State of the Ellie: May 2018
I know I said I was starting totally over with the blog, but I also know you guys love these posts and they're good for my own perspective, so I'm going to keep them. I'm still toying with the format and I might not do it every month, but by golly, Imma try. Here goes. Health: I started back at the gym! It's literally been eight years since I set foot on a treadmill. I'd planned to go back in February, but then my left knee spontaneously dislocated (DID YOU KNOW THAT COULD HAPPEN BECAUSE I SURE DIDN'T). That set me back until mid-March. Turns out I was/am so grossly out of shape that the muscles and tendons that hold my kneecap in place just couldn't anymore. THAT'S HOW BAD IT IS. Ugh. But! I've been going twice a week to a gym where they have free childcare for members, and no other body parts have tried to escape, so I'm counting it as a win. I'm also feeling a delightful sensation I haven't had in decades: I want to move. The feeling is worthy of its own post, so I won't elaborate too much, but damn does it feel good to feel good about exercise. On the downside, I've been ill with various things basically since the start of the year, ranging from confirmed endometriosis attacks to acute sinusitis to this ghastly stomach virus I mostly certainly caught from Mackenzie (I suspect I'm one of the rare adults who contract rotovirus--lucky me). But I'm believing that with the Ontario spring finally beginning yesterday that I'll be disease-free until October when the heating comes back on with all its recirculated germs. Spirituality: I'm not entirely sure what to put here just now. It's difficult to relate the stir I feel in my soul--it's quiet and abstract. I've stuck with my journaling devotional writing in the mornings, which has been perhaps the most effective and satisfying prayer practice I've ever had. It's my secret place, the place where I meet with God and hear his voice and share my heart with him. We whisper there. The fruit of it is unmistakable, though. In the last couple of months, I've been surprised by my own boldness, with my second and third thoughts standing back a pace going, "Oh, wow. Look at that." God has sown a new confidence in me for the strangest things, almost entirely without my knowledge. As long as I keep showing up to connect with him, the seeds get planted, watered, and nurtured. It's pretty cool. I've also just finished reading Heaven for Kids (for me, not Mackenzie; because that's my level of understanding about heaven), and I actually learned a lot. I'm very much looking forward to riding a dinosaur on the New Earth, and the sci-fi novel idea I had while reading about the New Heaven is either brilliant or garbage, I'm not sure yet. Social: It seems like my social calendar just gets more and more full these days, which is a sharp change from when I was so desperately lonely with a newborn. It's trickier to do stuff when you have a toddler rather than an infant (a fact I wish I'd understood when I thought I couldn't go anywhere with a baby) because their attention span rivals a squirrel's, but that doesn't seem to be stopping us. I'm finding my stride with the moms at the drop-in center we go to, starting to have deeper conversations with these women I've known for nearly two years. I have given people my ACTUAL PHONE NUMBER this very week. I do not do this. Ever. And though mornings are fairly routine, my afternoons are often open, and I've taken to filling them with hangouts where possible. It's a big stretch for my INFJ self, but a good one. While I still feel like a terrible friend, the more I connect with other humans, the better I often feel, which I never would've predicted five years ago. With the summer coming (and school closing) things could either slow way down or speed way up--either way, I feel ready. If you're reading this and want to hang out in meatspace, drop me a line and we'll hook up (not like that)! Marriage: This category feels necessary but dangerous. I've talked about my husband in public before, naturally, though with perhaps too much transparency; while there are so many things I've learned about love, commitment, and marriage over the last nine years, I want to make sure I share our stories (for they're ours, not just mine) in a way that's respectful and covers us both. So keep an eye on this space. There's nothing here for this month--not because there's nothing to say but because I'm not confident I can do it well--but there will be eventually. Parenting: This is what you really came here for, isn't it? It's okay, I don't mind. Mackenzie turns two next week, and hoo-boy, can you tell. I am the mayor of Disciplinetown. Or maybe the evil dictator. Depends on which one of us you ask, I suppose. The crazy thing is that she's only willful and rebellious with me, which I understand is par for the course, but I wish Daddy could see just one on-the-floor meltdown over being told to give back a toy she snatched from some unwitting infant at the drop-in center. Yanno? But! What I've discovered in the middle of this time of tantrums is that her capacity for enormous rage is fully matched by a capacity for enormous joy. Just like I've never been so shocked at a human's incoherent defiance, I've never been so thrilled by someone else's sheer enjoyment of the tiniest things. No one ever told me about this! I thought the Terrible Twos (and the newer Threenager phase) was all fight, all the time. I had no idea that she would--or could--obsess about taking photos with a digital camera or dance all over the place under falling bubbles or laugh wildly when given drink of fizzy water. THAT is how you survive this part of a kid's life: holding on to the joy and letting the defiance slip past (not that it goes unaddressed, just that it's forgiven and done). I'm also finding that I'm enjoying being with her all day much more now that she's has so much language (more than is normal for a kid her age, I'm told) and so many interests. I can't wait to take her to a museum and have her actually engage with it! Of course, now that I feel like I'm finding my stride with her, I'm starting to look down the barrel of school (it starts at four here) and of possibly going back to work for financial reasons. Where before I didn't want to put her in daycare because of money and laziness, now I'm sad thinking about missing these precious few years when she's all innocent and sponge-like. Though she does make me absolutely batshit crazy some (most?) days, it breaks my heart to think of giving up this time where it's just me and her--time we will literally never have again. My deep-rooted sense of nostalgia and over-developed sense of regret are nipping at me already although nothing has changed. Ah, parenthood. Vocation: I was going to call this part "Writing," and may still, but for now I'm not 100% sure what's going on in my career/path/work arena, so "vocation" felt most applicable to cover all the things. In the aftermath of the Great Dissolution, wherein I took down all my books and all my blogs, I was confident that there would immediately be something new to start. If God had been after me for nearly two years to completely lay down my old work to make space for new work, surely he had some grand idea just waiting to drop on me when I finally did it, right? But I was left looking around going, "Welp. Now what?" And while I still sort of feel that way, I discovered two things in looking beneath that expectation: 1) a need to blog without fear again and 2) a training program. I don't know what I'm writing about these days, honestly. It's back to the old-old-school style of writing whatever's going on with me, whatever strikes my fancy. It's oddly hard after years of honing my blogging to be on-brand, find audience, get numbers, bring in clients, sell books, whatever. But I'm learning to be okay with it. I need to be a person again, you know? And how fitting that as I'm returned to this place of beginner's mind that a writing community appeared on my radar. (More on that in a future blog post, primarily because the timing was too perfect to not be God.) I know in my soul that I'm made to write, but I'm still not sure what I'll write about. For now, I'm dedicating myself to walking through the lessons provided and keeping a weather eye out for opportunities to grow into a better writer, whatever shape that may take. Your turn! What's up in your world? Leave a comment to tell me all about it.