First day of school was full of new beginnings for our family. We now have a high schooler, middle schooler and two in elementary. Since I started working full time a few years ago I relish driving them to school and getting a few moments alone. Now that we are adding in high school sports agenda, early morning religious seminary and everything else, this is officially the time of living in the car. Which reminds me to clean out my car, we still have remnants of 3 car trips, sand from the beach in California that I don’t really want to see go away, and an odd smell that happened after a starbucks run last week.
I don’t want to know.
Reading and seeing everyone’s social posts of their cute kids going back to school used to annoy me. I didn’t enjoy it, now I do. I love seeing how their families are growing and how swiftly time passes. The parents with seniors, or the first year of full day school for their baby. Transitions. Beginnings. Endings. It’s all fascinating and beautiful to me now.
What I enjoyed the most was a post by a dear friend who is going through the hard work of personal growth and enlightenment. She posted the pictures of her kids and wrote: “Best day ever! I used to cry, literally get depressed when summer ended. Not this year. After some healing I’m understanding why I did that. This year no tears, but lots of excitement for all of the learning my kids are going to do.”
Ugh! I was so flipping proud of her. Now, there’s nothing wrong with first day tears of sadness and/or happiness. But most of the time if it’s intense, it means something deeper is going on.
Fore example: The year we dropped off our youngest at all day kindergarten I saw the other moms leaving the school with strollers and toddlers and just. completely. lost it. I sobbed for hours and hours. There was a deep wound there and I could not figure out why. Luckily I had work starting up the next week and go busy being busy and avoiding my feelings. YAY!
Or maybe not yay! Because avoiding your feelings doesn't heal anything. Take my word for it.
Here we are 4 years later from that difficult day, and…I’m pregnant. Yup, we dove into crazytown headfirst with balloons and confetti. That aching wound meant something, and for my husband and me it was that there was another spirit wanting to be in our family.
For years I denied this for multiple reasons, the main one being I was exhausted and counted myself lucky I had raised 4 humans to the point of dressing themselves and knowing right and wrong enough to not eat glue or poke themselves in the eye with a stick. SUCCESS!!!! How could I do more than that? Did I mention I was exhausted?
The other reason was because the anti-depressants I was taking are not good for pregnancy. And if I needed anti-depressants that much (at that high dose) I probably shouldn’t be inviting more chaos and confusion into my life, no I should be solving problems instead of creating more.
In all honesty my first psychiatrist and my first therapist both told me a lot of my internal struggle and upset was over not knowing whether to have another baby or not. Both encouraged my spouse and me to make a permanent decision on whether that was a door open or closed. This led to me begging for a vasectomy from my husband for 3 straight years. THREE YEARS PEOPLE. I’m screaming that because it’s a really long time.
Or is it?
Three years passes pretty quickly in hindsight. And as I’ve been healing and growing and finding my inner purpose and identity, the world is not as scary and horrible as I used to believe. It’s not a struggle or a fight. No, now I find every day to be a fun adventure in learning more about myself, the world and what awesome lessons are here for me today. Somedays I don’t’ want them, other days I recognize I’m being trusted with this growth opportunity. Go me!
As Eckhart Tolle quoted, “Life is the dancer, you are the dance.”
Think about that one, because I used to think that I was the dancer and had to bend my technique to the choreography life was shoving in my face. I saw life as a cruel French ballet master with an iron rod and empty bottles of vodka stashed behind the piano. This might be a reason to the decades of exhaustion and depression. Maybe? Also a lot of genetic predisposition to not make enough neurotransmitters on my own. It’s a good combo I tell you what.
But now I truly believe that I am the dance and life is a beautiful dancer. I set the choreography, the music, tempo and rhythm. I get to choose much more than I used to, and I also can live in peace and harmony now. And yes, once you let go of your ego’s crazy need for control and belief that life is a threat you might sound and seem crazy to others also because you are happy and peaceful when everyone else is complaining about carpool drama or whatever junk fills life up if you let it.. You might even end up being so hopeful and courageous you welcome another baby 9 years after your last one. Who knows?! Your life can be whatever you choose it to be.
As for me, I’m grateful and humble to set this part of my life's choreography with God as my partner in this divine creation process of creating a human body within me. Every day is nothing short of miraculous. I take no credit in this journey whatsoever, except that I am listening and honoring what my body needs. Right now that is a lot of napping and Tums.
Who knows what it will be tomorrow? It doesn’t really matter, because today is beautiful and peaceful and full of possibility. Which means tomorrow will be also if I choose to see it that way.
Here’s to another school year of a house full of teenagers and growing children, with hours in the car, water bottles rolling around everywhere while we hover above 100* for another month, sports seasons, piano and everything else. What a fantastically full time of life.