The ebb and flow of life

The tide at Block Island, RI
tide in, tide out

I don’t always notice the cycles that come around in life.  Okay, I notice the weekly cycles of cleaning up from Shabbos, figuring out what to eat for the week, shopping, cleaning, preparing for Shabbos and, of course, Shabbos!  I also notice the daily cycles of getting Little Man ready for school, putting the baby (toddler #2?  I’m still undecided about what he should be called at this point) down for his nap, giving him his bottle and snack when he awakens, picking up Little Man from school, lunchtime, rest time, etc.

If I didn’t notice those cycles, it would be problematic.  These are not the cycles in question.

The cycles I don’t notice are the larger ones, the ones related to goals I’ve set for myself, large-scale projects, anything that easily fades into the background until it pops right up in my face again (usually shortly before a deadline, for instance).

As you might have noticed, I’m in a less prolific stage of my blogging cycle.  As with most things, it was a gradual progression to less frequent posting.  The combination of a very active day with the boys as well as a few musical projects, compounded by a lack of energy (did I mention the active day with the boys?) and a strong desire to relax via zoning out has repeatedly won out over blogging.  This resulted in me sitting in front of my screen just now, staring at the white space and feeling decidedly uninspired and uninteresting.

But that’s life.  Things that are exciting at one point become monotonous at a later point.  It’s not always possible, or even advisable to stop doing things when they cease to be enjoyable (like making dinner, for instance.  Can’t stop doing that).

Most likely, the things with which I struggle are probably exactly the things that I need to work on in my ever-evolving quest to improve myself.  But it’s interesting how I only seem to notice my progress at either a peak or a valley.  I feel great when I’m consistently writing little notes for my husband, and lousy when I’ve realized that it’s been weeks since I’ve done so.   These feelings could apply to anything from something as simple as doing the dishes in a prompt manner to something as complex as maintaining my composure in challenging situations.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s ineffective, and perhaps even detrimental, to feel lousy whenever I’m at an ebb in a cycle.  If it’s something that I’m working on, be it sensitivity to others or basic housekeeping skills, I’m going to have moments where things are hunky-dory, and moments where things are falling a bit apart.  I think this is likely a universal experience (please, validate me here, folks).

Certain times, like when a child has a mammoth cold and is waking up multiple times a night, will naturally require slack in other areas of life.  Life gets hectic sometimes, and other times is amazingly uncluttered.  That’s just how it is.  It must be the perfectionistic tendency I have to want everything to be level, all the time, no matter what.  But that’s just silly.  When are things EVER level?

Therefore, I am going to try and embrace the times when I totally fail as much as the times when I feel like a success.  The times when it feels like I haven’t got a chance of keeping it together are just a sign that I’m on my way back up to being geshicht again.  And then things will be smooth for a while, until they get messy.  That’s life.  And life is really, really good.

(the irony of this last paragraph is that I will most likely feel lousy about failing to embrace failure at some point.  hahaha)


image via Wikipedia


16 thoughts on “The ebb and flow of life

  1. Very true! And why is it easier to remember the ebb and flow of some things — like school routines and Shabbat — but not the others? You pose great questions and I’ll be giving it some thought.

  2. This is perfect for me today . . . seriously, I feel like you’re speaking directly to me. I’m feeling a bit uninspired with the blog and feeling guilty that in the past few months pregnancy and now with the newborn (he’s 3.5 weeks) that I’ve used any spare time I have on #1. my blog and #2. on reading other blogs rather than using that time on the book I’m perpetually writing and never finishing (mostly I’m ignoring it.) But I know if I accept this is a time in my life with only fragmented free moments, it’s no wonder I choose the blog which I can start and finish in shorter bursts and feel like I’m accomplishing something.

    Sorry to ramble . . . great post! It made me ramble!! :)

    1. Rambling comments are accepted and loved! I also use the blog to procrastinate (ignore) bigger projects, so you are not alone in that struggle. Having a newborn is a very unique cycle. Feel good, and enjoy those fragmented moments.

  3. This is me validating you! :) I have been so overwhelmed with the BB that my blog ha all but dried up. it happens. whatever. the blog is just for fun and therapy anyhow. it stinks when our hobbies make us feel guilty lol

  4. Hey. Just found yr blog. Love it! On my new album i wrote a song exactly about this, called The Ebb and Flow. Id love to email it to you. Lets be in touch.

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