Tuesday, August 28, 2012

honoring the down time

I had a few days of feeling 'off', not depressed, but an odd combination of restless and unmotivated.  I have observed in my children that when this mood is prevalent for more than a day, it usually precedes an expansive growth spurt, either physical, intellectual, or creative.  I honored my moodiness by only doing the essentials (feeding and clothing children, as opposed to cleaning, yard work, etc.).  I read a novel over three days, did some garden-harvesting and creative cooking, played low-key games with the girls, and laid around when I could.

Yesterday, I felt the expansive shift.  Between starting the day with some cleansing tears and then continuing the day with fun and awe at the circus, my mood was shook loose, and I feel returned to myself and renewed.

So, today was all about renewing my environment.  In other words, the place was a mess and needed some doing.  I spent hours picking up, sweeping, sorting loose Uno cards, Lego pieces, and drawing paper, separating them from the crumbled bits of playdough and wrappers that had migrated to the floor.  I didn't do anything crazy like sorting toy bins that were to shortly become a jumble again, but just tidied and collected until it returned to an appealing and inviting space to create, play, and relax in.

I also made yummy baked zucchini fries, and spent a couple of hours weeding the garden, which isn't to say it is weed-free, but just that there are no more weeds taller than Camille :)

During all of this doing, the girls sometimes helped, sometimes kept me lively company, sometimes played outside or in the playhouse, and sometimes watched Dragon Tales. There was also a mid-cleaning 80s dance party, which is inevitable when Cyndi Lauper and Blondie are blasting out of the computer speakers, not my usual  music selection, but surprisingly good cleaning motivation.

When it grew too dark to differentiate between potato leaves and weeds, Camille and I took a moonlit walk to gaze at the stars, watch the bats swoop around the trees, and hear the owls call to each other.  She is cozily tucked into bed after I read to her aloud for a bit.  Sylvia and Ayla are still going strong, dressed as princesses, popping the bubbles that I am blowing to them between  typing out sentences (good ol' mama multitasking).

I am writing this to remind myself (and you, if the reminder is useful to you) to honor the low points as well as the high ones.  It  does, can, and will come back around if you allow it, feel it, accept it, and let it go in its time.  Sometimes we need to conserve mental, emotional, creative and physical energy to allow it to reemerge in a positive way.  This is not mere laziness, it is a way of caring for ourselves as busy Mamas, and as creative People, in a way that allows us to live a joyful, sustainable life.
 I love bins, baskets, and shelves.  I go more for accessible, inviting, playful and creative than simple, spotless, or goodness knows, classy.

 living room dance party

 graffiti wall



baked zucchini fries with marinara and melted mozzerella


  1. Lovely post, as always, Nikole. Yes, to everything you've written here. Thank you for the beautiful reminder. :)

  2. So welcome to hearing the celebration of 'not doing' as well as doing. I have these days where I cant shift myself and need to cosy up and observe. Letting things simply drift on with me on the edge gives me time to restore my energy and emotions. Beautifully noted x

  3. What a beautiful room. I love the swing! And such a wonderful open space.

  4. Ironically, just today Princess asked for a down day. What a timely post. :)

  5. Hi Nik, I read your blog religiously and am amazed by your insights.
    I've hit a renewal also. I was 7 for 9 in a doubleheader last week, my best performance in years. Keep up the good work, I get another go at it tonight and Mom is even spectating. The heat is on, I hope I don't choke!

  6. Thank you all for your kind comments, and good luck on your game tonight, Pops!


I love hearing what you have to say. Leave a comment?