Learning patience

 

I have been there for many years now.

Present, yet with all the things I want and dream constantly on repeat in my head.

Satisfied and contented, yet at the same time yearning for more.

I guess that’s life, right? You can never have enough of it.

So I hush that stream of dreams.

I get quiet.

I wait.

And while I nurture my patience and learn to flow with Life, along Life, inside Life… I write here the things I know are true, because I have witnessed them myself.

I write them here so I don’t forget:

Life unfolds beautifully.

The here and now is what makes my shoulders relax.

Things do come at the right time.

They are the words: my choice this Easter

Sometimes all the circumstances align and you find you can choose.

Today I could choose free time to write.

Or. I could choose spending full days with two little munchkins.

 

I know I may leave a much bigger footprint if I write today…

I feel I may leave a much profound footprint if I cuddle up with them…

 

So, I look for the feeling… I wait and breathe and let the sensations come to me.

How does it feel to choose cuddling?

It feels like laziness.
And non-productive.
And restoring.
And trying to expand the super short, almost gone, toddler days.
And procrastination from my writing dreams.

 

How does it feel to choose writing?

It feels like self-awareness.
Like creativity.
Like meaningful work.
Like helping (myself and others).
Like maturing, not making excuses, and taking this writing/blogging project as seriously as my paid job.
But it also feels like an effort, and a wrong thing, when they are near me, asking to be cuddled.

 

I breathe.

And then I remember.

Often I think I’ll be able to write that chapter when they are absent or sleeping… but it is their cheerful noise, the pure life they infuse the home with, what inspires in me all the chapters…

 

So today, I choose cuddling up.

Tomorrow, I’ll write about it.

Having doubts doesn’t mean you don’t desire something for real

We have dreams, don’t we?

And sometimes those dreams feel so much like being wholly, totally OURSELVES. A state of purely being US.

Sometimes we feel that we have those dreams because they are meant to be. They are waiting for us, we only have to act accordingly, courageously.

But… we also have doubts.

And fears…

And then we start to believe that maybe that dream is not our destination. If not -we think- I wouldn’t feel this unsure, this indecisive.

But dreams are not free of doubt.

Doubts and fears are part of the dream, they are included in it. And, often, they show you the aspects in which you have to work on to get closer to that dream.

Having doubts doesn’t mean you don’t desire something for real.

And one exercise that will reassure you about your dreams and desires is this:

How would you feel if you were told your dream would NEVER be?

Possibly devastated.

Because fears, doubts and all… you know you want that dream.

 

Doubts will stay there, accompanying you and helping you refine your dream… while the hope and the light of the dream is there in the horizon, waiting for you.

Don’t let doubt make you feel like that your dreamt place is not where you are meant to be.

It is.

Doubt is simply giving you more tips about the proper way to approach it.

Hold those doubts by the hand and gently keep on walking.

I’ll see you there.

You bloom every day · A letter for moms

You wake up.

You get out of bed too fast.

You barely remember who you are in those foggy first minutes of the day…

But you are a mom don’t you?

Yes you are.

You freshen up your face.

The chores start to (slowly, slowly) make their way to your renewed consciousness.

Lunch bags and clothing for an important meeting and wondering if littlest will be ok (out of the deep of your mind creeps the knowing that he was uncomfortable and whining during the night).

The day officially begins.

All of you are in your places, equipped and fed.

The schedule goes as planned.

Children are at school.

The hours pass.

You find yourself having fun at work.

And then feeling a tiny tad bad for it (your kids are at that moment with your sitter).

Then you come home and it is the sweetest moment of the day (oh, that reencounter!).

They say things never said before. You succumb to their wit and the heavenly touch of their skin.

You briefly worry about some issue that wouldn’t get solved at work. As well as many things to do at home.

You do a lot but still would like to do more.

You feel not focused on the child in front of you who’s asking (again) for water.

Sorry dear, I was thinking about something…

Can’t you simply be where you are?

I am working on that, I am a work in progress…

Can’t you simply be content with the place you are at that moment?

I am working on that, I am a work in progress…

Then you empty and fill the dishwasher, cook dinner at four hands, tidy up. It is almost bedtime… is there some time for fun?

You used to be fun, right? You used to have hobbies…

You used to dance…

But now the desire to do your own things directly collides with the desire of spending more time with your kids.

Every hobby pales in front of their face and their look, when you are really connected to them.

And a little outing or a little treat is enough to keep you going, giving yourself to others, joyfully, for some months more.

You are living a season you wouldn’t trade for anything.

Now chores are done.

Even if nobody saw anything.

You are not complaining.

You are grateful for that hustle.

You are grateful for a life that is so FULL with, yes, LIFE.

Yet you wouldn’t mind if it was a little bit reverenced.

Because this everyday hustle is the base for the rest of life.

Your head hits the pillow.

What an ordinary and extraordinary day it was.

You close your eyes.

But, please, I want you to know, before your consciousness goes to sleep again, that I know how reverenced your hustle should be.

How reverenced YOU should be.

Before the new day starts, and life starts spinning again…

I hope that you will find your place and your joy in that everyday race, because the amount of tasks is a mountain for its volume and for its importance.

Because those tasks are the ground were the rest of society can grow and reach towards the sky.

Because you craft that ground as you walk, as you have conversations, as you work, as you tidy up.

As you love.

As you rest.

Please know I reverence you.

Please know these can be the best days, the best years.

Please know that, if you aren’t yet, you should be proud of yourself.

Now yes…

Good night mama.

Tomorrow you’ll bloom again.

And blow us away.

My work and family story (or how to be a part-time homemaker)

 

About seven years ago I began to feel the urge to have children. And I began to worry beforehand, as I usually do. Because my job filled almost all of my day. I worried that if I kept that job, I would not be able to raise my children the way I thought was appropriate, natural; that I couldn’t live the family life and the lifestyle I dreamed.

Within a few months, I had to change jobs and the new opportunity was a position with a 5-hour schedule every day. Aligned with my desire for a more balanced life. I was happily preparing for the day when my family would grow.

I began happily and continued happily. I liked the people and the work. And then I started having babies.

I worked in the afternoon-evening. In the mornings I enjoyed my children and later on grandparents took care of them. And I worked.

Then I started to worry about the future again, when my children would start school and our schedules wouldn’t match. Then I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them at all…

I fantasized about being a mompreneur. I read everything that has been written on the subject. But it made me feel bad, stressed and worried. Dissatisfied with my lack of progress. And also I lost focus on my family, even before I started … Moreover, I was horrified by some stories of extreme dedication to an “ideal” business. I realized, reading about stress, deadlines and dedications of 10 or more hours a day… that I didn’t want that, either.

So what did I want? What would be my solution? I just wanted my family to always be a priority.

Two years ago there were changes in the organization in which I work, and I asked for that solution, with humility and hope: a schedule that would allow me to leave my children at school in the morning, and pick them up in the afternoon. And spend hours with them. Yes. Ensuring that I would be available also to attend meetings and events out of schedule. Guaranteeing that I will do my work as well as before.

They said yes and here I am. Writing on the way to the office, my daily moment for my words. In that office I will give my best. And then I will get back home, and try to be my best version when I meet my family.

I’m lucky. When I explain it, sometimes it even feels uncomfortable, because not everyone has the option to personalize their life that way.

But I think it happened:

· Because I waited, I waited, and waited, until the right time came, working with passion and joy, even on difficult days. Halfway between enjoying what’s good in the present moment, and desiring to improve.

· Because in my home we can afford, and have decided, to earn less money, and change it for more domestic tranquility and a deeper relationship with my children.

· Because I have “the grandparents”. Without them nothing would be possible. Because they’re always there when schedules change, meetings are longer than expected, schools close or children get sick. Doing magic, so an almost impossible balance becomes real.

· Because, fortunately, in my case, those who had to decide understood what the workforce should understand once and for all:

  • That I have two jobs: the one that starts when I leave the office is just as important, and it’s the one that motivates me to keep working on the first one.
  • That the value of women workers does not change when they become mothers, as long as work conditions accept and value the other role.
  • That if we are forced to choose, that value can be affected, because many times we will have to choose the work in which we are irreplaceable (and it is clear what it is).
  • That if they help us to get a little closer to balance, they will have happier mothers, happier workers.

This is my story, and the things that allow me to be a happy part-time homemaker.

Which is yours?

Can homemaking be cool?

When I look at those perfect homemaking blogs, I love that the private, the mundane and homey part of our lives gets more recognition and can even be viewed as cool, and beautiful.

However, I also feel that we are trying to make it look a certain way so it can be valued. A bit like some years ago with the explosion of homemade and DIY, when traditionally feminine or domestic tasks became cool after decades of being neglected.

Do we have to make homemaking look cool and pretty to deserve attention? To get praise? Homemaking in reality looks very much like mismatching socks, ugly but nourishing meals, and dust bunnies. It looks like cuddling for 5 minutes with a cranky kid. Or like reprimands and after-reprimands heartfelt hugs.

Homemaking is essential.

Homemaking is life.

We don’t need it to be “cool” to acknowledge what a grand job it truly is.

Happier offline

Some days after the New Year, my phone notifications ceased to appear.

And what a blessing it became.

I have been wrestling with this social media thing for long. For veeery long. For years. Forcing myself into it.

And I hope this time, once and for all, the point remains clear (I am speaking to myself):

Without a doubt I feel happier when I don’t drink content from social media.

I am not sure if it is overwhelm what I feel, or a subconscious pressure to do more, to be more.

But whatever it is… my mind gets clogged when I expose myself to my feeds, even if I my circles are narrow and my interests scarce.

This offline time has been restoring. I’ve been missing, though, my friends and family “online lives”. Sorry… I love you deeply and enjoy what you share, I really do. But this self is not able to cope with it nicely.

I want to extend this offline feeling as long as I can. Even if I enjoy expressing myself there (I can’t help expressing myself, anywhere), and surely will keep on posting myself.

 

This past weeks have been extremely fulfilling in terms of soul searching.

I want to keep that clarity, that refreshment, that complete embracing of what I want.

I got rid of a few things around here and I feel that everything I write now is sincere, is my pure self.

I’m being more gentle than ever to myself and more observant of what I really want.

What I want to choose.

What I want to feel.

And I don’t want to feel like life has passed away too fast, or feel saturated, unfocused, and heavy, and that is how social media makes me feel (where did those minutes go?).

I want to feel every second, consciously.

I choose to notice life.

So notifications are off.

Love you more than I can write, friends, and loved ones, and readers… but I will only peek inside my feeds once a week, if I do.

I know you’ll understand, one more time : )

Love,

Verónica

Afternoon at a café

Super cold outside and Yann and I find ourselves in a warm café.

I let him choose our table and order all that he wants.

I surrender and don’t try to control everything.

I don’t freak out because I fear he is ordering too much.

I don’t beg him to be less loud (he is VERY loud).

He is really pleased.

I am really pleased.

We chat about details in the room.

We dance at the music of the radio station.

We overhear other tables’ conversations.

I am there.

He is there, all the time, always.

We slowly finish our order and then he watches a couple of Disney videos in my phone and I take notes. Paper napkin notes are the best, right?

And, almost without noticing, it is time to leave, our in-between free hour has passed.

I wasn’t expecting anything from that afternoon.

I didn’t want an exact outcome to occur.

And that is why it was so pleasant.