Monday, February 17, 2014

Replenishing - One step at a time


I went for a walk yesterday. Well, I walk everyday, sometimes twice a day. But what was different about yesterday was that I went for a walk with my thoughts. With solitude to keep me company. Without a baby in the sling. Without my husband at my side. Without anyone to chat with. When you’re a (new or otherwise) mother, every thought you have is wrapped around someone like a warm, fleece blanket. Around your baby because he needs you physically and emotionally. Around your husband because you want to catch up on that part (the long part) of the day that you’ve spent living in your own domains. Around those living under your roof because you want them to be happy.

When you’re a new mother, every minute of your time is for someone. Every task you do is for someone, for everyone. So, every scarce second that you draw out for your replenishment, is carved out guiltily and with great difficulty because there’s always something more important to be done. But yesterday, I just had to go. I had to lace up my pink-and-grey shoes, wrap a pashmina and head out for a gulp of solitude and peace.

I’ve been feeling stretched for the past many days. The demands of the days and the needs of those living under my roof have been drawing out my energy, emptying my poolwha eating up my sense of well-being. I had to do something soon, so I wouldn’t become that person who goes through the days on auto, functioning on an empty tank. I had to start my ‘replenishment program’. And a walk alone was one of the best ways to do so.

Before I became a mother, I went for long walks alone, every morning as the sun peeped over the horizon, and every evening as the first starts popped out in the sky. But, after seven months, this was the first time, I could breakaway for a walk alone. A walk that was equal parts meditation and exercise. Equal parts reflection and freedom.

It felt strange to be all alone under the sky. I almost felt wobbly. I was so out of practice…like a sports pro getting back to sport after a very long sabbatical. But as I walked alone, reveling in the silence, gazing at the flamingo-pink evening sky, I could feel a buzz of energy build up inside me. It buzzed and spun, filling me up with a sense of calm. I said ‘Hello’ to me after many, many months. I let myself linger in that realm, relishing every precious second of solitude and space.

Drunk on quietude, I went over to the little restaurant (the same one with plastic furniture and lip-smacking chicken) and ordered a shot of coffee. And while I sipped the beverage, I read a book and marveled at the magical quality of me-time.

Today, as I start another week (and I so hope it won’t be as exhausting as the ones past), I begin with a promise and a sense of calm. A promise to nourish myself, to let myself go sometimes, to say ‘hello’ to the real me more often.

What do you do in your me-time? How do you nourish yourself?

Photo by Mattia Notari


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