melby is down for a nap, so i just started doing all the things.
my house is a literal disaster zone. there are dishes in the sink and on every table. the kitchen floor is filthy. there are unpacked bags by the door, clean laundry on the dining room table, dirty laundry everywhere; seemingly every item from the bathroom cabinets is lying out on some surface, and tumbleweeds of cat hair are rolling across the floors.
i felt overwhelmed by it all. i felt like this is all i ever do. i make food and clean and make food and clean and snug on and nurse the baby and put her to sleep in between and that is all. the days just keep passing by.
i don't mind it usually. in fact, sometimes it feels downright blissful. to just be with my girl and take care of the small immediate world around her.
but today it made me feel sick. i am tired of cleaning up, but too anxious to leave it.
i think the problem lies in my belief that life exists after all the things have been done. that once i have sorted and cleaned and fed and laundered the space around me, that then i can begin living.
but that is living.
i'm not saying that's all. i'm not saying that that's all there is to life, but rather, that the life i live exists between waking and sleep. whether i choose to do something new and wild and daring or whether i do the same millions of chores over and over, that is it. that's my life.
i have got to quit this constant waiting for the next thing, as if that's when it will all really begin.
i've literally even written these words a thousand times. and every time, i'm surprised. this is my life. it is now.
for a moment, i felt frustrated by that life, so i made a choice to stop the things that frustrated me and take a moment to draw a picture and write these words. i have agency in my own life. i can clean or not clean. i can draw or not draw. i can move or not move. i am the contractor. i put the pieces together. i am in charge.
what do i want it to look like? how do i want to feel about it?
i can do the damn dishes with joy and i could also take a carribean vacation with stress and anxiety. one situation seems naturally more appealing than the other; one is ostensibly much more of a beautiful moment than the other, but in fact it's not. what makes those moments anything at all is the energy i infuse them with. i want a life full of positive, grateful, present energy.
it doesn't mean i have to love cleaning, but it means, if i am a person, who chooses to clean super regularly, then i better darn well find a way to make it enjoyable, if i don't want my life to be shit. enjoy the cleaning. when i fail to enjoy the cleaning, stop and draw a picture. enjoy drawing the picture. when i fail to enjoy drawing the picture, do something else for goodness sake.
i don't mean follow your every stupid whim and neglect responsibility. i just mean, beth loster, this is your life. make it what you want. choose what you want. love what you do. be in charge. stop waiting. live big.
dance like no one's watching. love like you've never been hurt.
(kidding on that last part...)
i just don't want to be a miserable shit head my whole life. i don't want to miss it. i don't want to be grass is always greener. i don't want to not love this small, beautiful space i've crafted for myself.
because, as i come back to again and again and again, now i am a small person's teacher. she will learn what i show her, not what i tell her. i can say the words over and over, but unless she sees it in action, she will never believe and live it herself.
every night, i remind myself. i practice. melby wakes up, crying for snuggles and boobs. i feed her. and instead of putting her back down immediately, rushing onto the next thing, desperate for sleep, i take a moment and sink back in our fluffy chair, letting my body relax entirely, and feel her sleepy breaths on my shoulder.
this is it, i tell myself. this is it.
this is my life. i am going to let it be good.