May 31, 2011

The Unwritten Path

Wife, mother, friend, writer, knitter, gardener. These are all ways I describe myself, ways that other people might describe me. And they are true, of course they are. But there are so many variations of that truth, so many adjectives that can be used to modify and describe those nouns.

The one adjective that has fit most precisely in front of all of those nouns recently is unhappy. Wait, let me edit that - discontented.

For a while now, I've felt my unhappiness discontent physically, or to be more accurate I've been unhappy discontented with my physicality. I was sluggish, tired, stiff, achy, slow, and soft. I couldn't keep up with my son or my husband. Last summer, I was pregnant; it was a great excuse to not keep up with an active three-year-old boy, to laze on the couch while he played trains, to rest in the shade while he rode his bike. "Mommy can't." became my most often uttered phrase.

Then I had an unwanted but medically necessary c-section. I was "in recovery." I was sleep deprived. I was often hampered by the infant in my arms, or strapped to my chest. I loved when she fell asleep in my lap not just for the sheer joy of holding a sleeping baby, but because it meant I didn't have to do anything but sit and rock.

These were also great excuses to not turn any of my self-designated labels into verbs. I've described myself as a writer and editor for over a decade, but it has been at least three years since I've written or edited for any reason other than fun. (Yes, fun!) This is yet another year I've failed to mulch or weed my garden. Our household budget is a disaster. My stash of planned and unstarted knitting projects fills two Rubbermaid bins, which are now in the attic because they've languished so long.

But now my post-partum fog has lifted. The person I see is not the person I want to be. Wife, mother, friend, writer, knitter, gardener...those are hard and fast nouns that will always define me. But the adjectives I see now - lazy, fat, tired, slow, neglectful, angry, impatient - are ones I'd like to see left behind.

The path ahead is still unwritten, and it is up to me to choose the words.


  1. I'll be a new (old) reader!!

  2. I didn't know you blogged. I'm adding you to my Reader so I won't miss posts.

    Gosh, do I remember those days well. I had three kids under two and a half and then went through a complicated hysterectomy and long recovery when they were 1, 2 and 3. About a year later the fog lifted and I didn't recognize myself.

    You'll find your way back - it's part of the stage of life your in and once you see it, it usually means your already on your way.


  3. Picking you up on my RSS reader too!

    When I think of you I think HARDCORE-- scaled the knitting learning curve faster than anyone I've ever known, super-informed and conscientious mom, and didn't I read that you started Crossfit? omg! Best wishes for reconnecting and feeling the energy again soon... partly because I'm looking forward to seeing what you get up to. :)

  4. Thanks, all! The fog is already time is about 4 weeks behind real time ;-) Mostly because I haven't had much COMPUTER time!

    Nicole, I haven't blogged in over two years (last blog was, hence the "blogging again" comment. :)

    Holly, I don't FEEL hardcore...but I guess if the motivation is there, I can look that way. I did one CrossFit class. Totally loved it (if not the soreness 2 days later), but can't afford it right now.

  5. Karen - you are SO NOT ALONE!!! OMG - My postpartum fog is lifting but my "baby" is 4 1/2 years old now. LOL Don't expect to get back to how/who you were before, either... you'll have a new normal you - someone who has all the potential of the whole future! You don't have to go back... you get to go forward and YOU get to choose who you will become. Exciting stuff! I'm glad to get to know you and honored to be invited to witness your journey. :)