I sat down forty minutes ago to write. My laptop’s battery is down to 20%-time to plug it in the outlet by the stove where I’ll stand and type some more as Zoey calls to me from the bedroom for the 20th time to tell me she has to pee. Although last time it was, “Mommy, I have to pee and poop.” I remind her that she already pooped at the restaurant tonight. We went out to eat for my birthday dinner because I forgot to defrost the bacon for the Beef, Bacon, Kale Meatballs I was going to make. Remember the mess I was talking about yesterday? This is the mess. This is imperfection butting its head into my desire to write a decent blog post tonight. And all I could do was laugh when she says to me, “No mommy, I went baby poop at the restaurant, now I need to do mommy poop.”
Today I turned 37. Awhile back I had listened to Krista Tippett’s podcast with the social psychologist from Harvard University, Ellen Langer talk about her research on mindfulness. I was reminded today of that podcast because of the article in the New York Times today, What if Age Is Nothing but a Mind-Set. I grew up with two parents who often told me they felt like teenagers inside despite each birthday that would come and go. I feel no different. It was very apparent to me two weekends ago when I was on my own–not in the role of mother or wife. I felt like that younger 20 something year old girl who was single, and I have to admit a little fear crept in. For some reason it seems easier for me to be my braver self when I have little ones to be responsible for or when I’m in partnership with my husband. There is comfort in knowing he’s by my side. What intrigues me about Ellen Langer’s research is summed up by this line in the NY Times article, “If people could learn to be mindful and always perceive the choices available to them, Langer says, they would fulfill their potential and improve their health.” Having worked in hospice, I don’t think I will ever see my age as “old” because I know how young 37 is in the span of a long life. But the thinking I do need to change in a more positive direction is how I think about my health and this ulcerative colitis. I live my life daily thinking about it and the food choices I make. Today I ate carrot cake for my birthday–obviously not on the AIP diet. Could the way I think about my health really change what is happening on the inside of my body? I’d like to think so.