(day 27): when it doesn't help to think
As I had decided yesterday, I got up this morning and headed out for a walk.
It was yet another sleepless night, with D waking up with fever close to midnight. It took us more than an hour to get his temperature down. Finally, we all went back to sleep at about 1:30 AM and woke up past 7 AM this morning.
Determined to stick to my decision to go for a walk, and having faced the repercussions of doing about-turns when it comes to executing my decisions, I headed out after I had snuggled with D for a bit.
Once outside, I hesitated. My first instinct was to take a longish route towards the lake; I hadn't been on this path in ages and had been wanting to go that way for several days.
The instant I stopped to think about that decision, I began wondering if ought to stick to the bike path instead. What if I was too tired, not having slept well last night? What if the longer walk would take me too long?
And then there came a moment when I was absolutely fed up of my mind seesawing thus, and I said to myself, "I'm going to stick to my original choice. There is no perfect choice."
And I am so glad I did because the sight of the silky blue expanse of water under the blue, blue morning sky lifted my spirits immeasurably!
When I came back, I kept my promise to D and we spent the morning playing Scrabble, Outfoxed and Uno.
Then we had a doctor's appointment in the afternoon — D had a stomach bug until now, and has caught a viral respiratory infection, so a few more days of TLC at home for him — then went shopping at Dollarama where D chose a craft activity, then came back home.
His temperature has risen again, and soon he'll fall asleep. We'll have to wait and see what the night brings. Whatever it does bring, I'll be ready and able to handle it.
Yesterday, I was driving to somwhere — perhaps to the library in the morning — when an ad came on the radio. It was the sound of a child laughing, and the announcer said something on the lines of 'We give your child access to the best medicine: family.'
Turned out it was an ad for a private clinic treating children with cancer.
The ad struck a chord with me.
Since D was born, I've faced, but mostly resisted, excessive pressure to coax, cajole or coerce my child into independence.
Why does culture tell us to have unreasonable expectations of our children? Make them sleep by themselves, play by themselves, fend for themselves, regulate their own emotions? So that adults will have all the time and energy in the world to do the things they got used to doing before a child came along and turned their worlds upside down?
This got to such an extent that I often doubted myself when I co-slept with D (we still do) or set aside work to spend time with him (like I've been doing these past few days), not to mention feeling tremendous guilt over bigger choices such as deciding to be a stay-at-home mom.
Anyhoo, I took that message on the radio to be some kind of divine words of wisdom from the Universe, and it gave me much-needed validation of my decision to hang out with D when he's at home.
I took my time in the morning to go for a walk, and that was awesome. So that's one activity I will not let go off, seeing how much it boosts my mood and capacity for patience and compassion.
One other place where I suspend (rather, try to suspend) my ability to think too much is when it comes to writing. I write into the dark, meaning I explore the story as I write it.
It's when I stop to think that my mind gets a chance to come up with multiple ideas, keep see-sawing between them without settling on any one conclusively, and waste a lot of time and brainpower in so doing.
I see now why it is so much better to just make a choice and stick with it. Clarity comes from action, not from thought.
Anyhoo, I'm all set to call it a day. D's reading. I'll finish up some work and turn in early too, so that even if the night brings interruptions to sleep, I'd be able to handle it.