Writer.Mama: Every Minute Counts

 

My eldest son has been boycotting the daily nap all week, and I gotta tell you, it took all the wind out of my sails.

That twoish hours every day is so crucial to my life. It’s a time to engage in adult stuff–like writing, or reading, and evacuating my bowels without company. Usually, my golden two hours starts with a shower and ends with a blog post (and a few paragraphs of fiction, if I can muster). But not this week. This week, it’s been about chasing, and chatting, and changing diapers. This boy, literally, had three poopie diapers in a 2 hour span during what was supposed to be his nap time. I was like, you’re killing me!!!!

Today is the first day this week that he’s taken a nap, and oh my God, it’s such a wonderful day.

And do you know how I’ve spent my time (other than watching closing arguments of the Zimmerman trial)? I washed my hair.

I’ve been locking my hair for a little over a year now. I’ve been natural for almost 5 years now, but I didn’t start contemplating locking until after Ursa Major was born. I was trying to grow out my hair, I didn’t really want to deal with it all the time, so I started with two strand twists that I would take out every two to three weeks. My hair grew like gangbusters… and when I became pregnant with Ursa Minor a whole 7 months after I’d give birth to Ursa Major, well, I just decided to keep it up.

But two babies and trying to do major hair projects every three weeks was not sustainable. It was time to come up with something else. I liked the way my hair looked when I had it in twists, so why not make it permanent? Here we are thirteen months later and it was the best decision that I’ve ever made. I make my own mixes of organic creams to put in my hair, I put it up in pretty twists when I’m going out, I keep it wrapped in beautiful fabric when I’m at home…I feel beautiful and powerful all the time now. My hard work has brought me shoulder-length hair… a freaking big deal!

But washing the hair is a weekly/bi-weekly treat, and I had to keep postponing because someone wouldn’t nap. So today was the day, and damn was it energizing!

That time with the steam and the sound and the smell of my organic lavender conditioner…that time with no little questions and no slamming of toys… that little tiny bit of time unburdened is absolutely essential to life. It’s liberating and wondrous. It’s uplifting for the soul. Comfort food for the skin and hair and mind.

It’s the little things that can burden the mind or set it free. Two little extra hours of my toddler can actually zap all of my energy for the  rest of the day. The taking away of the renewal periods, the breathing periods, the relaxing periods… it can take away any and all hope of clear thinking and creative energy.

I love motherhood, and what I’ve found is that motherhood has given an extra urgency to my day. Every single minute of my day counts: Toward their needs, my dreams for them, my personal goals, and the daily obligations running a household. But that last 30 minutes of my life that I dedicated, selfishly, to only me was just as important as the time I’m spending writing this post, or the time I’ll spend preparing tonight’s dinner, or even the many minutes I’ll spend wiping dirty fannies.

So cheers to every single minute. The selfish ones, the productive ones, the ones in devotion to those who you love. I hope that you, too, will find a serene moment today. I’m off to add shea butter, jojoba oil, castor oil, and monoi oil (all organic) to my hair and wrap it in beautiful fabrics. It’s the things that make us feel powerful that bring out the best of our creativity. It’s not vanity.  It’s honoring the temple where our mind and muse reside.

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