Relaxing and growing.

Relaxing at an outdoor French film this summer.
There are a few pages of questions in one of my labor books about your ideal labor. It asks you where your ideal labor would take place, who would be there, this sort of stuff. But then it gets psychological.

"What mental activity have you done that took the most out of you?"

"List five ways that you can find the extra bit of stamina in you when you feel you have nothing left to give."

And then, "What helps you relax the most?"

One of my favorite things about being pregnant is this, the process of introspection, the process of preparing for the mental and physical battle that will be labor. It is deeply satisfying for me to go interior and question the ways I approach challenges in my life... especially knowing that my preparation is going to be very relevant in about 11 weeks.

So I was thinking about my answers to that last question this morning. I listed out three things:
  • not having a schedule
  • not having too many people around
  • swimming
Ummmmmmmmm. Wat. 

First off, I am basically the physical manifestation of a schedule if there ever was one! I am also extroverted and I take on a lot of social responsibilities, which means that I'm always with people. And SWIMMING?! I have not been swimming since Camp Mighty last November. 

These answers, however, feel entirely accurate; I'm somewhat troubled by the fact that I've been living a life that blatantly ignores what I need to do to relax. How long can a person go without relaxing, truly relaxing? I would rather not find out.

I feel as though 2012 has been an enormous year of growth for me already. A lot of it has to do with preparing to expand our family, but I also think that I owe a big part of it to slowing down, focusing more on me and our needs, saying no when I need to. I feel like I know myself better today, like I'm less apologetic for things I'm not responsible for. 

We are the makers of our own happiness. For a while I was really good at identifying huge projects and huge trips and enormous active ways to keep myself happy. But lately it seems obvious that I don't want those things. Lately what's been making me happy are small things. Watching the Olympics with no time frame in mind. Eating chocolate mint cookie ice cream. Taking long walks alone. Baking tartes and crumbles with the fruits from our CSA. Incessantly texting my family photos of the nursery and the cats. Laughing at Chris and his antics.

I'm really proud of myself for letting go and relaxing. Now I guess the only thing left is to find a pool...

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