Saturday, January 09, 2010

My Resolution

For the past couple of years, I have been holding off on resolutions until Lent and then combined the two. I've been trying to look at reducing my carbon footprint. I know that one year I decided to try to do without disposable cups, especially plastic, and another year I decided to only use durable shopping bags. There may have been another that I can't remember. This year, I decided to go back to a New Year's resolution and this year, I resolve to smile more.

I used to smile all the time. Long ago, I looked in the mirror and discovered I couldn't pull of a "serious expression" in the middle of July or any other time, really. I was much more attractive when I smiled. And then I read an article about how the wrinkles in your face settle after a while to make you always look vaguely frowny if you frown too much. Smiling also sends some sort of message to your brain that you are happy, even if you're not which can make a bad situation at least mildly more bearable. I decided to make a smile my default expression.
I didn't realize how much energy it took to smile until after I had Charlie. I was so completely shell shocked by the experience of 4 hours of sleep a day in 45 minute intervals that the idea of a coherent thought, let alone a smile was just an insurmountable feat. As time went on, things got a bit better but sleep was always hanging over us. Then there was this 2 week interval where we thought it was getting better and... here comes Megan. It makes me rather sad, looking back on it. Charlie really started coming into his own in toddler-hood. I think if I hadn't been struggling my way through pregnancy, I would have enjoyed him a lot more. He had these wonderful language skills and was so cuddly but he also had 1-2 hour waking period 1, 2, or even 3 times night and nothing worked to get him back to sleep and we were all just frustrated and exhausted. Then Megan came and I was juggling all the time. For the first 3 or 4 months, it felt like we were only just hanging on. I considered it a triumph if I made it through the day without becoming completely demoralized. Smiling was infrequent.

People told me that things got better after the first year and they were right. There came a day when the floors were mopped again, laundry got done in a timely manner, I considered actually buying new craft supplies. I could enjoy and appreciate my children and all their adorable moments (the other day Megan put on her cape and said "I super hero. I come. I save you!" something about the fact that she couldn't even get the cape on or off by herself nor pronounce all the letters in her announcement made it even more adorable than you can imagine). Charlie sleeps through the night (with the introduction of light bribery) and Megan doesn't but generally has brief, manageable wakings rather than hour long sagas leaving both Charlie and I hiccuping messes. Life is becoming less battle and more enjoyment. These moments are fleeting and, damn it, I'm going to smile at them.

1 comment:

Hopewell said...

My son didn't really sleep from age 8 [when I adopted him] till the magic 13 birthday! Now I can't wake him up! I replied to your comment on my blog--MPM post.