Alternative energy

By kateandcarla

April 22, 2011

Category: Uncategorized

5 Comments »

Photo: Lily-Padily, doing it herself.

Earlier this year, I decided that my coffee addiction– cultivated in college, though the very first seeds were most certainly planted early on by my equally-enamored parents–was out of control. I hated feeling as if I needed that first cup in order to function during the day, and so I quit–forever, I assumed–and set out to find another boost.

Initially, I imagined that finding a substitute would be easy. But green tea?  Not quite.

Before-the-sun runs? No thanks.

Morning meditation? The truth is, I’d really rather sleep.

After a fair amount of soul-searching and reflection on the much-less-tired times in my life, I realized that it wasn’t the java-jolt that I was after. Although I’d spent the last couple of years wishing that things would slow down for just a few minutes, I finally had the not-so-demanding (and totally family-focused) schedule that I’d wanted so badly– and I was completely, inexplicably exhausted.  I missed the real energy that came from the challenging-yet-fulfilling teaching job I’d had in Colorado, and the incredible students and colleagues I used to spend my days with, and the informative and affirmative graduate classes that forced me to question everything. But most of all? I missed my friends, and my family, and feeling like I was part of a really amazing real-time network of people who were making things happen. And without those relationships– and without those opportunities to interact with people and ideas outside of my (wonderful!) little family on a daily basis–I felt totally tapped out.

These days, after my epiphany and months of eschewing caffeine, I guess I’ve fallen off of the wagon; I’ve definitely rediscovered coffee, and I enjoy—heartily–my mug of half-caf every morning. But Lily’s first birthday—and thesassy-pants, I’ll do it myself attitude that made an appearance at her party and has yet to leave—has really forced me to think about this next chapter in my own life. Because although Lily obviously still needs me, she needs me differently now—and I need to make sure that I have the energy to be the engaged, enthusiastic, and inspired resource-of-a-mom that I want her to have.

I’m not, however, entirely sure where to start—and so I’m relying, once again, on my amazing network of family and friends for a little inspiration:

What gives you energy? What keeps you going? And what fills up your tank when it feels  reeeeal empty?

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5 Responses to “Alternative energy”

  1. Truth be told, I’m waiting breathlessly to see what everyone else comes up with ’cause I would sure like a good idea or two for myself!

  2. I feel ya! Some days I think my brain will never get back to it’s pre-mommy level of functioning, with or without coffee. And trying to figure out where to go from here is a big question on my mind as well.

    • While I wouldn’t trade staying home with Lily for anything, this little new-mom-identity-crisis has really thrown me for a loop. You look so at ease, and you seem to be so good about getting Elise out into the world and letting her explore. Good work :).
      Keep me posted, ok? I’d love to hear about what’s next for you. Are you guys going to be in Abu Dhabi for the long haul, or do you have plans to return to CO soon?

  3. For me, it’s having a plan for the day (big surprise). I think about the days that Zavier and I are off school – especially during the summer – when it would be real easy to be real lazy. My natural sleep schedule does NOT match my son’s, but if I force myself to get up and take a shower right away, and have some plan of what we’re going to get into that morning, I feel much more motivated. As you take Lily out in the world more and more to places like the zoo, museums, splash parks and play dates, you’ll find that arriving when things first open makes life a whole lot easier and less hectic. We usually don’t plan our afternoons, and always leave a day or two during the week to chill at home or explore whatever comes to mind, having some idea of our first adventure of the day helps this “not a morning person” mom motivate ALMOST as early as my child 🙂

    • Heather, that’s really good advice. I had no idea that you weren’t a morning person (although your love for Starbucks should have tipped me off, huh? :))That up-and-in-the-shower thing makes all the difference; I’m finding that not getting up and ready because I’m not going to do/see anything/anyone important makes me feel pretty crummy after a couple of days. Zavier is so lucky to have a mom like you!

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