It’s Ash Wednesday. You won’t see me with any on my forehead. And you may or may not believe in any Christian doctrine or practices. Regardless, I think 40 days is a perfect amount of time to adapt to a new way of living. I like ritual, when it’s practiced with earnest intention. I think Spring is a perfect time for new beginnings. I am ready to begin this journey. I don’t really have a choice.
I don’t like the idea of giving up food or drink or vice for lent, only to pick it back up in 40 days. I like the idea of letting go, but only for the sake of what can be embraced instead. When I was thinking about what I’d like to embrace, what I’d like to create more of in my life, the most prominent lesson being taught to me right now is surrender. Motherhood is handing my ass to me by 7 p.m. most days of the week. It’s dragging me through crap and vomit at 3 a.m. too. I’m not complaining. These are facts. They are beautiful facts. My child is a poo machine, and I think he’s just so stinkin’ cute! I’m glad his digestive system appears to be working beautifully. I’m grateful for my healthy guy–who is growing like a weed. Who was 12 lb 3 oz on Thursday of last week, not even 6 weeks old.
All of these things–his growth, my lack of sleep, his spit-up, cries, schedule, poop, pee all over himself–the wall–my cheek, my weight–all of these things are things I must surrender too. There are thousands more, more moments more ways of being and growing and doing that I will surrender to throughout his life. This is the lesson Motherhood hands you. I once prayed for it–to be taught how to better surrender to life & to the present moment. Good one God. Perfect way to show me. Really, it is. I may not always be an eager student, but motherhood is the perfect way to learn surrender. All you mamas out there who can navigate each moment that comes & not move to numb it, you are the true zen masters. Screw meditating in a quiet room. If you can be peaceful, prayerful in the midst of a crying child at 4 am, you should write a book. But who has time for that? I can’t even keep up with a blog! I am definitely not Supermom. But I am becoming Surrender Mom. Not for 40 days. For life.
For 40 days, I am letting go of ingratitude and embracing the practice of daily gratitude again. I was inspired by her–though I’ve practiced gratitude before & I know it’s capacity to create happiness in my life. I am most grateful for my little family. Most ridiculously awed at how blessed I am for these two guys. And for my family not in the picture–my own mom, dad, brother & sister. My mother and father and brother and sisters in law.
For 40 days (and more), I am embracing health & fitness. In mind. In body. And spirit. On Sunday I went for my first run since I was 6 weeks pregnant. I couldn’t run during my pregnancy, so it’s been almost a year. My lungs & legs both felt like they could take a lot more. My boobs felt like they needed another 3 sports bras. My insides felt like they were falling out. I walked more than I ran. I jogged about a mile and walked about the same. I am humbled. I am healing. And I am ready to start again.
From scratch, essentially. So scratch the idea that I’d easily be able to lace up and head out. It may take a few more weeks of core and pelvic floor strengthening before I attempt another run. It may take longer than I’d like to fit into my fat jeans. I will not give up.
For 40 days, I will continue to eat healthy & not count calories. For 40 days I will sneak in fitness and yoga and walks every chance I can get. I will do curls with the carseat up the stairs at Target. I will do sun salutations during naps. I will do planks during playtime. I will walk with my sleeping boy in the Bob every Spring-like day we get.
And sometime in the next 40 days, I will go for another run. And another one after that. I will take one step at a time. Towards health. With gratitude. And in a spirit of humble surrender.
What will you do in the next 40 days?