Musings on the Tug-Pull

October 23, 2008 at 2:40 pm 1 comment

Sometimes life forces us to slow down.  At least mine does.  It’s usually my body that tells me it’s time to cut back.  My body has a way of overruling my brain (which is quite a task!).  I try to think of this as a gift rather than a curse.  Although right now, when my third-trimester body is constantly nauseated and my back aching, I still kind of wish I had one of those resilient bodies that can push through anything.  

The midwife yesterday confirmed what our midwife suspected in my last pregnancy when things went haywire in my final trimester — apparently I have particular insides that aren’t really structured to make room for this large of a passenger, so as baby grows, my stomach actually gets pushed out of position and pushes itself, and air, up toward my esophagus, causing fairly constant discomfort, nausea and heaving, exacerbated with motion. Not much we can do but ride it out (and, well, not ride much of anywhere). Welcome back to my last three months of pregnancy!

It’s not worrisome; we survived three months of this ugh last time and ended up with a beautiful birth and healthy child. (I actually have written about our last pregnancy experience in the Sept/Oct issue of Mothering Magazine, still on the stands for a fleeting moment.)  It’s just not fun.  And I can’t run around town and do all the things I might like to do, or even around the house for that matter.

And, so, I simplify.  Simplify my schedule, commitments, activities, expectations.  Try to turn the focus on my health, baby’s health, getting the family through, letting go of doing it all.  Ironically, this has meant not joining a “simplicity group” at my UU fellowship, which is kind of a hilarious choice (join the simplicity group to talk about simplifying or actually simplify by not committing to something new!).  But, I would have loved to connect with this wonderful group — and connecting with others is what I miss most when I’m in this particular body-imposed position.

It’s a tug of human needs — to be home with close family, or alone, and focus on one’s own health and peace of mind versus to be part of a community, sharing experiences with others and enjoying our interconnectedness.  Ironically, I’ve seen it playing out in my toddler lately, too, as she craves (er, demands loudly) time at home and undivided attention from me, not wanting to venture out with others (or even have them over!), sensing the change ahead, often fighting her own inner battle between wanting to keep things small, the same, and being excited about the expansion of our family and her world with a new sibling ahead.

It’s not an either-or, of course, but a continual balancing act we all perform.  How do we prioritize? Sometimes, as now for me, the priority imposes itself on us.  Other times, it’s less clear.  I’m still pondering how to present “Having Enough” in a talk at my aforementioned fellowship in a month, and in doing so I’ve thought about how I strive to prioritize in the fuzzier times.  What do I ask myself, in making decisions, to keep in balance as best as possible?

I’m going to throw out these questions I’ve pinpointed, and I’d love to hear if they work for you (if anyone is still reading, as I know I’ve been an inconsistent blogger at best during this pregnancy!).  So, here are the questions that help me choose a path, be it about whether to attend a party or buy an item; I think they apply to most anything, really…

1. What is “enough” here?

2. Who says I need (to do, to buy) this?

3. What do I really want here, deep down?

4. How can I simplify here to make this more meaningful?

Please, if you’re reading, try these out and let me know your thoughts and experiences with them.  Do they take you where you want to go (presumably if you’re a reader of this blog, that is striving toward a “having enough” lifestyle and focusing on your deeper priorities)?  Is anything missing?  I’d love to hear from you, if you’re out there.

In the meantime, I’ll continue my attempts to slow down as the world speeds up, the tug-pull of humanity ever-unfolding, nothing stopping until we stop ourselves.  Perhaps this is the heart of Having Enough?

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Melissa  |  October 27, 2008 at 5:18 am

    I think I tend to ask myself: Why do I (or don’t I) want (or want to do) this?

    And I do ask myself #4, but that’s often out of my control, which leads me to ask something like: How can I be most comfortable with this, within parameters I can not change?

    Reply

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To spark conversation about redefining success (as individuals, families and institutions) and to counter "never enough" messages currently circulating in our culture.

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Megan Pincus Kajitani: Writer, Editor, Former Academic Overachiever and Career Counselor, Mom, Wife, Feminist, Gen Xer, Californian who believes that change is possible View Megan Pincus Kajitani's profile on LinkedIn

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