conscious ebb and flow during our short winter break

Last week, M worked from home because he was still recovering from the flu, so we hung out and had a lot of family time. It was really wonderful, aside from my love feeling under the weather.

This week, M's fully recovered, so he's back to his office for a few hours a day, to write and write and write.

And so, Rem and I are having our own winter break week.

(He goes back to school next week - it wasn't a long break at all.)

I'm making it a conscious ebb and flow week. Or as I call it with Remy, "adventure/ chillax week." Each night we decide whether the next day will be adventure day or chillax day. And then we revisit our decision in the morning. This is doubly important because we only have one car, so if we decide to go out, we have to take M to work and pick him up. If we're not going out, he takes the car. It's just too cold for his motorcycle this week, even with heated grips and warm cycling gear.

Yesterday was an adventure day: Legoland. (We have season passes, because Remy is that into Lego.)

Wow, was it crowded! Still, it was definitely fun because we knew it would be crowded and we had decided to just go for it. We stayed for as long as we were having fun and then we left. That's why having season passes is the best, we don't feel compelled to push ourselves longer than feels good and we can go back later.

We don't have season passes to Disneyland, but I decided to act last month as if we did. Because even Disneyland isn't worth staying so long it isn't fun anymore. We had fun until we were done and then we were done. We stayed a lot longer the first day than I thought we would, but it was extremely magical and we were having a blast.

(Remy and I had such a blast at Disneyland, I really didn't even take many photos at all and I was hardly able to post even the photos I did take because the hotel we were staying at for M's conference could not handle the additional WiFi usage his academic cohort always brings. Par for the course, with academic conferences, I guess.)

The second (and last) day at Disneyland, we left way before I had thought we would, but there were so many more people (it was a Friday), our energy was zapped. We made the choice not to push. We came to a decision about our schedule and then we revisited it as needed and made choices together. Even though it wasn't as magical a day as the first, at least for me, it was actually a better example of what I mean by conscious ebb and flow.

That's why last week's hanging out at home was fun, too.

Conscious ebb and flow.

And so today, we decided to hang out at home and chillax.

Remy's chillax is a lot more energetic than mine. He bounces from one fun thing to another at home. Lego, art, reading, games, lightsabers, all the time his body in fairly constant motion. I'm more like, mmmm wake up slow, make coffee, stretch, download photos to my computer, make a collage, stretch, write, more coffee, more writing, help find a Lego piece, make Remy lunch, clean up the kitchen, make my lunch, read outloud to Remy while that's cooking, eat, write some more, have some tea, read on the couch for awhile, do some yoga together, play lightsabers for a set amount of time, more tea, take some photos, edit some photos, FB instagram break, stretch, mmmm... more tea, etc...

OK, that does sound energetic, now that I write it out! But it's a lot less energetic than Remy's energetic.

We are different ages and different people, so it makes sense our ebb and flow look different.

What matters more is the consciousness part. We choose what we're doing, in each moment, because it's what we want to do. Sometimes we have to compromise, but it's still a choice we can make, to be conscious of our compromises.

Because living a realistic life means having to do things that aren't the most fun choice (grocery shopping comes to mind) but we still choose our response to grocery shopping. And since I'm the mom, I can choose ways to make it more engaging for Remy, too. Which sometimes means letting him play Angry Birds Go on my phone while he sits inside the cart, if he's already had a really full day (like when we have to go grocery shopping after school sometimes). And more often these days, it means letting him push the cart and help pick out food, while I steer him as unobtrusively as possible.

That's him having ebb and flow and me being conscious about it and both of us making choices we want to make.

Boundary pushing is a different thing altogether but right now, we're not in a boundary pushing phase - those seem to come more in the months around birthdays these years. Last May was pretty boundary pushing and wow, that kept me on my toes. Being conscious is even more important at those times, but oy, is it infinitely harder.

That's why I practice, when it isn't hard. It makes the harder times easier.

Conscious ebb and flow.