Sunday, 6 October 2013

Out with the old, in with the new

Reading: Desperation by Stephen King
Listening to: System of a Down "BYOB"
Outside: An autumn day that is best described as "crisp"

And so, I have discovered the most glorious of glories of rapidly-approaching parenthood (only eight weeks and four days to go!) is that delicate balance between making those sacrifices you see necessary, and maintaining the you that you have delightfully indulged all your life.

For me, my first sacrifice was coffee. Not out of choice. Bear in mind, I had already went through the Boot Camp Training of cutting down caffeine months before even trying for a baby, suffering through only one caffeinated coffee per day (first thing in the morning, of course, to get me started on the roller-coaster ride that was my daily life). I thought, yes, I'm doing this, yes, I can suffer through this. For a someday-child, I can drink decaf. I can drink decaf. I can drink decaf.

But then Morning Sickness (or as I like to call it, The Three-Month, 24-Hour-a-Day Severe Hangover from Hell) took care of all of that. "No!" the Hangover from Hell screeched at me like one of those Howlers in Harry Potter. "No! The smell will make you want to puke! You will NOT be drinking any hot drink, at all, especially coffee, until at least week 17!"

Next, I had to slow down. Oh yes. Bump gets bigger, and I discover that I can't (or at the very least, shouldn't) go for my Saturday-morning 3-mile jog anymore. I have to walk slower to the train station, to work, to the store, to the post office. I can no longer take steps two at a time. I begin to waddle like an old-age pensioner, arthritic and holding up the line. Oh yes. That is me. If you're in a hurry, don't get behind me. Hurrying no longer happens.

And then? You guessed it: Hello, non-alcoholic wine. Ironically, the thing I thought would be the hardest to give up for nine months (well, actually eight months - that first month I didn't even know and - oops! - that explains why I felt so room-spinningly numb and horrible at a relative's 60th Birthday party) turns out to be not that difficult. Sorelle makes a delicious sauvignon blanc-flavoured 0% wine that sparkles in my wine glass like days of old. All the flavor, without the headache and the sleepiness (and the guilt!).

Next, my writing took a backseat. Baby brain explained here.

And lately, the budget: I sold my new Ariat riding boots. To buy a sling baby carrier. I know, I know. I only bought the gorgeous pair four months ago. When I took them out of the box, they smelled like summers riding in a field, the smell of new tack, the creak of well-oiled leather and that delicious sheen of black horse's mane. Fly spray, dandelions, the one-two, three-four rhythm of an easy walk. They were the embodiment of every good childhood memory I ever had. But they sat up in their box on the top of the wardrobe, waiting to be used more than three or four times. And then I realized, I'd like to take my baby to the teeny-tiny local store someday hands-free. I can't do that easily with a pram. But I could with a baby carrier!

And I have practiced with Primrose, my stuffed animal pig, and taken her for a walk around my house in my brand new Ergobaby infant carrier-with-infant-insert. It worked a charm.

Not me, and my carrier isn't green, but you get the idea. Picture's from here.

The absolutely face-smeared-with-mud crazy thing is, I don't feel bad about giving up any of these things. In fact, I feel good. Perhaps it's because I know I can always go back to them later on - none of these things are permanent. But mostly I think it's because I have discovered that giving up these things - even for a little while - hasn't killed me. I have survived it. Change is the only constant in life. I can go for a run again someday. My brain will work again and I'll tap away at the next Great American/British Novel, working away while my muse in the corner (who, in my mind's eye, looks a lot like Gwyneth Paltrow) lazily smokes a cigarette. I will drink a well-chilled glass of Blossom Hill white zinfandel again, and I will appreciate it in a whole new way. Someday. But for now, a time for slowing down my previously stressed-out, power-walking, impatient life is a good thing. And it's for a good cause.

We: no longer just me.
Happy Sunday, all!

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