I recently attended a lecture by Dr. Steve Thomas, titled “A Face Lift For Your Mind.” I was excited for the opportunity because this is a topic I’ve been somewhat concerned with for the past six years or so, the time since my first child was born. I love being a mother and I believe that at this time in my life mothering my young ins’ is the very most important thing I can be doing with my days, but I also believe that maintaining an appropriate balance in my life is necessary for my own overall health, and for the health of my children as well…’cause having a crazy mommy can’t be good for them, now can it?
I have found from much experience that when my day is chock full of nothing but buttering bread, bathing babies, and quelling tantrums I tend to be a little on the crazy side by the end of the day. And when I have day after day after day like this I begin to wonder if I’m ever going to find my way back out of crazy town. I need an outlet, or rather a few outlets, to help keep a healthy balance in my life so that I can be more WHOLE for the little charges that demand and deserve the majority of my attention.
Running has become essential in my quest for that healthy balance I seek; it is important for my mental and physical health. I also need some personal time to fill my spiritual well. “Personal time” is hard for me to come by though…defined as the peace and quiet that allows me to immerse myself in my own thoughts, absent of constant distractions (maybe that’s one reason running is so good for me, for I can tune out and just let my thoughts wander where they may). “Peace and quiet” is something I lack at this very moment, but that’s ok…I somehow manage to write despite the distractions.
Welcoming a first baby into one’s life is always an adjustment and I’m sure the specific challenges that come with it vary by the person. One struggle that I had not expected came with the onset of what I describe as a “dull mind.” When our first child was born my husband was still in school and was thus engaged in the constant stimulating of and expanding of his intellect. I had recently graduated from college and was struck by the sudden lack of intellectual thought in my own life. I loved everything about that little baby, even changing his stinky little diapers, but I craved thinking and talking about things other than just babies’ sleep, feeding and pooping habits. I devoured the newspaper, and made it a point to read every editorial every day. I discovered the virtues of talk radio; I enjoyed being challenged in my thinking and re-evaluating my opinions. And I would clobber my poor husband with conversation when he got home each day.
With the addition of more children most of these habits have fallen by the wayside from time to time, excepting of course the clobbering of my poor husband with conversation. In any case, the idea of somehow keeping my mind sharp during my current occupation has continually concerned me (and is in fact one of the main reasons I created this blog). And so I was excited to attend this lecture on the subject, and am excited to share with you many of the interesting things I learned. Regretfully though, because I seem utterly unable to be succinct…no matter my intentions…when I sit down to write, I will have to leave you hanging here in the interest of keeping this post from turning into a marathon of sorts. So stay tuned for a synopsis of what I learned from Dr. Thomas….