies alone.  I started reading again.  I returned to freelance writing.  I got spa treatments.  I took time to eat my breakfast in the morning while gazing out the window.  I allowed myself to nap when I felt tired.  My husband and I agreed to make time for monthly dates.  I tried new restaurants.   My favourite treat was buying bright lipsticks at the pharmacy.  I am usually a lip balm girl but decided life is too short for a colourless pout!

As ridiculous and trivial as some of these things may sound, they make me happy.  They get me through the inevitable hardships in life. And trust me, there were more than a few trying times in the last few months.  Those f***-my-life  moments are what inspired me to get out of my rut and indulge in life's little pleasures.  I even took a break from blogging.  I had lots to share, but my motivation was gone and the words just didn't come to me.  I spent many nights just staring at the flashing cursor on a blank page.  Nada.

People kept asking if I was still blogging.  The answer was always, "Yes, but not right now."

"Maybe you need more life experiences," said my mom bluntly one afternoon.  We were on the phone shooting the breeze when she decided to explain my lack of new posts.

But she couldn't have been more wrong.  In fact, the opposite was true.  Since my last post, my life has been nothing but a whirlwind of experiences, weighed down by the sameness of daily family life. It made me tired, left me feeling vulnerable and beat down to the nub.  The last thing I wanted was to expose my every thought on the Internet.  I was feeling as though I had lost myself, as though I didn't recognize myself as a woman, a wife, a mom.  I needed time to find myself before I was ready to share with the world again.

And yes, lipstick helped.  And reading new novels.  And writing for money.  And actually dating my husband again.  Now I'm back, feeling good as new . . . and a little less bored too.