Something Instead of Whining

Something Instead of Whining

When the inspiration strikes to write at the moment, all I want to do is whine. About how tired I am, all the time. About needing to pee from about 5 minutes into my 1 hour plus commute, every day, twice a day. About how GG always claims he needs to pee 2 minutes after I put him to bed. And how hard getting him dressed and undressed is when I can barely touch my toes and he thinks running away in the middle is hilarious. About stomach viruses at 9 months pregnant…

But I don’t want to write that post. This is not a whiny blog.

Instead, I’m gonna force myself to write about the things I’m grateful for right now. Because really, life is fucking sweet.

We just moved into a beautiful new home. Yes, we have a massive mortgage to pay off, but most people don’t have access to that sort of loan, so I’m truly grateful for it. And for the supportive family that helped us get here.

And that squirmy toddler I mentioned? In between the bahhhh moments he is the light of my life. Hilarious and cuddly and  unbelievably smart. And obsessed with Goldilocks, but that’s a story for another time.

And that kid’s father, he deserves the lion’s share of my gratitude. He cooks and he cleans, mainly while I lie on the couch doing pelvic floor exercises and practicing Hypnobirthing breathing. He takes care of all our paperwork coz dealing with bureaucracy over here is hard for me. It’s a pain in the ass for him too but he does it anyway. He listens when I whine about how he doesn’t communicate properly with me and tries so hard to rectify it that his emoticon text message replies warm my hormone-riddled heart. And somehow he fits in a full-time job and a side job, too. He’s the best father I could ever want for my kids, and I’ve got a feeling he hasn’t even warmed up yet.

Ok enough mush.

I’m grateful for the breeze blowing through the door as I write this, a gentle reminder that the humidity of the Middle Eastern summer has finally broken. I’m grateful for the Internet and all the information, entertainment and connection it brings daily. I’m grateful for my girlfriends, old and new. I’m grateful for fresh fruit and vegetables, and for dark chocolate. I’m grateful to have a voice and the power of expression. To share the shit going through my head and connect with other people as a result.

Thank you.

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A Letter to My Body

A Letter to My Body

Dear body,

I guess we haven’t always had the perfect relationship, maybe we never will. But I want you to know – I think you’re pretty awesome. This is a love letter.

Thank you for understanding when you weren’t my top priority and soldiering on regardless. I know I haven’t always treated you as best as I could, and yet you’ve held up pretty damn well. Thank you for being so forgiving.

Thank you for functioning on so little sleep. I know all those late nights I kept you up partying and chatting and breastfeeding can’t have been easy on you. They were important to me and oh so fun but I’m getting it now – we’ve gotta sleep. I’m on it, promise.

Thank you for sensual pleasures. Hugs, chocolate, orgasms and massages would be nothing without you.

You have many admirable functions, but lately my highest honor goes to the reproductive system. That is some seriously amazing work you do there. Thank you for growing our beautiful son, seemingly out of nowhere, and for birthing him so gracefully. Kudos too on bouncing back after our recent hard times. I can’t wait to see what wonders you have in store for us in that department.

Also – nice tits. Seriously. I knew we had a nice rack before but the last two years of breastfeeding have made me understand the true beauty of boobies. Not every woman has the smooth run we’ve had (no pun intended) – I don’t take it for granted.

Thank you for coming to yoga classes with me all these years, twisting and jumping and stretching and balancing. The practice we’ve built through all our extremes – big, smaller, fit, not-so-much, tired, energized and everything in between – is a testament to what we can do when we work together.

Which brings me to breathing. Thank you for inhaling and exhaling, no matter what. Even when I was convinced as a kid that I didn’t breathe. Even when I made it hard for you by smoking for all those years. On top of the oxygen and whatnot, this constant flow is a source of awakening for me. Always there, always available to bring me back to the present moment.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to find the point where I end and you begin. It’s a fuzzy line, I know. Often I forget it exists altogether, and I get myself all confused thinking that I’m you or that you’re me. And so instead of appreciating how I would be nothing without you, I get bummed out about stretch marks and a few extra kilos and some bags under my eyes. I promise to work on that, for all of the reasons above.

You rock. I love you.

Elana xoxo

My 2-Year-Old is Teaching Me to Read

My 2-Year-Old is Teaching Me to Read

Every step along the way of this lovely journey of motherhood, GG has been my little guide. Teaching me to push past the hang ups I’ve spent three decades accumulating and find my best self. This week’s course: reading aloud in my second language, Hebrew.

Two years ago when he was born, my Hebrew was already decent. I could hold a conversation on basically anything, translate formal documents and watch full-length movies with ease. But reading aloud was always a struggle. There’s something about the process that just irks me – always has, since my first days of learning Hebrew as a kid. I hate feeling stupid – I guess everyone does – but sounding stupid is just so much worse. Even in university I would do everything possible to get out of reading aloud.

No such luck with a kid – especially one that loves books as much as this one. I tried for a while – “no, Mama doesn’t read in Hebrew,” “how about a book from the left-hand side of the shelf,” “ooo let’s read One Woolly Wombat!” … but he’s too smart for that crap. He knows what he wants and he wants it now. He’d give me this crushing are-you-kidding-me-I-heard-you-speaking-Hebrew-a-mile-a-minute-like-an-hour-ago-pick-up-the-book-woman look and eventually I realized, the game is up – time to get over this insecurity.

So the last few months I’ve just been going for it. Taking it slow when I need to, laughing at myself (usually I have company on that one – thanks boys!), and putting my ego aside enough to ask my husband to translate words I don’t know. At first I would only agree to read Hebrew books that I’d heard read a few times before, but lately even that is changing. I bought GG a new book the other day (it’s about a 3-year-old tractor who makes a funny noise when he “walks” – super cute) – and have read it to him dozens of times now without any help. And he loves it.

The knowledge that in GG’s eyes I am almost certainly not a stupid immigrant with a weird Australian accent has been the perfect catalyst to further develop my Hebrew – and hopefully save him some embarrassment down the line when his view of my perfection inevitably changes shape. Until then, I’m thankful for my little guru and these unexpected pockets of learning, these situations that shine a light on the things about myself that I can actually change – just by putting my ego aside and being with my kid.

Laughing with me or laughing at me?

 

A Gratitude Challenge to Start the New Year

A Gratitude Challenge to Start the New Year

I’ve been filled with gratitude lately, and meaning to write a list on the topic. I just stumbled across this blogger challenge, a callout for writers to take 10 minutes, write a stream of consciousness-style list of things for which they’re thankful, and share the link here. Perfect! I’ve copied the instructions at the bottom of the post for anyone who wants to hop on board.

Starting the timer, aaaand…

1. The Internet.

From moving countries to losing pregnancies to making healthy food for my family, the support options available on the web make my life better daily. 

2. Cheese

3. Modern medicine

4. Buddhist practices

5. Ancient wisdom

6. Psychotherapy

7. Bikes

8. Sunshine

Lucky I live in the Middle East! 

9. Writing. In all its glorious forms.

10. Dark chocolate

11. Yoga

12. Technology.

13. Trees.

For their beauty and their oxygen-producing qualities and the leaves they provide that give GG so much joy. 

14. Rainy days. For forcing us to stop every now and again.

15. People who get it.

That moment when someone understands what I’ve been trying to articulate for days or weeks or months or years is truly priceless. 

16. The breath.

Always there, always available to ground me back into the moment. 

17. My Kindle.

I really should start celebrating our anniversary. Coming up on four years now – best present ever. Thanks Nanna!

18. Cameras.

I don’t even want to imagine having a kid in daycare and not getting whatsapp photo updates daily. 

20. Trashy TV

21. Good TV

22. Star Wars.

Deep and entertaining and funny all in one go. Also, sometimes GG sounds like Chewbacca. 

23. Music

24. Airplane mode

24. Nuts.

Without them I would eat far too much of number 2 and number 10. 

25. Weekends

26. Pizza night (Thursdays at our place).

If you don’t already have one I highly recommend instituting it. Especially if you happen to have a husband who can cook. 

27. Meditation in motion.

My practice is patchy these days but all of the moments of mindfulness in my day-to-day life seem drawn to each other like magnets, making a strong basis of consciousness to ground my life. 

26. And of course, these guys.

My lovely little family. My everything. 

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GG’s 1st Birthday, Feb 2015

What are you grateful for?

If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list (the timer doesn’t matter for filling in the instructions, intro, etc). The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s ok. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! When I finished my list, I took a few extra minutes to add links and photos.

To join us for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours) 2) Add your post to the InLinkz list. Please note: the InLinkz will expire on January 15, 2015. After that date, no blogs can be added.

Please note that only blog posts that include a list of 50 (or an attempt to write 50) things that made you feel Happy or 50 things that you are Grateful for, will be included. Please don’t add a link to a post that isn’t part of this exercise; I will remove it. Aside from that one caveat, there is no such thing as too much positivity. Share your happy thoughts, your gratitude; help us flood the blogosphere with both!