Category Archives: Uncategorized

I Tried

I had to stop.

It wasn’t out of convenience. It was certainly not out of vanity. The truth is, I tried. I tried hard. It just wasn’t for us. 

I wanted it to be. God knows, I did. I neglected taking care of myself in almost every imaginable way to make sure she was taken care of first, and it still wasn’t enough. Her weight kept dropping. I kept getting more anxious, detached, weary. I was enjoying her infancy less and less in the name of getting her fed. Breastfeeding was sucking me dry and still not sustaining her. 

I only wanted what was best for her. 

If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have taken breastfeeding classes and seen multiple lactation consultants. I wouldn’t have rented hospital grade pumps and tried every position imaginable. And I never would have continued to endure a shallow latch, after constant failed attempts at a deep one, despite my raw and scabbed nipples.  

If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have gone through such a challenging labor without medication. I chose that for her because I knew it was the absolute best. My personal comfort was of no concern to me. I was ready to face the pain for her. And I’m so glad I did. I felt everything. I experienced everything. I knew exactly where she was when she was there. I knew when she was ready to come, when I needed to push. I felt the moment she entered this world and the euphoria that immediately followed. I had the spiritual experience that I had read about; the experience they say only women who choose an unmedicated, natural birth can really know. And it was worth it. She was worth it all.

Maybe it would have one day leveled out. Maybe my body would have eventually stepped up its game and put out more milk for her tiny body. Maybe it would’ve gotten easier. But maybe, just maybe, it wouldn’t have. 

Maybe her weight would have continued to drop, and my headstrong desire to exclusively breastfeed despite all the red flags would have only brought her harm. Maybe my breasts, altered and scarred from reduction surgery, never would be able to keep up with her needs. Maybe the depression I was experiencing would have taken more than a few days of rest to overcome, robbing me of more precious time with her. Maybe I would look back on these days and regret not letting go. Regret not enjoying and soaking up every moment of this stage of life with her instead of running myself ragged trying to force something that just might not ever be. 

I know it’s true that breast is best when it comes to nutrition. I agree completely. But what about when it comes to a person’s emotional well-being? For me, supplementing with formula, and breastfeeding and pumping when I can, takes the pressure off. I finally feel like I am bonding with my baby instead of growing to resent her for how drained I feel. I finally see her for what she is; this perfect little miracle that I am so blessed to have been given during my short time on this earth. I finally feel like a mom–a mom who is stable enough to take care of her and love her like crazy. Instead of waiting for feedings to be over, wondering when (or if) I will feel the breastfeeding bond everyone tells me about, now I never want to put her down. 

What once felt like a darkness creeping in is now being overpowered by light. I can love her and enjoy her and miss her when I don’t have her with me. I can watch her get stronger every day and know that, even if my body will never be able to get the job done on its own, I can still feed her and care for her and help her grow. 

If it was my choice, I would choose to have had success with breastfeeding. I really did want that for her. But maybe it wasn’t entirely up to me. Maybe it was another test in my life, placed there to humble me and teach me more about relinquishing control–more about letting go. Maybe it was never really my choice at all.

Because after all, I tried. 

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All In A Day’s Work

When you run out of your own stuff to declutter–at least for a while–help someone else with theirs!

That’s what my mom and I did this past Saturday.  We went over to a friend’s house and helped her declutter and reorganize her closet, and I have to say, the end result was amazing.

Please don’t misunderstand me, though.  I’m not done with my own space yet.  There’s still more to work through; I just found myself at a sort of standstill after another layer was peeled away and decided to use my nervous tidying energy to help someone else who desperately needed it.  It was so great to see how happy she was when we had finished.  I think her husband was more than a little excited about it, too.

Even though the closet was overflowing with options before, she had such difficulty finding and deciding what to wear each day due to its lack of order.  Now, all of her favorite pieces are organized and easily accessible for daily use.

Hopefully the pictures below will give you a little motivation if you’ve been dragging on the minimalism front.

xoxo

Before:

V-Before

After (My favorite part is the empty upper shelves!):

V-After

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4,600

4,600.

That’s a decent-sized number.  It’s one that I’m quite proud of, especially when remembering all the hard work it took to become acquainted with it.

Purge after purge after purge.  Less and less junk filling my home; bursting at my closets’ seams; invading, not only my physical, but also my mental space.

It wasn’t always easy.  Saying goodbye never is, I suppose.  There were times when it hurt. . . bad.  But only at first.  Each time I finally let go of one more piece of the anchor that clutched my ankles and bore down on my shoulders, holding me in one place, preventing me from living the life I knew I could live, I felt another burst of freedom.  Of air.

I could breathe.  I could do anything.

I was no longer tied to those outgrown possessions that tirelessly labored to imprint themselves on my identity.  Trying to figure out who I was becoming was already challenging enough without them.  They would only hold me back.

Some things got replaced with better ones, non-broken ones, more relevant ones, or more practical ones.  Then there were those who just made their exit, never to be seen again.  It’s ironic to think that those least used and least favored items were actually my favorite of all.  They, the ones that didn’t get replaced, were the ones that carried me that much closer to less.  To enough.

And I have to say, it felt good.  Every step of the way.

$4,600.00 is my current total of money made from letting go.

To think I was just sitting on items that could total a sum like that–stuff that I hadn’t used, or even looked at, in years.  Items that were forgotten.  Junk I outgrew.  Crap that I no longer wanted, but didn’t think I could part with.  The mental weight of that was unreal.  Something had to be done.

So I did it.

And, I don’t like to brag, but I think I’ve done rather well when it comes to this.  And the kicker is, there’s still so much more to be done!

I know some people think I’m crazy.  Heck, I probably would’ve thought that about someone like me several years ago, so I can’t say that I blame them.

Some people actually get angry at the way I choose to live, at my letting go.  Can you believe that?  Anger.  Over something that, in no way, pertains to or affects them.  It makes me sad that so many people fume and breed negativity–whether vocally or mentally–towards this lifestyle while it continues to bring me so much joy.  Maybe it’s because they assume I am judging them for choosing more.  I’m not.  I can’t.  Their choices aren’t up to me.

All I know is, the anger has yet to hold me back, and I’ll never let it.  I’ll just continue to be me and live the life I feel I’ve been called to live.  That’s all any of us can do.

We’re all different, and we all are called to different things.  This is my thing.  My life.  And I’m not so sure the rest of the world should, or even can, tell me how to live it.

The journey is different for everyone, and thankfully so.  How boring would life be if we were all the same?

Instead of breeding negativity and anger towards those who are different, let’s instead choose to celebrate our differences and learn from one another.  No one person has it all figured out.

I know I don’t.