Psychology

The Day Is Near

Waiting

How do you describe the day before you know you’ll meet your child?  I am being induced tomorrow.  My mom texted me today and said that today feels different for her; for me it feels the same as the last 39 1/2 weeks — completely normal and completely surreal.

My last post at 34 weeks seems like yesterday and 100 years ago.  Maybe this is the entirety of being/becoming a parent: a constant paradox.

Ironically, since my shingles has cleared up, I’ve never felt better.  Really, these last 2 weeks in particular have been the best of my entire pregnancy.  Don’t get me wrong, my pelvis is about to completely fall apart and I walk like a 2,000 year old person, but mentally I’m finally there.  I’m finally ready to say: #letsdothis!

When I went in for my 37 week check up the doc told me, much to my surprise that I was 2cm dilated and 70% effaced.  The adrenaline kicked in.  At my 38 week check up I was 3cm and 80% effaced.  The adrenaline really kicked in and I thought for sure I would be meeting my monkey over Memorial Day Weekend.  So last Friday at my 39 week appointment I wasn’t sure what to expect; however, my progress has stalled and I’m still the same (3 & 80).

The emotion of it all manifested at the 37 week check up.  My sis came over that weekend and helped us set up the guest room baby’s room.  She and I and B nearly all lost it a few times, but especially during another Target run when I realized that I lost my mucus plug.  It was “gettin’ real in the whole foods parkin’ lot” if you know what I mean.  But we’ve all had time to settle a bit and now I just feel calm — a really weird calm.

I feel really fortunate to have gotten a little staycation weekend with the hubs over Memorial Day weekend.  We thought for sure it was our last together as a family of two so we made the most of it.  We watched like 5 movies (even went to the theater for one of them!) and cleaned the house, played cards, cooked almost all our meals at home together, limited phone calls, slept a lot; it was magic.  Then nothing.  I was all geared up — or rather zen-ed out — and then, nothing.

So I’ve tried to keep that level of internal calm for nearly another two weeks.  I’ve tried to be present to every opportunity — including junky tv, a random breakfast date, “long” walks, watching B cook for me, listening to music and meditations, and just sitting in the quiet of the house staring at my budding lemon tree.  I know that there will never be a time like this again.  As melodramatic and cliche as it sounds, I know life will never be the same again.

But I am ready.  I am ready for this new journey; a chance for renewed self-discovery and connection with my husband and the world.  And mostly, I’m ready to get this squirmy creature out of my body so I can squish it pieces!

Wish me luck!

I Resolve To…

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In the past I’ve been up for resolutions/goals at the start of a new year, but these days, it’s a good day if I can get pants on by noon.  I’ve had the privilege of working from home since August; this worked out well since I found out I was pregnant the first of September.  Strange sleeping hours, constant peeing, and being so exhausted that the thought of expending energy on brushing my hair was paralyzing has all been great to experience from my own home.  I’m one of the lucky ones for sure and I do NOT take it for granted.

Although I’m not up to making resolutions since I have so much on my plate right now I’m lazy, I do want the hubs to make a few!  *insert giggling emoticon*  Really, just one: standing up at work.  No, not metaphorically, but literally.  I know we’ve been inundated with “sitting is the new smoking”, but I’m surprised at how few workplace environments are doing something about it.

I read this great article about one woman’s experience and decision to stand at her desk at work.  I like that she was honest and said it was HARD at first, but eventually she’s become a convert and now she’ll never go back.  Read the whole account here.  I get really worried about the hubs sitting at his computer hunched over all day just clicking away — really that’s all architects do by the way: click, click, click.  But he assures me he takes regular breaks and he does usually walk somewhere in the neighborhood for lunch, but still… I guess for now I should probably focus on being able to get myself to go around the block at least once a day, much less stand for 8 hours!

If and when I am ready to make some habit changes, I will have to remember what I learned yesterday in this interesting article.  The premise of which is that if we want to make change/break a habit then it is not enough to just change our attitude about something, but that we need to disrupt our environment.

…our environments come to unconsciously direct our behavior. Even behaviors that we don’t want…

We think of ourselves as controlling our behavior, willing our actions into being, but it’s not that simple.

It’s as if over time, we leave parts of ourselves all around us, which in turn, come to shape who we are.

I guess it’s not just mind over matter after all.

split personality

Split Personality - Home Decor

pillows | chair

I am continually amazed at my own extremes. I know that I can be a bit of an all or nothing personality and that often carries over into my aesthetic choices as well. A recent trip into Ten Thousand Villages reminded me just how much I love the look of bohemian, worldly items. They feel inviting, playful, and adventurous. (Hell, I walked out with a singing bowl!) However, a quick peek into Design Within Reach and I’m shunning anything with trim and superfluous details. Clean, minimal, and modern mean intelligent and intentional.

I know it’s all about balance. And the two items above would actually complement one another beautifully (in my mind). But often, for whatever reason, I feel like I can’t have both. I have to have one OR the other. I wonder where that comes from? But this is clearly not a new concept as I keep writing about it time and time again (maybe I should make it a regular thing?!) See more of my crazy with geography, shoes, hair, & vacations. And I’ll continue to strive for that perfect balance…

parting thought — quoidbach, gilbert, wilson

“We measured the personalities, values, and preferences of more than 19,000 people who ranged in age from 18 to 68 and asked them to report how much they had changed in the past decade and/or to predict how much they would change in the next decade. Young people, middle-aged people, and older people all believed they had changed a lot in the past but would change relatively little in the future. People, it seems, regard the present as a watershed moment at which they have finally become the person they will be for the rest of their lives. This “end of history illusion” had practical consequences, leading people to overpay for future opportunities to indulge their current preferences.” — The End of History Illusion; Jordi Quoidbach, Daniel Gilbert, Timothy Wilson

Irina Werning -- Back to the Future

Back to the Future photography project here | History Illusion article here (& NYT article here)

creative answers to the big question

The hubs and I have recently removed ourselves from our comfort zone and begun to put ourselves in some new social situations.   Because we seem to be nomads by nature, meeting new people is no problem for us.  But I’ve noticed over the last few years that I’ve learned to adapt how I like to identify myself, i.e., not by my vocation.

It’s the dreaded standard question that is the follow-up after exchanging names, “So, what do you do?”  And since I am someone who does not like define who I am by my 9-5, I’ve had to come up with some creative answers.  (Who am I kidding, I’m totally that obnoxious lady who won’t give you a straight answer!)

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why fighting with your sibling is a good thing

I just read the most interesting article about the nature of sibling relationships.  It is true that your sibling is one of the longest (if not the longest) relationship you’ll ever have.  Pretty scary for some, pretty awesome for others.  (I’m not saying which for me!)

As I read part of this article aloud to my mother, she intuitively rolled her eyes and said, “Yes, I know, it’s all my fault…blah, blah, blah.  Blame the mother!”  Although the article does place the majority of the responsibility of the development of the sibling relationship on the parents, it also seems to absolve them of it as well.  No parent, no matter how hard they try, can treat each child exactly the same.  It is after all, up to the child to perceive equal treatment.  And anyone who’s ever been around someone under the age of 10 (and over!) knows this is hardly possible.

My husband noted just last night that he loves being around my sister and I as we share childhood memories because inevitably just as one of us finishes a story the other has their mouth gaping open in disbelief ready to retort and describe the way it really happened.  It never ceases to amaze me that my sister and I actually grew up in the same household with the same parents.  How?

I’ve learned that all those fights and arguments over hairbrushes, shoes, and clothes weren’t psychologically corrosive, but rather laying the foundation for an inseparable bond as adults.  (We just argue over more expensive things now!  Ok, not really.)  But who else has that kind of history — this is also why it’s one of the most emotionally charged relationships too.  She knows my weak spots and how I fight think, thus making me feel more vulnerable which begets defensiveness, etc.  But just as the article suggests, having learned how to put up with navigate that relationship at a young age set a very strong precedent of just how I would establish almost every other relationship to come.  And look at me now; I didn’t end up in a padded room and I finally believe that mom and dad didn’t find me on the side of the road and brought me home just because they felt sorry for me.  Success.

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