I know its been awhile since I’ve written, but life took such an abrupt turn the last thing on my mind was updating my blog. For those who follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you already know I because a grandmother at the end of 2013. My handsome grandson Art has taken main stage in our lives, and forced me to adjust my approach to day to day living. With my youngest child then 16, my partner and I were living the high life. We were free to come and go at will, doing shots on Tuesday evenings just because, going to parties on a Thursday because we could… being self-employed, we had freedom many people do not have.
At first, becoming grandparents didn’t change that.
Art was born prematurely, with an enlarged ventricle in his brain. His mother suffered from severe postpartum depression after his birth, unable to reassure herself that his condition had nothing to do with her. We later discovered Art also has developmental delays, and taking on the responsibility of not only his day to day care, but taking him for regular visits to see a pediatrician, neurologist, geneticist, later on a surgeon… then GastroIntestinal Specialist and Ear Nose and Throat Specialist, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Special Instruction and Speech and Language Therapy was simply too much for a teenager. We strongly believed then, as we do now, that her priority needed to remain on finishing high school, going on to college and pursuing her art. So, we adopted our grandson to give her a chance at the life she is meant to have.
Becoming the primary caretakers of an infant with special needs when we were still in the honeymoon phase of our relationship presented its own challenges. I was pulled in different direction as I attempted to be a good wife, mother and grandmother – providing everyone with what they needed. It hasn’t been easy, I lost so much of myself in my attempt to be all things to everyone I loved. I often forget, I’m human and need time for self-love. There was a huge emotional strain on both of us, yet we made it through, Together.
The biggest issue for me, has been the loss of my independence as a woman. So often as women, we become enveloped in our role as parent, partner and caretaker to our extended family we lose touch with who we are as individuals. We cease doing the things we love to most. We stop giving ourselves permission to go out with friends, or even enjoy lunch or a book alone. In recent months, my partner expressed that our lives had changed, and the sooner I accepted it, the happier we would be. But I knew better. While our lives had changed, we were still the same people we had been before our grandson came into our lives. We still had the same desire, the same ambitions… we simply didn’t have the same type of time.
We, and our relationship, were out of balance.
I started going to therapy. I requested that my partner take our grandson one night a week to allow me time to go out with friends. I started to read again. I found a good day care, and reached out to friends to baby sit a couple of times a month so I could go out with my partner for a change. I slowly started to organize my thoughts and put them on paper. I’m starting to write again.
Spring is always a time for renewal, and I am taking this time to get back to the basics of who I am.
I bought a new journal, some yoga clothes, and received a Groupon for a 3 month membership to Bikram Yoga as a gift. I hope to return to a daily practice as much as my body will allow as I am still re-cooperating from a neck injury. I have decided to grow some herbs in my windowsill, and joined a community garden. (Unfortunately, I will not be able to grow vegetables, as the soil in Brooklyn is quite tainted with lead.) I am working diligently towards the official, hard launch of Canela’s Kitchen, my gluten-free food blog, with an event this summer.
I am looking forward to refreshing my wardrobe with a few basic items which will be functional without sacrificing style. And most importantly, I revel in my ability to spend quality time with my partner, without my grandson from time to time.
My blogging will change as well. In the beginning when I first started blogging on MySpace, I blogged about whatever my day entailed. It was an exercise in daily journaling to get my creative juices flowing, eliminate writer’s block, and get into the practice of daily expression. I will return to that as an outlet. My writing may be about life, love and sinn, sex, love and hip hop… (both names of my blogs in the past.) However, this time, I am writing from the perspective of a 41 year old wife and grandmother with roots in a community she loves. I hope, as always, to inspire others with my words. To share bits and pieces of my struggle with others who might benefit from it most.
It is my hope, as I return to that which brings me the most joy, my happiness will be infectious and those around me will experience joy as well.
At times, we have to go back to the basics in order to find ourselves again. For me, its yoga, writing, and love. What basics have you left behind which you need to return to?