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  • Writer's pictureElana

Self Talk

Those of you who are friends with Navin on social media know that he is in Cuba right now with some friends. I am not. I am home with Ari (and Mitzi) trying to manage everything on my own.

So far I’ve done really well. I inconveniently have a ton on my plate right now but have been on fire crossing things off of my ‘to do’ list and getting stuff done. I’ve been gardening. I’ve been mosaicking. I’ve been sewing. I’ve been crafting. I’ve been planning. I have been so busy I have not watched more than an hour of TV all week. And just when I felt like I was really on a roll, a day like today punched me in the face.

One of the mosaics I completed this week: a memorial garden stone for Birdie

After a jam packed day yesterday, I stayed up a tinge later than usual trying to plan for a public art proposal and instead of feeling refreshed for a new day this morning, I woke up feeling depleted. From the minute he woke up, Ari was asking for his Dada and looking all over the house for him, whining the whole time. Not only does this little boy miss his Dada, but he’s teething (molars!) and has been struggling a bit with sleep as he’s starting to transition from 2 naps to only 1 nap each day. He went to his Baba & Papa’s house for his morning nap (because we’re clinging onto those 2 naps as long as we can!) so that I could go to a yoga class and run some quick errands.

When I got to the gym, I realized I forgot my wallet, making it difficult to run those errands (not to mention illegal to drive). Already feeling worn out and overwhelmed, I sat in the yoga studio silently chanting a mantra I had just made up for myself: “I can do this. I have been doing this. I am doing this.”

This is big for me because one of the things I have struggled with through my depressive phases is really negative self-talk. In that big dip after my surgery, and the dip I went through when Ari was little, I would say horrible things to myself. I would never speak to anyone else the way that I spoke to myself. But today, when I felt depleted and needed a boost, instead of kicking myself when I was down, I was able to be my own cheerleader.

I have been reading a really helpful book called “Buddhism for Mothers”, sent to me by a Jewish friend. I am not Buddhist, but I agree with almost everything in this book. Especially this: “Your worst enemy can not harm you as much as your own mind, unguarded. But once mastered, no one can help you as much.” I’m working on mastering my mind, but today was a big step in the right direction.

We were supposed to go to the farmer’s market with a friend today who had to cancel because of a sick kiddo, and while I was disappointed I was also relieved. I didn’t know how I would squeeze everything in today. I can’t just pop out while Ari is napping and Navin is on a conference call downstairs. I can’t save everything until after bedtime and leave the house at night. So the extra hour where we would have been having fun went towards doing groceries. I was already feeling so wiped that, after refusing lunch, when Ari reached out and took a bite of a nectarine right off the shelf, I was like… “sure, why not… go ahead”.

Earlier I had the bright idea that I would order and put together a toy kitchen for Ari this week. I can’t manage anything in the kitchen while he’s bouncing around the room, climbing everything in sight and I thought a toy kitchen of his own might keep him busy. So after unloading groceries, I unloaded every piece from the box to get to the instruction manual (because I made the rookie mistake of opening the box upside down) and I saw this picture:

That’s me on the left, alone and confused as to how to do this

Giving up on that idea, I looked at the clock and noticed it was afternoon nap time. After some kicking and screaming (not by me) I managed to get Ari to go peacefully to bed. Because I can do it. I have been doing it. I am doing it.

Right now I am supposed to be outside finishing up some gardening, but instead I am lying in bed with a laptop, writing this blog post. Because I want to remember this. I want to look back sometime when I’m feeling like I’m failing or facing the impossible and remind myself of this lesson.

I am trying to manage everything on my own this week… but thank goodness I am not on my own. I have the best family who have offered to feed us dinners or take Ari so I could try to take care of myself or run some errands. I am so grateful for them, and for living so close to them. I am doing it, with a little help from the people I love.

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