I am officially overwhelmed with how behind I am on this project and blog. So rather than rush to catch up and rush through what's left, I'm pausing.
I started this project--living by the Yamas and Niyamas-- because I needed something to do that would bring substance, inquiry, and accountability to my life, which at the time was mundane and totally un-stimulating. I also felt like the previous two years of being a stay-at-home mom had eroded my intellect and punted me back to a version of myself who was less emotionally developed and self-aware than the version of me that I'd worked so hard to get to before becoming a mom.
Motherhood was supposed to be this transcendent experience that brought more meaning to my life, more depth and love. I'd heard so many parents talk about life only beginning when they had children; that it was the most important accomplishment and best choice/experience they EVER made.
This is not the case for me.
And I have to wonder if this is not actually the case for many of those who claim it is. Are they lying? Have they convinced themselves it is because the alternative is too depressing? Or am I in the minority in my not-quite-100%-bliss experience? Or in the minority of people willing to be honest and realistic about the experience of parenthood?
I am a practical and logical person. I try to see things as they would be presented on paper: all facts, little influence from emotions or social pressure. Or whatever else clouds our perceptions and judgement.
So here are the facts:
Motherhood lessened my quality of life in every category except love. Yes, there is more love in my life because there is one more person to give to and receive love from, and we have a particularly strong connection since I grew him in my own body. But I have less of everything else: independence, freedom, money, autonomy, TIME to enjoy the things I like to do such as: hobbies, work, hang with friends, romance, adult adventure, travel, nice dinners, peace and quiet, firmness in my boobs and butt, etc., etc.
I don't know how this post turned into my public confession on my motherhood experience. Maybe it just needed to come out.
The point is, I started this blog as a way to go deeper into my experience of life, to extract more meaning from it by examining it through the lens of the Yamas & Niyamas. I thought one month dedicated to each would be more than enough time to dive deep, but I got very busy as the year progressed, all in good ways. I got more work in areas I was already working, and started a whole new aspect of my work, which wound up taking over allllll of my extra time.
As I worked more, I felt more productive and more substantial--like I was finally back to doing more than clean up messes and change diapers all day. But slowly, the project that once offered me stimulation became another obligation hanging over my head that I didn't have time for. I found myself scrambling to read the week's challenge 4 or 5 days into that week, and then forgetting it over and over again. I certainly wasn't living by the concepts I was trying to immerse myself in, and the purpose was lost.
So I am pausing where I am, backtracking to review and catch-up on writings from the prior two months and only starting again once I am fully caught up. Which means I probably won't be done with them all by January. And that's absolutely fine! I always thought that I'd repeat this project for at least three years. I love it when things fit perfectly in an organized fashion, but am okay with letting go of the original intention of completing all ten Yamas and Niyamas by the end of the year. (And this concept of releasing expectations and desires is an aspect of several Ys & Ns, so I guess I've absorbed something).
Another reason I am pausing here instead of rushing to keep up with my self-imposed schedule is that I've been aware from the beginning that I'm holding back in my writing, avoiding vulnerability by not going into personal details, even though no one even reads my posts! Personal blogs/memoirs are not compelling unless they are honest and vulnerable. I know this. And I know that my posts so far are mostly boring, largely because I don't go into any juicy, honest details.
I still wrestle with how much personal information (of my own and those closest to me) to share, but by un-publishing my blog for a while, I think I can get more honest in my writing. And maybe work through some things in the process.