Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I'm gonna let you in on a little secret, dear, patient readers -- a secret that I'm not doing very well at hiding from those nearest and dearest to me: My life has undergone some major changes over the last few months, and I'm having a hell of a time adjusting. These changes aren't bad, they're just different, and I'm doing my best -- my very, very best -- but I'm having to learn as I go. And one thing that I've learned is that learning as I go is my least favorite way of going about things; I prefer, of course, knowing absolutely everything ahead of time. Much easier that way.

What I'm struggling with most is having limitations. Realizing that I can no longer do every single thing I want to do every second of the day is not going over well in my brain, and asking for help is almost worse than not getting something done. I don't even like asking for help to get my heavy suitcase up and down from its place high up in the closet. In fact, rather than ask for help in putting the suitcase back up after my recent vacation, I actually decided to find a new place to keep it, a spot where I wouldn't need assistance the next time I need to retrieve it.

But here, my dear readers, is the biggest lesson I've learned over the last three months: fighting my limitations doesn't help at all. The only thing I can do is surrender to them, accept them, and give in to where I am today. After a grueling ten-hour work day, it's okay if dinner is leftovers, and instead of getting to the laundry, I can surrender to sitting on the couch so I can feel the baby moving inside me (I can feel the little miracle of life stretching its limbs now, which feels at once both thrilling and slightly unnerving, let me tell ya).

But as I said, I've been forced to learn as I go, and I've been an awfully slow learner. I've beaten myself up a few times over not getting as much done as I would like. But these days, I'm doing my best to just surrender, let myself feel what I'm feeling, be where I am. And where I am is pretty damn good, so it would be smart of me to enjoy it.

The view from our rented vacation lake house. I could have stayed there forever.

I'm telling you these secrets, because I do not have a recipe for you today. This, it seems, is one of my new limitations. I've made some especially delicious, simple foods recently, and I'll share them with you soon. But today, I want to close up my computer, and join my husband in the living room so that he can rest his hand on my rapidly-expanding belly. I want to sit right in the middle of where I am, and take a good look around, take it all in, enjoy the view. I want to surrender to the force that is telling me slow down, enjoy this, THIS is IT, and IT will be over before you know it.

And in learning this lesson, I've learned something else. Surrendering is one of the most empowering things I've ever done. I'm giving myself permission to stop fighting myself. And that, it turns out, is a recipe for happiness.

And that, I suppose, will just have to be the only recipe I share with you today. (But I can't wait to tell you about the grilled herbed potatoes I made the other day, of which I ate approximately seven pounds, enough to feed about twelve little miracles of life.)

Sunrise in Vermont. A thing to surrender to.


  1. Thinking of you as we head into this holiday weekend. So glad to hear that you're giving yourself what you need to enjoy it all.

  2. Surrendering is a great skill that will come in handy when parenting too. You are learning this much earlier in life than many people do. Congratulations on facing it and embracing it. You're going to be a wonderful mother.

  3. ahhhh this is just what I needed to hear today! I'm leaving tonight and it seems that in my last scramble some of my well laid plans aren't gonna work. As I wait for my first appointment at starbucks and feel the stress inside me skyrocket because I am floored that its not flowing my script, I read this..then cried. thank you. I forgot to surrender!

  4. You are entering the MOM phase- I was/continue to be so blessed that I can be a stay at home Mom. There is nothing better than nesting up and preparing for the days where all you do is smile at your baby and make sure you both are getting enough food, rest and sleep.

    Don't start making excuses about it now- cause its your future! I pray you get the same amount of joy from being a mother and all that comes with it- as I do!

    Slowing down is a great way to remind you what is really important in YOUR life. And it ain't much really- a baby just makes you see it very clearly!


  5. That may be the best recipe I've seen in a very long time. Thank you for reminding us that sometimes the most important thing is not what our brains think, but what our hearts say.

  6. Maris turned me on to your blog. I just had my 4th baby, and am only now learning this lesson. It is a hard one, but once you have it down, life is so very much easier.
    Congrats on your pregnancy and on being ahead of the 8 ball with learning how important it is to surrender :)

  7. I've been doing a lot of surrendering lately, and you're right -- it is empowering, and scary, and satisfying.