I can’t believe it’s been over a week since I’ve blogged. I think that’s the longest I’ve gone in years. I’ve been trying to be more forgiving of myself though when it comes to not accomplishing things, and blogging has been one thing I’ve tried not to beat myself up over. That said, I do miss it. I’ve always loved coming here and getting the opportunity to spill out my thoughts like a little bag of marbles, marveling over each one and arranging them in some kind of order that makes sense.
My thoughts these days are scattered. Nothing seems to have any sense of continuity. Any snatches of free time that I get I’ve been spending either fulfilling my writing duties for BlackBook or going for long runs around my neighborhood. I’ve been loving running again. I really missed it during my pregnancy and even though we’ve had a heat wave, it’s felt great to be out, moving my body and sweating. Every time I feel fatigued or get a cramp I remind myself of how much I missed this, of how envious I felt seeing other runners when I was seven, eight, nine months pregnant, and then I feel spurred on all over again.
I ran for forty minutes yesterday morning, down Ocean Park and into Cloverfield Park, running past kids playing soccer and a mom teaching her son to ride a bike. Three times I ran past this mom and her son, and three times I watched her push him forward on his bike, running alongside him for a moment until she let go. Three times I watched him fall into the grass, a look of surprise and dismay crumpling his little face. Three times I watched his mom squat down and help pick him back up. And three times I teared up thinking about how sweet life is, how it’s these moments that pull us forward, that sustain us, and that these are the moments we will look back on years from now.
It’s things like this that help me to let go when I feel discouraged about not writing more often right now or when another bill we can hardly afford to pay lands on my desk, or when it’s 9:30 at night and I’ve been trying for almost two hours to get the baby to fall asleep. I’ll take a deep breath and let it out, feeling my body soften and relax, and I try to remind myself that life is not made up of bills or stressors or stupid numbers on the scale in the bathroom. Rather it surely consists of moments between people, of the way the light shifts in the sky at dusk or the feeling of an infant’s quick little breath on my neck.
In some ways it’s felt good to give up on getting anything done. I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time at the beach. I figure if I’m not going to be getting anything done, I may as well not get things done while on the sand, staring out at the water. Jules seems to like the ocean air and Vera is content to play in the sand for hours. Often I marvel at the idea that my girls are going to grow up amidst palm trees and sea breezes.
I’m finding it easier and easier to get swept up in gratitude for this time in my life. For California, for being a writer and a mom and a therapist, for this beautiful, little family I am a part of. I took this photo on my father’s death anniversary last week, struck by what a different place I find myself in all these years later. A reminder that even when it feels like we’re not moving forward, we are.