06 January 2010

Me time

I went on a date with myself today.

I used to take Artist dates, a term Julia Cameron coined in her art manifesto The Artists's Way, as a way to get inspired, see the world, be by myself. It's like shopping - I don't really like to shop with other women or my husband or my mom. I like to go by myself and take my time and look and see and observe. And that time is what I miss most of all from my life before baby.

I need time to be alone - perhaps like some need time with others. And yes, I have all kinds of time alone these days but alone with a baby does not count. It does not count at all. Alone means alone - with no one to need me or alter my course or distract me.

So today, while the nugget played with his girlfriend Alex, I simply got in the car, left the to do list at home and drove downtown. (Okay, so I drove. Yes, I drove when I could have easily taken Muni. But cut me some slack - my time was limited and suddenly I have become very aware of germs and riding in a Muni bus for even 5 minutes is like swimming in an oversized petri dish. So yes, I drove.) And yes, I used precious babysitting time to just spend time with myself without really getting anything done. I won't make a habit of it - but today, I deserved it.

And what hit me immediately as I approached Market and Powell - is that there is a whole world going on. A world without babies and diapers and separation anxiety and puffs and sleep training and drool and car seats and my god the list goes on. I just wanted to stop and grab someone and say "Do you know that I had a baby?" And really, they would just look at me and say "Okay, crazy lady" and be on their way.

A world outside apartment #8. I was flabbergasted and amazed and envious.

What I wanted to do was meander through Anthropologie and get lost in the racks of clothes I was not about to buy and the home items that I have no room for in our tiny space. But I had a little bit of a mission: to find shirts that fit my postpartum/nursing body. I knew it wouldn't be fun and that I would need to swallow my pride when I looked at the size but this was part of my new year's intentions: to accept the state of this body, exactly as it is. I am only 6 days into the new year, so I have gotten to about my chin...I still have a way to go with this whole acceptance thing.

But back to my mission. I needed cheap, stylish and functional. I was/am not willing to invest a great deal of money into this new wardrobe - the first step is to accept, the second is to work really hard at changing it. Store #1, no dice. And the clock was ticking - so store #2 had to be a winner. So I marched into the Gap, grabbed a few pieces off the sale rack and was pleasantly surprised when I actually smiled at myself in the mirror.

It was a half smile - but I thought, "This will do."

1 comment:

  1. a) I think spending time doing nothing and accomplishing nothing is priceless and completely worth babysitting time (especially if it involves wandering through Anthro!)

    b) I'm am soon to join you in the acceptance thing - today I saw a photo of my pregnant self and was like "whoa, where did that hip fat come from??" clearly the tent dresses are doing their jobs a little too well ;) Anyway, post February if you ever want to go to an African dance you know who to call! At least you are inspired to work hard - I fear my hatred of exercise and my believe that lifting a baby will magically firm up my biceps and burn off all that extra are going to lead to some major delusion!

    c) Every time I see you, you look fantastic.

    d) Have I mentioned that all these hormones are making me really chatty? :) Comments are supposed to be like one line, right? haha