“You only want to join for a month?” says the young girl behind the Virgin gym counter, warily eyeing up my rapidly approaching 36 week sized bump. “Yes, just to keep up my swimming,” I tell her. “I think a month is all I’ll be able to squeeze in.” Membership formalities aside and I’m dropping my ball like self gingerly into the pool, while the 20 something lifeguard looks as though he’s weighing up whether he’d actually know what to do in the event of an emergency.
Yes, I’m back home in Northern for the birth of bean number 2, and swimming is my attempt at holding on to some semblance of my normal routine. A chance to keep my sanity when my mind tries to continuously remind me: “Routine? You’ve got to be joking! Be prepared for all that to go completely t*ts up in a few weeks!”
As the reality of what lies ahead really starts to hit home, I’m finding myself struggling somewhat with that fish out of water feeling. I’m not in my usual surroundings, my familiar bed – husband gently snoring at my side. I’m not doing the nursery drop off before nipping to teach a vinyasa class. I’m not dashing in for a swim before picking up the groceries.
While I’m ever grateful to now have the huge support of family and friends, the creature of habit in me finds it hard to let go. I’ll admit I like a good old routine. I like to do things by the clock. I like to have Molly tucked up in bed by 8 so the husband and I can catch up on the latest Game of Thrones. If I say I’ll be on time, I won’t let you down. And while we all need a break from the old routine from time to time, many of us will probably admit that it feels nice to get back to some sort of order. But with number 2 on the way, I know that sense of order could be about to slip away, and things may not run anywhere close to clockwork, no matter how hard I will it to!
“Rigidly flexible. That’s what you need to be,” my mother in law used to always say. I’ll admit it was usually uttered much to my annoyance, but in a sense she’s absolutely spot on. Part of having a routine also lies in the ability to be flexible with our schedules and to not feel like your world is spinning if things don’t work out to plan. When Molly was just a baby, I really struggled with this – with the feeling of being overwhelmed and out of control. The reality that babies don’t always eat, sleep and act by the book took me a long time to accept, and if I’m honest, it’s still something I often find difficulty with to date!
Yes, this struggle to hold on to our routine very much reminds me of the old yoga principle of aparigraha. It’s one of Pantajali’s five yamas or moral codes and simply put it means non grasping. It’s the ability to live and let go, without attachment. Even if you’re not a yogi, maybe you can still identify with all this. Maybe you thrive on picking your Starbucks up every day, before getting to work on time. Maybe you love hitting the gym at 6pm or taking a class on the same day every week. Whatever it is, there is something comforting about having a familiar routine. But the question is, are we able to adapt when life’s curve balls fly in to to shake everything up? That’s definitely the hardest part!
So this week I’m focusing on trying to let go a touch. On the ability to let a few simple things slide without allowing them to ruffle my feathers, whether it’s the fact that Molly’s not quite in bed by 8 or the reality that life as I usually know it might need to go on the back burner for a while. I’m trying to breathe and accept that things won’t always fit into tidy boxes and believe me, it’s not easy! Maybe you can let go of something this week too? Relax the old routine and see where it takes you – I’ll be right there with you!
Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.