I’m terrible at mornings. Especially noisy, chaotic mornings, and as a mother of three that pretty much means all mornings.  I wake up slightly anxious. I don’t spring out of bed like some people, already victorious simply because they’re alive. Waking up for me is like being spit out of a twister and landing in Oz, only my Oz is populated by three munchkins singing out a cacophony of thoughts,  expectations and requests, and the yellow brick road is scattered with clothing, toys, dirty dishes, and unpaid bills

On this morning, I’m hiding in the bedroom, hunched over the laptop. The blankets are a mess of royal purples and I think to myself, “I should make the bed.” But I don’t. Sunlight filters through the nikau, yucca, and palms, and fills the room.  I’m mesmerized by the green wealth of it all, this home of mine, and then I immediately think of the things that need to be done. My need to maintain the world competes with my desire to rest in a patch of light and listen to the birds. Outside the bedroom door, music blares and the thump thump of activity moves through the house. Elvis Presley sings “I’m all shook up” while the children and cousins yell directives at one another.

Halfway through composing my first sentence, Dan comes into the bedroom wielding a muscle relaxer thingy and says, “Here, you should wear this while you write!” I scowl and then exhale. He’s just trying to be helpful. “Okay,” I say, summoning enthusiasm. He unravels wires and sticks pads on my shoulder muscles. There is a tingly zap. I become convinced that instead of relaxing my muscles, the machine is scrambling my brain. “Thanks, babe,” I smile. Dan leaves. There is a crash outside the door. Sol yells at his sister. I take a deep breath and return to the page, fighting the anxiety that I’m hiding in the bedroom and writing.

Stranglehold pic

Here is the thing I’m realizing in this journey: I’m the only barrier between myself and receiving the things I need. The quiet in the morning, the routine I need to transition through my days? They are mine for the taking. The problem is not so much the messy house, the noise, the early morning brain fog, it is the mean, hissing little voice that whispers:
You should be able to…
You shouldn’t have to need so much…
You need to be more…
You need to be less…

For this New Year, I want to commit to turning those fearful and mean whispers into the background noise of children and birdsong. I want to rest in the warm sun on my messy bed because I’m all that I need to be. I’m all that I should be. I am enough.

What would you like to embrace in this New Year?

Photo Credit: Creative Commons License Strangle Hold by Randy Robertson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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