I feel lonely for myself lately.
The whole family just drove away.
One quick errand and they’ll return in 20 minutes.
I open the computer to share my thoughts, balancing the teeter totter of freedom and uncomfortable.
Space always feels new to me.
I’ve shared, many times, my devotion to motherhood.
Quiet and space have not come easy, or often, in these past (nearly a) dozen years.
Quiet and space have always been intertwined with fear for me.
For example, as I type this, everyone who truly matters to me is in a car right now.
Running a simple errand.
Am I the only one who wonders what if they didn’t make it home?
Fear because I don’t want to miss out or fuck up the most important role my life will ever lead.
Guilt because my worth has been entangled, since the dawn of adulthood, with the role of ‘Mother’, and anytime I’m on my own I am not yet sure who I am.
I feel lonely for myself lately.
I’m supposed to love alone time, right?
I do. I really do. I come alive in the quiet like a wolf travels the night.
My ritual for as long as my memory wanders is that I’ve found space nearly every night after the house has fallen asleep.
I think this longing for me is creeping in only as a natural loneliness unfolds in my life.
I moved recently and friend connection feels lost, as I navigate what energy a new home requires.
My relationship to my Mom feels lost, for now, and I carry the pain, anger and loss heavily.
My children are stretching their arms and legs wide to the seasons of life and I am no longer interwoven in a sticky web of breast milk, hormonal havoc and a need waiting to be filled every moment of my day. I feel very lost with this one, because I never imagined life beyond that most beautiful sticky web.
I am lonely for me lately because there is space to wonder who I am, with so much less reflecting or defining who I am.
I have recently found a way to touch that lonely me and give her space to find herself.
Space and the old clichéd need for self care.
You know, I kind of want to turn my nose up even using the words ‘self care’. It’s a bit used up like a dirty sock, eh?
But what else should I call it?
Rather than ride the waves of the late hours, I’ve been turning in a bit earlier and claiming space for myself upon waking.
I tell the kids that I’ll be out after I finish writing.
I close the door to my room and they (mostly) respect it. The older two, that is. The littlest one finds a half dozen reasons to talk to me. But that’s okay. I’m confident with time she’ll understand too.
I listen to them break out our newest board game, argue over who needs to take the dog out in the cold, or welcome the silence of their trio selves reading on the couch.
I eat up the time, logging my fertility, snipping my dreams onto paper and rambling out my heart faster than my hand can keep up.
Transforming while I drink hot herbal tea and tend to my womb and heart.
And bump up against guilt.
And ride the joy of showing my kids how to give yourself just what you need.
It has made ‘self care’ oh so sexy.
And it feels really naughty.
Lonely for myself and I am giving her space and time.
Space calls to me like the waves of the sea.
And I am answering this calling a wee bit.
It’s as if, each morning, I am saying that I matter.
I matter and it is okay to decide to start my day with a slice of space for me.
My loneliness matters and it’s my job to greet the longing with the chance to really see myself through the pages of my journals.
We matter in ways we’d never give ourselves credit, recognition or gratitude for.
Our value is often lived through the love we give to others.
These morning minutes are lighting little fires of reminders about my worth and my well being.
It is rippling out into the rest of the day, when I am full and cared for.
It’s true that if we don’t hold space for ourselves, no one else will.
It is true that if we don’t meet our own needs we cannot lovingly meet the needs of those we love the most.
Reflect upon your space and see how much you have.
See what you need.
Find it when the night turns dark and loved ones sleep.
Find it by honoring the growing of your littles who are now old enough to allow it.
Find it when your milk drunken wee one naps.
Find it upon waking or right before bed.
Find it because you are worth it.
Find it because befriending yourself means as we embrace self love (eh, another dirty sock word) we have more love to give.
buckets of love,