Monday, November 23, 2009


I have had my butt kicked by a toddler last week. How can something so small and sweet be so frighteningly fierce? Mindfulness and intention fell far to the wayside as I dealt with incident after independent adventure. Some of the highlights were the sugar bowl of demerra, and tea incident with collateral damage reaching past the onesie to the counter, floor, chair she was standing on, cabinets and oven below. While I was trying to rescue the inside of my oven window, from being permanently streaked with sweet tea, my toddler decided it would be a good idea, after smelling and sneezing in my ground pepper, to pour some in a measuring cup…..and drink it. Not being familiar with the properties of ground powders, the poor thing was hit squarely in the eyes, nose, and mouth with black pepper. All this was partnered with a recurrence of the ‘head banging into hard objects when frustrated’ behavior that I had hoped, would remain extinguished. It had to have been a hard week for Todzilla too.

Meanwhile, as my laundry piled up (clean and dirty alike), my notebook sat open on the dining room table, with only Todzilla’s scribbles adorning the fresh pages, intended for my recent reflections. As my week of toddler misadventures came to a close, I found myself surprisingly calm and grateful. I confess I am a little strung out, by not having had very much time for myself, but all in all, I feel mostly lucky. Lucky, to have been present, and available to share these moments in her ever changing development. I know how quickly each stage passes.

This is a big change from where I have been in recent months. I feel incredibly grateful for the progress through my pain. There were many times over the past few years that I began to believe I would never regain my sense of well being and joy for life. This return, to my senses is so welcome that I am cherishing it, even if it is only for short time. If I want it to be more constant, I still have some work to attend to….

My last acupuncture appointment, (two weeks ago) revealed imbalances of energy in my belly. Dr. Bob said this signifies a large amount of energy being spent on creative, or ruminating thoughts in the mind, with a lack of any source of fuel to feed that energy. A lack of feeding my self, and nurturing my needs has left me with a deficit. He also said it might be good for me to focus on getting things done, to improve my sense of accomplishment. Yeah, no problem…after that I will get working on our dependence on fossil fuels, global warming and what the heck, a little health care reform. With Todzilla’s current modus operandi , they all seem equally daunting. Unfortunately it seems that my continued progress depends on me finding ways to balance my needs, with those of my family.

It is funny how things have changed. I used to have a whole carpet bag of self care tricks that I would pull out when feeling overwhelmed. Long walks with the kids ending at the local pastry shop for a cup of tea and croissants, where we would sit and feed our faces while sharing some uninterrupted moments together. I also used to love movie night. We would walk to the video store choose some movies, and then order take out and have a picnic on the living room floor while we watched our selection. Another one we all enjoyed was waking up early and going out to get pancakes at a local diner before school. That was sweet……

Can you see a pattern here?

All my self nurturing revolved around my children, and gluten. Sometimes, it seems so insidious, the subtle ways chronic illness changed my life. Just another way that gluten (or lack of it) is forcing me to find other ways to feed my self. So before we proceed, there are a couple things you should know about me. First, putting myself before others (without guilt) has always been a challenge for me. Also, admitting I don’t have all the answers is very difficult for me, second only asking for help when I need it.

That being said…..I need help. I know you are all busy, with the holidays upon us. But maybe it might be an apropos time to think about it. I wonder if you all could tell me……….

In times of stress……how do you fuel the fire of your spirit?
(If you like, you can consider it a little One Year Anniversary gift to HumbleMumblings. Thanks!)


  1. Because I lead a gluten intolerance/celiac group and blog, my spirit is constantly being fed by my group members and readers. Our group always shares a meal together at the beginning of our meeting. That seems simple enough, but that meal of numerous foods and dishes that are naturally gluten free or easily made gluten free continues to show members (especially newbies) that gluten free CAN be easy and wonderful if you take this different approach. Newbies have told me that the first meal convinced them they "could do it." Of course, this is my whole gluten-free mission, but getting outside "myself" while helping others always fuels my fire. And, with living gluten free there is that period of shock or mourning, but then when you focus on all the wonderful foods you can eat, things change in a BIG way.


  2. Thanks Shirley,
    I always forget about support groups. We tried them early on, but Beanie has multiple food sensitivities so we could never share the food that other people brought. It was hard for her at 4, but now that she is 8 maybe we should try again? I really enjoyed digging through your Thanksgiving menu. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  3. Hey Karen,

    I love your blog! I have found volunteering for our Interfaith Compassion Ministry to be very helpful. It gives me adult interaction, lets me use some of my skills from my former life as a therapist, and most of the time I actually brighten someone's day or even change their life. Is there some where you could volunteer, something that you had a passion for before kids? Humane society or Special Olympics? These are also charities where the kids could participate as well. Volunteering just gets me outside myself and my world and puts me in other's worlds. It gives me perspective. It also helps me to have projects or "work" a little a bit. Hope this helps! Love you, Sue