To sprog or not to sprog

December 14, 2012 § 1 Comment

When a childless woman reaches a certain age, her family and friends (particularly those that have begun to bear their own brood) begin a repetitive stream of, if you’re lucky only occasional, questioning. The topic of questioning, I hear you ask? Is the, so far, childless woman planning to remedy her current lack of offspring any time soon? Said childless woman will hear reminders that she’d better not delay too long, that her clock is ticking, and that nothing compares to the joy and wonder of having a child.

I am a woman that has reached a certain age, officially and contentedly sitting just on the other side of thirty, and the mutterings in my own ear are gradually growing louder. There was a time when “is there a man in your life?” was of everyone’s concern. Now there is a man, and the line of questioning has morphed into something I seem to have little comeback for. Let me explain. Although some say my time is dwindling (and I am not a fool – I know, biologically, I have an end to my optional years), however I also know that  have many a good child-bearing year ahead of me. Should I choose to go down that route, of course. I recognise that the older I get the more tests I will have to be put through during pregnancy, and that with certain things my age increases risks, but nowadays one hears of just as many complications with younger women caused by other factors that previously did not offer problems. Additionally, there are first world countries where the average age for first-time pregnancy is in the early thirties.

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I am not a white-picket-fence kind of a girl, never have been. My romantic ideals have always been a bit off-side in terms of what is traditional. I did not set out to get married, would find it impossible to truly “settle down”, and have never felt decisive about having kids. I am someone who enjoys living her life as she wants to, and making the most of the crazy adventure that our time on this planet is. (I am fortunate that I have merged paths with someone who shares my views and lifestyle choices.) So, never especially opposed to the idea, I have always expected that if any wee sprogs did come along, they would arrive by the oopsy-daisy method of conception. The reality is that I have so many personal interests and pursuits that it is unlikely I will ever reach that day in my life when I say “right, now’s the time to start a family.”

Just to be clear, in no way am I saying I don’t want little people. I’m very much on the fence with this one as I can appreciate the pros and cons to both options. On the one hand, I am told that to have a child is an experience like no other, one that can’t be missed out on. I agree. I believe children are the greatest privilege one can have. I also recognise that they are the greatest responsibility, one I believe should be taken so seriously it hurts, and therein lies the rub. Having recently had the privilege of hanging out with my 6 week old nephew, I can absolutely see the draw towards being the sole nurturer of a shoe sized human being, better yet, the fruit of your own loins. I have also seen the many ways that parenting changes people for the better.

I also see the flip-side of that coin. Having never had the experience of my own child, I do not feel I am missing out – I’ve never ad it, therefore can’t miss it. I do, however, look at the parents of young ones and at the bags under their eyes from lack of sleep, and I notice their inability to talk about anything other than the tiny creatures taking over their lives, and I see the endless stream of chores, lack of funds, and complete absence of “me” time. I watch these mature, full-grown adults tear their hair out as they try to get through the (seemingly endless) boundary-pushing phase, and observe the self-neglect increase.

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Then I go home to my quiet, ordered household, one in which I can sleep when and how much I want, where I can fill my hours with things I want to do, where I have every right to behave completely and indulgently selfishly, and I am pleased with the status quo. As I make whimsical plans to pack up and go traveling with my partner, work odd hours doing jobs that don’t pay much but pay enough for my simple lifestyle and make me happy, and work towards a degree because “it’s never too late”, I am content.

But then, every now and again, somewhere from the deep dark of my insides, I feel a yearning, a pull so primal it overwhelms me. In those intimate, quiet moments with the love of my life – the person I truly hope is my forever man – I feel a curiosity grip my subconscious asking “I wonder what our babies would like? I wonder what we’d be like as parents?” I cannot deny that the more I step forward into that certain age bracket, the more I find myself questioning whether children might just be the very thing that will finally give me the supreme purpose I have spent the greater part of my life searching for. I guess, as the old adage goes, only time will tell – but not too much time, after all, tick-tock.

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How to take your Yoga off your mat

November 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

The lessons we learn on our yoga mats are far more than a routine set of physical postures and breathing techniques. These lessons teach us: about ourselves, how to treat ourselves, how to respond in new ways to that which confronts us, and how to be more present. In effect, these lessons teach us how to live our lives. All that we learn on the mat in yoga class can be infiltrated into every corner of our lives, thereby opening ourselves up to increased health and happiness on a day-to-day basis.

Here are a few ways to live your yoga off your mat:

  • Embrace self-acceptance
  • Just be – observe the beauty in all things
  • Stop struggling and practice acceptance – accept each moment as it is
  • Keep moving through it and remember it will pass
  • Wherever you go offer the gift of a smile, compliment, or encouraging word
  • Accept everything you receive with gratitude
  • Where possible be of service to others…
  • …but not at a disservice to yourself
  • Express your unique talents and share them with others
  • Practice responsible decision making, contemplating (and owning) the consequences of your choices
  • Eat consciously
  • Enjoy every moment that life has to offer (and let go of the outcome)
  • Let go of the need to control – become content with uncertainty, be open to possibilities, and cultivate curiosity
  • Be realistic about the time you have available and rather do less with more zest
  • Know that you’re allowed to say “no” – look after yourself first
  • Practice patience with yourself and others
  • Practice love and kindness to yourself and others
  • Say it with love
  • If you need it, ask for help
  • When you’re struggling to balance, put one foot down
  • Practice courage
  • Remember to breathe

You do not hear me

August 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have my say

I get it out

You do not hear me

I air my piece

I spell out clear

You do not hear me

I share what I feel

I loose my thoughts

You do not hear me

I voice my heart

I cry out loud

You do not hear me

I stamp my feet

I rattle my cage

You do not hear me

I throw my toys

I bang my gong

You do not hear me

I clash and break

I smack and kick

You do not hear me

I smash my fists

I bleed and shout

You do not hear me

I shriek and yell

I crash and burn

And you still don’t hear me

 

Making Time

August 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

We live in a society where time is transformed into a very tangible, living thing – we can “borrow time”, “steal time”, “lose time”, and even “save time”. If we are able to in fact manipulate time in all these many and varied ways, we must also be able to, indeed, “make time.”

I am currently discovering how to “make time” in my own life for the things that are important to me. This is a learning process or, rather, an “unlearning” of the examples that were set for me by my parents, my teachers, my colleagues, and the very society I live in. I have been taught inadvertently that those very things that fill me up should be placed last on my “to-do” list, with responsibilities and attending to the needs of others listed as priorities. Is it any wonder, then, that I frequently find myself feeling unsatisfied and, what I like to call, “soul tired”?

The reality is, the items at the end of the “to-do” list seldom get ticked off. My solution: I am playing around with the order of my daily “to-dos”, placing some of the activities that leave me feeling great (physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually) at the start of the day – this way, not only do I have the satisfaction of getting them done (at last), but I have the added bonus of feeling fulfilled from the get go.

Something else I’ve started is setting a metaphorical timer on my list items of so-called responsibility ensuring I don’t reach the end of my day only to find that these tasks have swallowed up my time and my energy.

I am enjoying uncovering the malleability of time, learning to sculpt my days into shapes that best honour my personal needs, allowing me to “make time” for that which fuels and recharges me, and therefore leaves me better able to help those around me, and find success in my responsibilities.

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