Last year I was a mess from the middle of May until after the first day of school. Not a lunatic mess. Just messy enough that I didn’t feel like myself.
I had reasons for my messiness. The little one was graduating preschool. I was attempting to work half-time over the summer. I got food poisoning. Oh, and my aunt had just died. When I am anxious my dreams get vivid and detailed and long, and my sleep suffers, which makes things worse. I settled down over the winter, though.
Recently, however, I’ve noticed an uptick in the number of vivid dreams I am having. They involve people in my life and situations that make me nervous. Just this morning I awoke from a dream about a social situation. These dreams tend to follow me throughout the day. My mind is always on. I notice it more when I am meditating or standing on a yoga mat. During those times my mind gets clearer and everything slows down, making me realize how fast I’m running the rest of the time.
Last night is a good example. I went to an amazing yoga class. One that made me feel like my bones and muscles had separated from each other just a bit. (Something I consider one of the best feelings in the world.) Anyway, at the end of the class we mediated. It was then that I became aware of my breathing. It was so slow I felt like I was pausing between breaths. Everything was clear and sharp. I was at total peace. It felt amazing. But then I got into the car and my mind started going again. The difference between me in yoga and me sitting in my car is so stark, so extreme that I realized I had to figure out what was making me so anxious. I thought and thought the entire way home, mulling over it since then, too. I’ve decided that it’s just June and the changes that it brings.
My little one is moving up to first grade. All this year I’ve still thought of her as a baby — my baby. Now, as she bridges up to what I consider real school, I have to face the fact that I don’t have a baby anymore. Meanwhile, my big girl is moving into sixth grade. Yes, she’s a late birthday and in a different state she’d only be moving up to fourth grade, but still. I remember who I was as a sixth grader. I was more my adult self than my child self. My first born is truly growing up. Summer also brings more social situations and more decisions. Do I put my kids in a camp on any given day for an assignment? Which camp should they go to? How do I decide? Do I want to go to the beach or stay at home and read? And if I go: How long will it be until I feel stupid for being the whitest woman in the room?
I’ve been trying to thwart all the crap in my head by doing a few things. Yoga, of course, and spin class, but also making sure to make more physical connections. I remind myself to hug my husband and tell him how much I appreciate his love and devotion. I’m taking more time with the kids. At night I lie in bed with them, telling them stories and listening to them talk. I grab those opportunities to squish and hug them, pulling them in and showing them as much love as I can. I’m opening myself up to new experiences and people, too. Yesterday, I accepted an after school invitation to someone’s pool, even though I am on deadline this week and it is someone I don’t know at all, really. It was nice to sit and chat, watching my kids enjoy themselves.
So yes, I’ll admit it: June isn’t my favorite month. But I am being proactive this year. That’s all I can do. That, and the yoga.
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