Hands in Flour and a Bun in the Oven — 1993

Buttercream, Babies, and Boundaries

I am tired, this morning.

The kind of tired that’s on the other side of a night of no sleep, or interrupted sleep.

Someone I love was sick last night, thousands of miles away. At one in the morning, a trip to the ER was made and for the rest of the night, my phone was next to me, with hourly check ins. It seems that things are settling, now. A tough night melting its edges a bit with the morning sunlight.

I’m left with this tiredness. This heavy feeling that has my body move differently, my mind is slower, too.

I feel the huge gratitude of being able to pace myself, today. I sense an afternoon nap on the horizon. In a way, it’s oddly delicious.

Also, it feels familiar. Sweetly, intimately familiar.

Seven years.

Seven years of being tired. From 1993 to 2000.

During these big, huge, blessed and exhausting years, I was running a bakery (occasionally two) and either pregnant or nursing (occasionally both).

Babies were in and out of bed with us while the bakery — another baby — never slept. Through a brazen display of lack of boundaries and the feeling of invincibility that sometimes marks our 20s and 30s, sleep was one of the casualties.

Eventually my health and my marriage joined the list.

The way I feel this morning, this “not quite in my body” feeling was my norm, back then. Month after month, through morning sickness, organizing schedules, and the elation of creating a new flavor of buttercream, I forgot that there was another way.

I think we do that. We forget.

We forget what it’s like to feel great, vibrant, inspired, peaceful. Rested.

It happens slowly, the way the proverbial frog gets boiled.

And often, it takes a crisis to snap us out of it. And sometimes, years to heal.

This morning, I am actually savoring the richness of my body’s acknowledgment to not having had its rest. I feel it, I hear it and I will tend to it, lovingly.

Because I can and because I have learned that it matters.

That I matter.

I have learned that to bypass my own needs for very long is never a smart long-term solution.

I have learned that this life thing, if we are lucky, is more of a marathon than a sprint.

I have learned that when we think of it as a marathon, and when we prepare for a marathon, we are going to be much more likely to excel and enjoy the occasional sprints, too. Like a sleepless night tending to someone we love — or just having a really good time.

Today, I invite you to pay attention to your body’s requests. To your own timing. To what depletes you and to what feeds you.

And to celebrate and honor that.

Me, I’m going to celebrate the luxury of being alive. I am going to allow my mind and body to move at their own pace — and I’m going to recommit to writing that bakery book I’ve been talking about writing for years.

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