SAVORING LIFE support group: June/July 2003 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 06-23-2003, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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SURVIVING the day rather than SAVORING it
does anyone else feel like they just survive their day? i don't mean that bad things are always happening, but that you wake up, feed the kids, make a pot of coffee, get everyone changed and maybe dressed, read something (like a page) or watch a tv show (with multiple interruptions), nurse babies, change diapers, argue with the persistent preschooler, blah blah blah. you get the idea. at the end of the day i often feel like i have simply SURVIVED...that i have not SAVORED anything. I love my kids, show them lots of affection, I am not depressed, but i sometimes think this is what parenting is...plummetting through the day, making things as special as i can in the very busy moment, and trying to keep chaos at bay. at the end of the week it can feel a little unsatisfactory.


This is a support group for those of us striving to SAVOR life. Here we will attempt to post weekly or more often about what special ways we might have connected with our children, our partners, our friends, or ourselves to make it a more special day. Hopefully this encourages those of us who tend to be JUST survivors.. THANKS for any input.

PS. the original thread was in parenting issues, and had several responses indicating that this group might be fun. Have a savory day.....
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#2 of 27 Old 06-24-2003, 12:05 AM
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I think this is great! I'll try to come every night and find something to savor about my day.

Today was pretty good, actually. The baby (16 mos) is starting to use more words appropriately, and lately she's been saying "mama" It comes out sounding like "mom-mom" and she kind of rolls her lips in when she says it. It's so cute cuz you can tell she's really trying to make a new sound. She's also branching out in her animal sounds to try "mooo" for a cow!

We also had a nice family meal out at a kind of nice restaurant. We went to a normally very busy place, got there just before the rush and were seated in a round booth that was just perfect for keeping the little one contained. There was no running loose and (almost) no screaming about it! The older girls even made it through the meal sitting next to each other without a single pinch or jab or tease. It was really nice.

These are the parts of today that I will choose to remember!
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#3 of 27 Old 06-24-2003, 03:01 AM
 
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Today I came home from lunch to say hi to DS and SO. I was able to nurse DS, which I never have the opportunity to do on workdays, and had a nice 10 minute conversation with my SO. It really broke up my workday and it was nice to come home and see a happy baby and happy Dan together, preparing lunch.

When I got home today, I made a point of not getting wrapped up in a TV show or the computer and instead just tried to enjoy my time with DS. We had a nice bath.

I know it's different for me since I'm not home with DS all day, but WOH presents it's own challenges. I've had the opportunity to do both and the key, for me is to live in the moment. I try not to worry about the things I "should" be doing or things I'm "missing." There have been days I go to bed and think, "I shouldn't have spent that much time on the phone (or the computer, or cleaning the kitchen, whatever) tonight, I should have spent more time with Rory." But I NEVER have gone to bed (and this is as true for me now as when I was a SAHM) thinking, "Gee, I shouldn't have spent so much time playing with Rory today."
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#4 of 27 Old 06-24-2003, 03:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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what a wonderful start to our group. today i took charge of our terrible credit and worked out a five-year debt-free plan. i took a bath with my splashy 8 month old, and i helped my older two organize their toys without yelling. i didn't do enough savoring. i need a computer-free evening pretty soon too, i love when babies start saying mama. i think WOH moms probably have a greater tendency to become survivors. each moment you spend with your child becomes so essential and i am sure the distractions are abundant. how nice to have that extra nursing time today. i know i have too many days where i regret getting caught up in something other than a child.

here's my challenge for this week. i propose that we spend three minutes a day (non-nursing minutes) staring into each child's beautiful eyes and telling them how special they are. I also propose that we each get one bubble bath and one shower that lasts more than three minutes sometime this week.

thanks for the responses. (ps i tend to be rather curt and i am bad at small talk, but i want this group to work...so please call me on any insensitivities and let's work together) thanks
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#5 of 27 Old 06-24-2003, 08:24 AM
 
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Hey, just want to weigh in, and hope this thread is still active when I come back from my travels over the next month...

I am always frazzled, pulled many ways by family needs, my wahm job, volunteering, etc. These days (say for about 2 years now!!) I have spent many weeks in survival mode. I have amde a commitment to do exactly what you prescribe, fromscatteredtribe...once delia got out of kindergarten, I would savor our time together.

Here's mine: taking a shower, mindlessly soaping up, look up to see del's tangled golden curls and brown eyes peeking around the curtain. She joins me, and somehow it all evolves into singing hokey pokey in the shower, poking our heads into the stream of water and shaking them, laughing and laughing. "You're the best, mom!" she says as we towel off. That stayed with me through the breakfast dishes and about 12 loads of laundry, I can tell you...
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#6 of 27 Old 06-24-2003, 12:47 PM
 
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This is a great thread, and I have a feeling that I'll be needing very much to remember to SAVOR the day soon...I am due with my third baby in mid-July and so much of that newborn stage is like a massive survival effort! I did manage yesterday to take my kids to the pool (not a terribly profound place, I know). But, I sat with my three year old in the baby pool, hugely pregnant, and relaxed as he poured cold water on my shoulders. His eyes are so blue, and he looks so much like his father that I had to laugh. Later, my six year old and I hit the bookstore, and she sat across from me at the cafe with such poise, reading books and magazines and sipping her chocolate milk. Even other people were smiling at her, b/c she was so engrossed in her reading.
Now, when I get to thinking about all of the stuff that I "could be doing" out there in the wild world, I think of my kids. I may not be leading exactly the life I thought I would...(the trip around the world will have to wait, as will the year spent in Paris, writing) but, I know I am deep in the "marrow" of it all (as Emerson said)... thinking that helps when I am losing my balance.
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#7 of 27 Old 06-24-2003, 01:15 PM
 
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Great idea!

I also want to become better at "being there", as I realize many time the wonderfull things have happened but I was worried and didn't pay real attention to them.

I haven't read through yet as I'm in a hurry now.

I had a great savouring last night during dinner, when DH and I started doing origami birds in a whim for our DD (2 1/2) The light in her eyes was amazing!!!!!!! And then she took one and transformed it into a giraffe, and had it shera her food...

Hope to read you all! Moni+
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#8 of 27 Old 06-24-2003, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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how wonderful....so nice to be told "you're the best mommy," and i haven't sat at a cafe with my kids since i left chicago (i visit soon...yea!); i can see the little paper animals too. this IS the important stuff isn't it. so glad this is taking off thanks.
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#9 of 27 Old 06-25-2003, 02:26 AM
 
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This eveing I shared a yummy dinner with Rory, tried on our new Ergo Baby Carrier (love it!), played with a new train set and read some books. There were a lot of "to-do's" on my list but I kept myself grounded and stayed in the moment with DS. He was tired and cranky for most of the night, but I noticed that if I wasn't forever trying to get something else done, I had a lot more patience with him.

Rory said a new word today - "toe!"

We spent an extra 5 minutes snuggling and rocking before bed tonight - usually he just passes out nursing, but he wanted me to carry him for a minute before he was ready to go to sleep. I reminded myself that 5 minutes (or 10, or whatever he needs) is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

When I'm impatient with him to go to sleep, I think he senses my uncomfortable feelings and clings more to me, fights the sleep more. Tonight, as I let go and just allowed myself to spend whatever time he needed with me to feel comfortable enough to sleep, I noticed how much quicker he let go too.

I'll be taking the long shower scattertribe reccomended tonight - which means I'll be putting off a few more to-do's, but everything will get handled in time. And I'm a better mama, partner, employee and friend when I take a few extra minutes for myself.
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#10 of 27 Old 06-25-2003, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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mamamichelle, you are an inspiration. i need to put off my to do's a little more often myself. we leave for a one month road trip without dh and we are really going to miss him. he moved to az when i was 36 weeks pregnant and we didn't join him until 1 month postpartum, so we've been separated before but it is HARD.

way to go on taking the extra snuggle time and the long shower
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#11 of 27 Old 06-26-2003, 06:28 PM
 
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Where are you going on your road trip? I'm trying to organize a small trip this summer for our family as well.

How difficult it must have been for you be w/o your DH for a full 2 months. That's something I can be very thankful for - my SO has always been available, every single day from conception to today... On the other hand, I have to work because he besically refuses to get a job, so there are bad bits too. I think I'd rather see him a little less than have the family income wholly my responsibility.

I digress.

My point was that you must be so strong to make it through those times all by yourself.

And while I hope my posts are helpful - well, - no one's perfect, LOL. We had a bad night last night. Lots of ear-splitting screeching...

Tonight I'm going home woth a clear head though - no thoughts of yesterday in my mind. If I anticipate the best (fun, love, laughter, family), it will come to me.

How's everybody else doing? What moments did you savor with your children today?
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#12 of 27 Old 06-26-2003, 10:56 PM
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Well, I was able to get dinner on the table about 45 minutes earlier than normal. It meant we ate before dh got home, but I guess that's OK occasionally. Dinner itself was a bit hectic, what with the baby insisting on standing on a chair and being part of the meal.....grabbing everything, shaking salt all over....anyway...

Eating earlier allowed us to go out for a walk before bedtime, and we went to the school playground up the street. The baby (16 mo) and I sat on a swing for a long time singing songs and watching dd#2 (10yrs) and her friend hide in one of those big concrete pipe sections. They played a game of sticking a hand or a foot or a head out either end of the tube. It was hilarious, like some kind of funny old silent movie. The baby was laughing and giggling the whole time.

Everything felt better this afternoon, though because a cold front came through and swept away all the heat and humidity....It'll be a good night for sleeping tonight!
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#13 of 27 Old 06-27-2003, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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we took a family walk last night too, which was our first in quite a long time, since we are not used to the 107 degree heat. the kids, my sister, and i are hitting the road to drive back to chicago for a month. i will also drive from there to cleveland to see my in-laws. 100 hours total in the car with kids will mean a lot of bonding time, hopefully the good kind. i will miss dh a lot. i am hoping when i come back to find a solution to our frustrating financial situation. i think i might get a part time job two nights a week and weekends to make things easier. i hate to leave the baby who is only eight months (nine by then) and still not even trying solids, but we do what we have to for our families, right? i am sure i can make it work. i am all but thesis on a master's degree in women's studies and i am thinking about becoming a waitress again....pretty silly, huh? all that education, all those student loans, and i want to work nights serving people food? i like it though, and maybe i will appreciate itme with kids more when i am home. as it is, i am up until 3 am just to have a moment to think in my noisy apartment. thanks for all the inspiring stories. please, keep them coming.
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#14 of 27 Old 06-27-2003, 02:21 AM
 
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I think this is a lovely thread, fromscatteredtribe.

I wanted to share something I did. I spend alot of time on the computer in "spurts" - laptop in living room, wireless internet...I basically leave it on all day and get to it when I have a second. I was starting to feel like it was taking over me sometimes.

My DH and I started observing the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat) a while ago. We're not Jewish and that's a looooong story, but basically we agreed that we would not use our laptops on Shabbat, and also not make plans that don't include the three of us together. I admit the first time he asked to do this I complained. But I have come to love the "break". It's like I needed an excuse not to use the computer, b/c I couldn't give one to myself.

You don't have to celebrate Shabbat, but you could have one day where you don't do (insert activity of choice here) whatever it is that distracts you from "savouring".

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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#15 of 27 Old 06-27-2003, 01:00 PM
 
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My last savourings include making a yummy dinner on Wednesday night (and one I had never cooked before, so I get extra points for being daring enough to try something new ), and lots of play and chat with DD. And, this week I actually initiated sex, instead of falling into a nasty pattern of "why is he all over me again-oh,well, let get done with this soon" - of course we both enjoyed it a lot more that usual
Also, I am trying to limit my internet time and savour my work.
Piglet, thank you for the suggestion!
To the rest, I read your input with intrest, forgive me if I don't always reply to everything

Oh, and right now, the little one inside me is snuggling against me! What a wonderful thing life is!

Love, , Moni+
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#16 of 27 Old 06-27-2003, 07:57 PM
 
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I love the idea for this thread! I, too, have been feeling like I'm just surviving. The idea of Shabbat is a good one. I used to observe it with an old boyfriend; it really does give one a sense of greater peace to have one day in the week where there's no expectation of 'work'. Let's see, I'm having a hard time coming up with a good example of savouring the moment with my kids right now (its been a very long week!) We're going to Trout Lake for a picnic with some good friends tonight - maybe I'll try to steal away with ds and have a nice moment with just the two of us. Again, I'm pretty excited about this thread. I'll let you know how it goes!
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#17 of 27 Old 06-29-2003, 03:29 PM
 
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Well, the picnic was a blast. Ds had a wondrous time digging and splashing. Normally I would be nagging him to eat his dinner, keep sand off the blanket etc etc etc. This time I just let him be. I watched him play wiyh his friends - they were so busy. When ice cream treats began to be mentioned I handed him his dinner, a Salvadorean Papoosa(perfect kid food, by the way!), and he gobbled it up with relish. It was so nice to just enjoy watching him play. It all worked out perfectly, with no stressful nagging on my part!
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#18 of 27 Old 06-30-2003, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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congrats on the savoring. i am so thankful to know that there are others out there struggling with this and that i am not a gigantic freak...

does anyone have an idea for a new savoring challenge for the new week?
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#19 of 27 Old 06-30-2003, 01:24 PM
 
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I have been feeling so hot and pregnant over this past weekend. There's a heatwave going on and my air conditioner broke and I'm due to deliver my third baby within the next two weeks!!! So, last night, after a sticky day, I took my three year old son and plopped him into a tub of lukewarm water. I soaked my feet for a few minutes and then took to him with a soapy washcloth. He was so filthy!!! But, he was so honestly grateful for the relief from dirt and heat in the tub, the smile I had for him, and the soft washcloth, that I felt immensely better.
I'm trying very hard to savor these smaller moments in my day as a means of self-preservation. I am a writer (however part-time) and, for me, sitting in the morning before the kids wake up jotting a few lines in a journal helps me to focus. Sometimes I write about my kids or my husband, sometimes not...sometimes the writing is beautiful and poetic, and sometimes it is a rant. I have been keeping a journal since I was ten years old, though, and I tell you, it is amazing to watch how I have changed and grown as years pass. So, maybe finding some kind of journal or space to write even a few lines would help some people remember to "savor" things. I also think of the fact that I am leaving a solid paper legacy for my daughter...she can see what mommy was like at ten or fifteen or twenty five, as she develops in life. I know I wish my mother had kept a journal or my father, for that matter. Maybe early morning doesn't work for everyone, but even before bed could be helpful... I don't know, but it does help to settle me...
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#20 of 27 Old 06-30-2003, 08:42 PM
 
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Journaling is something that I've wanted to do for a long time. My problem (excuse!) is finding the time. I don't think that I'll ever be able to set aside one particular time everyday but I shouldn't let that stop me.
My savouring triumph today is that we were invited to have dinner at my mum's house last night. Usually we would have tried really hard to be back at home so the kids could get to bed on time. Last night we just decided to put them to bed there and all sleep overnight. It made for a much more relaxed evening and it was fun for the kids to be with Nonna and Nonno in the morning too. I guess letting go of the routine for a night made it a little less stressful. Iknow my mum appreciated the extra time too.
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#21 of 27 Old 07-07-2003, 10:56 AM
 
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Hi all!
Congrats on the relaxed visit and refreshing baths!

I had a difficult week (DD with flu , and couple issues). But I had a beautifull savoured time yesterday when we all had a picnic in the park. I actually got my belly in the sun (it's winter here) And Sofi asked to remove her shoes to walk in the grass and feel the sun. And we laid in the sun propping against each other and DP said "this are the great things of life for me" Wonderful! More practically, it also help DD nose to clear and better her humor.

Thanks for the input on journalling. I, too, have wanted to start doing it more regularly but always have the same sort of excuses...

I hope we all have a yummy week! Bye! Moni+
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#22 of 27 Old 07-07-2003, 08:17 PM
 
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Journaling is a great idea...and a challenge for me. I have started and stopped journaling several times in my life...This may sound silly, but journaling is a little intimidating for me. I think the idea of having my most honest thoughts and feelings written down on paper is, well, intimidating. Why? I'm not sure...

Anyhow, my savoring moment today was going to visit my daughter at daycare during my lunch hour. I actually have always done this; it's a nice break in my day, and I enjoy seeing her happy in her surroundings and being able to get to know her caretakers. She has just moved from the baby room to the toddler room however, and the environment is more structured and not quite as conducive to parents just dropping in whenever. As far as I can tell I'm the only parent who visits regularly, and definitely the only parent who still nurses during lunchtime! The staff is also new to me. Nonetheless, I'm enjoying getting to know them, and I love seeing my daughter take on new challenges like eating at a table instead of a high chair, sitting around in a circle enjoying a story or songs, sleeping on a cot, etc.

Keep up the good work everyone!

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#23 of 27 Old 07-07-2003, 09:02 PM
 
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Ahhhhhh.... what a wonderful thread to stumble across!!!! I glanced at it this morning, and then sort of kept it in my head for the rest of the day....

Tonight after dinner, dh gave the boys a bath while I cleaned the kitchen (our nightly routine). He brought the baby (almost 11 months old) down to let him crawl around naked to air out a slight diaper rash. I looked at the naked baby crawling around on the kitchen floor in the evening sunand realized what a rare blessing that moment was (since he is our third and last, I am more aware of these gifts than I was with the others), and I washed the warm, soapy dishes, and listened to the Indigo Girls, and watched the baby, and just SAVORED the moment. I sat down with him, and he crawled over, and nursed - mmmmmm, his naked little body was so delicious!!!

Thanks for reminding me what a gift our everyday moments can be! I'm enjoying reading everyone else's moments as well.. thanks for taking the time to share
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#24 of 27 Old 07-08-2003, 05:34 PM
 
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Latest savourings: A herb bath while Sofi had a nap, and her playing "magic" with her father at dinner (napkins seem to be a great savouring thing during our dinner!) She started wrapping a lemon and giving it to us as present, and when it was DP's turn he changed it for something else and started makeing things appear and disappear under the napkin...

Mere, I understand the fear thing w/journaling. I feel sometimes I have thoughts I am afraid even to think, let alone write down...
for bf at daycare! And enjoying the visit!

earthmama, yours sounds so yummy too!
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#25 of 27 Old 07-08-2003, 07:48 PM
 
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Here's a new savoring idea.

In the past month or so, my SO and I have been working on relieving a point of contention we've had between us for about two years. It was basically my issue - an unfuffilled promise I've been clinging to and being bitter about for the past 2 years. It came up in every argument we had. It haunted me every day - at work, at home, in the car - because things weren't how I thought they should be.

I decided to let go of it. I told him it didn't matter to me anymore. I told him that I trusted him to do what he needs and that I wouldn't assume I knew what was best for him in that regard anymore. He didn't believe it at first - I think he still doesn't.

Anyway, I was able to let this go (because it was a promise he made in the past that wasn't really relevant anymore) and this huge weight was lifted off both our shoulders. I just realized I have this WONDERFUL Man and I was letting this one thing cloud my whole image of him.

I was finally able to savor HIM, completley and utterly as he is and not how I think he *should* be.

We had a wonderful weekend. In getting along better with my SO and not having this cloud of "you should's" over my shoulders, I was able to enjoy Rory more as well.

So my challege this week - what can you savor about your relationship with your SO (if you have one) and if you don't, what can you savor about being independant? Is there anything you could stop harping on him about that would make your interactions more pleasurable (for the whole family)? Is there something special you could do that would put a smile on his face?
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#26 of 27 Old 07-09-2003, 07:46 PM
 
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excelent idea/challenge...

I must admit I don´t savour sex w-him as much as I´d like

Just yesterday I savoured a couple of things about him, though. Watching him teach was great! He loves it and it shows... He had come to sit by at my class, and the pupils (also his in another subject) asked him a question and he soon had the whole class looking at him making a demostration. (We teach physics)

In a more physical way, I REALLY savoured that slight strenghthening in his embrace as we kissed... How I LONGED to feel that!!!!!!!!!!

...That was yesterday´s crop... but I´ll keep thinking about it!....
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#27 of 27 Old 08-07-2003, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: wasChicago; nowPhoenix; somedayNYC?
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we are finally back from our 5700 mile road trip and it was very inspiring to read of your savorings. i will start an august/september thread and i hope veryone will continue to post. thanks
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