In one of my first ever posts, Who Is That Woman Staring Back at Me, I wrote about looking in the mirror and not even recognizing my own face anymore. For those of you who know me personally, and for those who read my blog, you know that in between my daughter and son, I had a stillborn baby girl, Isabel. It took a great toll on me emotionally and life for me will forever be divided into the time before I found out that my babies heart stopped beating, and life afterwards.
I know that you can relate, because we have all suffered loss. A good friend of mine recently lost her mother. The other day I looked at one of the photos she posted of herself. In the photo, she was smiling, but her eyes told another story. They were glassy. They looked so sad. My heart broke for her, knowing how difficult her road is right now, and how only time can begin to ease her grief. Her life forever divided into the time before her mom died and her life afterwards.
About 15 years ago, my mom gave me a book called Simple Abundance. I was very young then, just beginning to live my life, so it wasn't a book I could relate to at the time. Simple Abundance went unread for all of these years. Still, I've carried it around with me from state to state, and apartment to apartment throughout my life's journey.
For some reason, I felt inspired to take it out from our bookshelf last night and began to read. It is clearly meant for me at this time in my life, as one of the first entries discusses looking in the mirror and not even recognizing your own face. Apparantly, this phenomenon is real and has a name, it's called "displacement of self." The book goes on to say that this happens in times of great stress.
But there are every day stresses that we face as women. That we face as mothers. Especially, as mothers of small children. For example, I've been trying to write this post for about an hour now and my son has come over to me 4 times already to be nursed (I have got to get him off of the breast!), one of my daughters toys is "singing" and there is some sort of disagreement going on about a toy.
On top of the chaos going on with the kids, I've gotten two phone calls while trying to write. I am thinking about my messy apartment, the laundry that I should be doing, and wondering if the chicken that I took out for dinner tonight willl be defrosted in time.
I am being pulled in all different directions.
I am growing more and more frustrated because all I really want to do is get this post done, because writing is something for me, something I've been doing to get back to who I am. Right now, it seems impossible, and is becoming a great source of stress.
But, as the late, great, John Lennon said, "Life is What Happens to you while you are busy making other plans."
So, as the author of Simple Abundance suggests, even though I'm feeling a little harried, I am going to focus on all that I have to be grateful for. I will start a journal and every day I will write down 5 of the things that I have to be grateful for on that given day. Today, I will share them with you.
1) My beautiful daughter Ava, and the blessing of a perfect and joyful pregnancy with her.
2) The day I spent holding my daughter Isabel and the fact that my sister, mother and father came to my side that day, and held my baby too.
3) Dr. Manny Alvarez, the physician who took such good care of me during my pregnancy with Luke, and who ultimately saved my sons life. I thank God every day for Luke.
4) Being a stay at home mom.
5) The 3 bedroom, city apartment, that I am going to have to spend the rest of my day cleaning.
What 5 things do you feel grateful for today?