After some serious consideration I've decided that I do want to have kids. Whether it's going to happen with a lover in a committed relationship, a platonic friend or on my own as a single mother by choice is secondary. I live for experiences. To go through life without kids, especially as a woman, would only seem half fulfilled. I've always believed that if you want something then you are responsible to make it happen. I can't control every detail in my life but I can start preparing myself for my future role as a mother.
Life is always becoming increasingly mores stressful and demanding for those who constantly strives for more. There are no limit on what we can do to advance in our careers or how much we can expand our minds and push our bodies. We can't seem to give enough our loved ones, our community and ourselves. But to do all those things we must have a clear mind and strong body. Anything less than that would only slow us down.
What I need is not only to bring balance to my mind and body now but also to develop a powerful toolbox to face future challenges with confidence and efficacy. Sakyong Mipham mentioned in his book Running with the Mind of Meditation that "we need to exercise both our body and our mind. The nature of the body is form and substance. The nature of the mind is consciousness Because the body and mind are different by nature, what benefits them is different in nature as well. The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefit from stillness. when we give our mind and body what benefits them. a natural harmony and balance takes place. With this unified approach, we are happy, healthy, and wise."
I'm not obsessed with attaining perfection, success or material wealth. However, I have noticed that I am completely addicted to the sensation of deciding on something and making it happen. It's not about setting goals or devising steps to achieve it. It's a simple matter of holding myself accountable. The events are either dos or don'ts like visiting Rose in Germany, applying to law school or running a half marathon. There might be steps in the middle but I never get caught up in some fancy 12-step program. There is a reason why people say always keep your eyes on the prize. To focus on the steps in between only distance you from where you are to where you want to be. All I know is that once I decide on doing something I do it.
What I've decided now is to run a half marathon at end of April. Distance running has always been difficult for me. The only way to overcome it is through continuous repetition until my body adapts to it. I want to be one of those recreational runners you see in the park on Saturday mornings. I joined a running club and am working to increase my mileage each week. It's a struggle but I know the reward will make it all worthwhile. One day soon I'm going to add running to my toolbox as my physical therapy for a strong heart and body. I want to know that when my mind is overburdened my body will carry me through.
As for my mind, I going to start practice meditation. I now have a small library of books on zen meditation. I signed up for a zen retreat in March with Karen Maezen Miller, the author of my new favorite book Momma Zen. Someday I will have the ability to bring my mind to stillness in the midst of chaos. I will make mindful decisions with self-assurance. I will accept life as it presents itself to me and I will accept and let go with grace.
And for the more practical side of being a mother, I will spend two evenings each week to work with kids from newborn to 6 years old at the Crisis Nursery. I've worked a few different jobs in my life but never have I felt more inadequate. The night when I turned in my paperwork I saw a little boy with the most beautiful big eyes. He was there for his first birthday. My heart melted. I wanted to stay there and hold him. I have a feeling this is going to be the most difficult job ever. Tonight I watched a video on the nursery's childcare philosophy: to promote confidence and competency through validation and support. Bingo! That's what I've been saying my whole life! The key is to acknowledge and respond appropriately to the child's action and emotion. For example, when a child cries because her parent is leaving instead of saying "don't cry, you're fine" we should respond with "I see you're sad. It's hard to say goodbye. I'm going to sit here and listen to you." God, can I have one of these volunteers to come mother me???
I wish my own mother could go take a volunteer class. Any communication with her tends to send me into deep depression. She has a negative response to everything I say. Tonight I told her I'm training for a half marathon, she said, don't run too hard, you should stop if you're tired. I told her I'm eating much less meat now to lower my cholesterol. She said, oh, no you must eat some meat. Every time I tell her I am miserable here she tells me I can't be sad! My cousin's grandmother recently passed away, she told her to stop crying! What's with people's difficulty to deal with real emotions? I say face it, experience it. This is why we are here. Cry when you're sad. Eat when you're hungry. Rest when you're tired. Sometimes It IS that easy.