As the stark white stucco ceiling stares down at me this morning, I feel somehow changed.
The kids giggle vigorously in the rooms adjacent to mine as notes of “mama” drifts about. Husband sleeps soundly next to me, his lips are parted in the most tranquil kind of way. He takes even breaths in and out, in and out.
Beautiful is the word I want to use to describe this moment. Beautiful and ending.
Soon the children will barge into the bedroom asking for cereal and bananas. Soon the crisp morning air will turn into a clammy heat. And soon I will be thrust back into the fast-paced life of parenthood. But for now, I will take in this moment to lay here and reflect. I won’t worry about the day to come, I will be mindful of this lovely moment in time that I’ve been given.
Recently I’ve carried myself in a very unflattering way, I wholeheartedly admit this. I have been on this health kick. I’m eating properly, no longer fueling my body with processed junk. I’ve quit smoking. I’ve thrown away my scale because I choose not to have my emotions run rampant over a number. I’ve been making positive changes physically, but somehow have neglected to look inward to the places that sometimes need the most care.
In the last few weeks, I look at myself and see these positive changes and it makes me ecstatic. Yet now as I lay here in my bed reflecting back upon myself, I cringe at the way I have treated the people I love.
Boasting of my superiority over not obsessing with scales and weight. Arrogantly spitting swagger about how much I love my ‘new self.’ I have gone as far as saying some truly ignorant and downright mean things to someone I love dearly. Possibly hurting them irreversibly only to feed my need for attention and drama.
And it makes me wonder: is it possible to love yourself too much? Possibly I’ve hyper-inflated my ego just enough to tarnish the sanctity of the soul. Confidence has never been a thing I’ve had in bushels so perchance this newfound self-assurance is just a delusion I’ve made myself believe through repetition and recurrence.
In any case, I can see the ugliness of self-absorption submerging through this seemingly healthy body. And I don’t like it.
The kids have now made their way to the bedroom. They cuddle in between Jamie and I, and are surprisingly quiet as I am overcome with a gratifying air in the room. These moments of clarification usually come at the least expected times. They come without warning. They come bearing hard truths that we do not want to face. They come to explain all the things we desperately seek but previously did not have the courage to except.
I am thankful to have had this moment. It will help me become the person I want to be. Because I want to be humble and reserved, and know when to express my feelings in my work rather than being aggressive toward those around me. I want to know when to ignore the remarks of others.
How to let go of negativity and not dwell on moments of the past. I want to be accountable for my actions. I want to be better.
“Mama, can you get us some cereal?” Lars asks me, stopping the tears of revelation that are welling up in my eyes.
“And a ’nana!?” Sophie adds in with anticipation.
“Yeah guys, let’s go get some breakfast,” I say as the three of us quietly hobble out of the bed.
I will continue on this journey of healthy living, because in truth it does make me feel great and there is no crime in that.
But I will also begin thinking of the inner health of my mind and soul — knowing these entities are just as important as the body.
This life may not be a perfect one, but it is ours. By making these positive changes, I will be trailblazing a path of mindfulness and good for my children to follow in. And that idea fills me with a happiness that in unexplainable.
And I will start by happily pouring a bowl of cereal and ’nanas for my two beautiful children.
Lindsay Brown is a Sylvan Lake mother of two and freelance columnist.