My happiness is tied to simplicity. I consider my bank statement to be a moral document. How I spend my money indicates where my priorities lie. I’ve been off the hamster wheel of thinking more is more for awhile now. I like the view from over here.
My happiness is also tied to balance. I try to balance time spent on my mind, body and spirit and between introverted and extroverted time, leisure and work, family and friends. Simplicity and balance are deeply intertwined. Not needing more stuff frees me up to have more time to spend how I choose. In that way, I also consider my calendar to be a moral document. Do I like myself when I’m doing what I’m doing? I like me at my work, but also me when I exercise, do yoga, travel, read, write, rest, and connect with my people.
With the arrival of my baby Simon, I have been able to maintain a sense of simplicity. Thanks to the generosity and recommendations of friends and family, we are reusing baby gear and keeping our closets decluttered. Balance, on the other hand, feels a bit off. Baby Simon adds so much, that the balance of my time has altered. My heart has exploded with love for this new little person, and I find myself crying almost daily out of happiness. I also long for more. I want more of everything. I want more snuggle time and nap time and breastfeeding time with him. I want more time alone, more time with Dan, and more time with Dan and Simon, more time at work and with friends (and let’s be honest, I wouldn’t mind more time to sleep).
And even though when I am yearning for more, I’m yearning for more quality time to do what I love, it is still wanting more. I want more of what I am doing when I’m doing it. There is not enough time in the day. Part of this yearning and aching is coming from how quickly babies change. Here is a living, breathing thing reminding me that time passes, and once it has passed, it’s gone. I’d rather ache for more moments of love than ache for more stuff, but it is still wanting more out of a sense of not enough. Those phrases, in part because of this blog, raise a red flag for me. How can I settle into my twenty-four hour day and accept what I have as enough?
I loved when Simon was brand new. I loved learning this new person, watching him intently, figuring out what he needed and getting him that thing. The urgency, the survival instincts of keeping a new baby alive was fascinating and exhilarating to me. It was so rewarding to offer him what he needed and see him grow and change.
Just two months in, he is in a different stage. He doesn’t curl his legs up like a fetus when I pick him up by the armpits. He doesn’t fit in his newborn pjs or in the crook of my arm anymore. I could waste time and energy being sad about this passing newborn stage, or I could enter into the new baby stage where he is smiling and cooing, tracking us, delighting in light and finding his thumb.
Simon’s stages change so fast that he reminded me to be present and see my life in broader strokes where I will have it all, just not all at once. Being more fully present in the stage I am in helps me detach from it, allowing it to pass without clinging. There is a trust there that the next stage will be just as good as the one I am in. I have enjoyed each stage–childhood, high school, college, young adulthood, and DINK (dual income no kids) phase– so far and assume that will continue. Getting the most out of the present stage by not wishing for the past or the future, trusting that each stage brings the opportunity for abundant happiness, brings a calmer sense of enough. It helps me not mourn the passing of time, which is inevitable.
This stage, of having a two month old, brings with it more snuggle time and less sleep, more breastfeeding time and less happy hours with friends. But this stage will pass, and I will get more of other things later. By celebrating this stage, trusting I will love the next stage to come, brings with it a growing sense of enough.