MISSION: ESTABLISH REGENERATIVE RHYTHM remains in its formative phase.
I haven’t managed to wrangle the renowned morning routine that finds me awake before the kids. I keep staying up late, then sleeping in until the moment one of them starts whining. For a few days I did get up early, but my efforts were blighted when Rose woke up moments afterward. Thus I lost the sleep, without gaining space.
I'm choosing to stay positive. Despair is not an option; even the slightest hesitation in my perception that doing my best is more than enough seeps into my senses like a cold draft from an old window. My very soul shudders. The stakes are so high.
The biggest personal loss, it seems to me, is that most days pass by and I do not have time or energy to write. Writing is fundamental to what I’m doing here: in this house, documenting our intentional living experiment, and on this earth, documenting our human experience. Writing makes me tick. It’s non-negotiable, something I absolutely must do in order to know who I am. And when it comes to rhythms, regular writing time let’s me know I’m in a workable flow.
Decades of creative self-development caught on paper reveal several recurring themes. One is that I love taking notes while I course-correct; shifting from grinding gears to ways of moving that feel clear (generational work, in a nutshell). Whenever I'm wedged in liminal space, writing is my saving grace.
I’m unwinding, line by line. Re-wiring, one word at a time.
The past few years of raising two preschoolers have been hell. I repeat: I have been in hell. I’ve also frequented heaven, of course. Children are adorable and precious, and I know loss well enough to appreciate what I have. Nope—though my children may occasionally leave me steaming, they’re not the reason for my hell.
The set-up was hell. Mothering alone, overwhelmed. Mothering in a tiny apartment on the top floor of a building without air conditioning in a too-hot city. Mothering when you must do everything right and yet everything is wrong. Mothering when it’s impossible to reach all the tasks on your plate. Mothering in a system that isn’t designed for human well-being, but rather to make money for itself.
Course-correction is key. I have a will to thrive and I’m willing to do my work.
Today marks one month of living in this house, known now as The Mama Bear Sanctuary. Mothering with Dina feels INCREDIBLY AMAZING, like breathing actual air after drowning. We read each other's minds, finish each other's sentences, and understand each other's pain. We’re both recovering from the trauma of mothering in isolation, and we’re holding gentle space for each other’s process.
Dina loves to cook, and everything she touches is tremendous. When I make rice, it just tastes like rice. When Dina makes rice, it’s like a field singing in your cells. She is constantly putting bowls of warm deliciousness in front of me. After years of cold oatmeal and sandwich crust, eating this well at home feels decadent.
When the four-year-olds kept arguing over toy kitchen supplies the other day, rather than continuously reminding them to share, I simply turned to Dina and shouted, “I LOVE sharing my toys with you!”
Her face lit up like a lantern. Infrared joy radiating from her eyes, she burst forth, “I LOVE sharing my everything with you! It makes me so happy!”
Two-year-old Rose started galloping around the living room, singing about sharing and how great it is. The four-year-olds were bickering again five minutes later, but the energy Dina and I created in that moment of loving reinforcement had already seeped throughout the space, and it didn’t feel as trying.
We constantly happen upon upon gems like this; they’re embedded in our experience as we nurture our intentions.
So before we take our healing journey any further, let’s get a better “before” shot.
Me, as we speak: Bloated and gassy. Microbiome in shambles, as my starch and sugar intake increased over the holidays. Reliant on coffee with foam. Sporting a giant green lump on my forehead where I whacked myself on the door frame.
Dina, as we speak: Asleep by 10 pm (which is unusual). She got pulled over by the police earlier today, and discovered that her driver’s license is suspended.
We’re both in receipt of powerful feedback, showing us how to move through this brave new territory.
Stay tuned as we keep dialing it in!