I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me, wondering how my son is doing. And the answer is fine. Kids are so resilient. They live as best they can in the present moment. What may have been the hardest weekend of my life, and his, is in the past, behind and forgotten. We rolled right through the past few weeks. Things went back to normal, and normal for me is incessant movement. At home, cleanliness is a constant battle. Three little kids means choosing between laundry, dishes or putting the mess away. Three little kids and managing a yoga studio and teaching 13 yoga classes a week means that something is always never done.
Maybe it was the time lost while we were in the hospital, or the time I spent at work, but my house is full of piles- piles of toys, dishes, empty amazon boxes (birthday parties right around the corner), and laundry. Once we returned to “normal,” I took it upon myself to start cleaning, like really cleaning, not just vacuuming around the piles. Whatever the reason, a week ago I became possessed with putting everything in its place. A friend even told me to do less. She said that the world was going to stop me and make me slow down, whether I like it or not. She told me not to get sick, as us mothers often do when we do too much. I decided that I would rest when I was dead.
And then I was in my son’s room, cleaning the piles around the edges, and noticed a book that had fallen on the other side of his bed. I leaned across the bed, my knees resting on the soft mattress, I could almost reach it. And the mattress slipped. My knee buckled. I felt my knee cap slide down toward my shin. I saw bright light, felt stabbing pain. This was a week ago.
For one week now, I haven’t been able to do a regular yoga practice. I can barely deal with walking through the studio to teach all of my classes. I most definitely cannot carry a laundry basket, or run up and down my stairs. Bending over to put dishes in the dishwasher hurts. I have been forced to slow down. The powers that be, karma, whatever you want to call it, have very effectively slowed me down. And I have very stubbornly learned nothing from it yet.
But I am trying to. Every step that I cannot rush through is a lesson. Every staircase that I have to take one step at a time, I’m finding a way to breathe and slow down. It’s something I’ve been working on forever. Instead of flitting through the house, cleaning everything. I have to sit still and hold them. We’ve read more books during these past 7 days that we have in months. I’m trying to use my stillness at home to connect with my kids, just like we are supposed to use breath and stillness to connect with ourselves in yoga.
I guess this blog is a plea. If you see me, tell me that it is ok to do less. In fact, next time you see a mom that looks like she has about 300 too many things on her plate, hug her and tell her it is ok to let the laundry wait. The kids are alright. The dishes will get cleaned. The piles will eventually declutter, one slow step at a time. Tell yourself it is okay to take things slowly. Next time you feel like life has gotten away from you. Next time you start rushing after your goals, quick to leap out of the present moment. Be warned. Sometimes, life has a way of making you stay in one spot. Wouldn’t it be better to choose to sit down than to have something else choose for you? And the beauty of it is, if you give yourself a break, you can start giving your loved ones a break. And maybe we can all give ourselves permission to slow down.