A Pregnant Brainstorm

Pregnancy always makes me slow down. "It's not necessarily always a good thing," said the fifty extra baby pounds I put on since the last one. I'm really good at gaining weight and not so good at losing it. But I like slowing down. Maybe it's the nausea or maybe it's the scary pounding that my heart does at the top of the stairs when it's pumping for two. I find that sitting and vegging comes so easily when I'm pregnant. My brain slows down enough for me to enjoy mind-numbing cell phone and internet games. I hardly ever play them unless I'm pregnant. I wonder what it all means?

My daughter is going to be a Kindergartener in September. I'm homeschooling but that doesn't make it any less stressful. Instead of school supplies I need to buy curriculum and instead of separation anxiety I need to think of ways to make learning fun. I feel like it's all right on the tip of my tongue and yet I am powerless to grasp it. There are so many factors and variables. This is where I often find myself, pregnant or not. Stuck between fifty and a hundred choices.

I like to stand in front of the products in the grocery store and just marvel at the choices. All the deceptive packaging and pricing; the way they discount an item to the same price Walmart would charge just by adding two extra bucks to the "original price". Also, if they'll charge me fifteen extra bucks for it "elsewhere" then it must be a smokin' deal, right Grocery Outlet? Too bad "elsewhere" means as imported goods in a far off country. You can't fool me, unless you're selling something I know nothing about or that I love too much. Hearts of palm are a weakness of mine. I know, like, what are those? They are yum. Buy me lots of them.

Choices are so hard to make. They change everything. I used to read those "Choose your own adventure" books when I was a kid. I was usually filled with regret at my first choice and went back and read the other outcomes and kicked myself more times than not. I loved those books, though. But I think they helped perpetuate my anxiety over consequences. If only I could get it through my head that not choosing is also a choice: a choice to do nothing. That can have the most regrettable consequences of all. Living out scenarios in my head doesn't seem to be working out. It's definitely not working my body out, just ask my thighs. Or ask the dog hair that never quits and haunts my ankles in every room. Or ask the dog! She gets out of the house maybe once a week these days. But what if my heart stops because of baby, and walking, and hot sun!? Too many variables. Can't do it, pooch.

Everyone has their addictions. Mine is apparently thinking myself into a sedentary state of being. I can reason myself into bed any time of the day, especially first trimester pregnant. This is not a good or flattering thing about myself. But it is a nuisance. I can't take much more of it to tell you the truth. I need to use my imagination to my own benefit, but how? How do I harness the trains of thought in my mind to go where they need to go? I need to build tracks that will take them there. Preparation, but not planning. Planning is sitting, deliberating and writing lists. Too dangerous. I need to physically prepare for the future of my thinking. If I know I will sabotage any physical activity then I need to make it easy for myself at first. Don't plan to wear sandals if the house needs cleaning. Get out the work tennies and plan to beat feet! Don't leave the music off just to induce relaxation and coma. Turn on the dance craze and get to scrubbing! Don't neglect the kids so that they bug me out of my work. Prepare busy-boxes in advance to keep them stimulated (t.v. makes me feel guilty enough to stop working and play with them).

There are some things I'm buried under and some things outside my control. Grace will come swooping down like a beautiful eagle to give me time, energy, and mercy to get myself dug out. I remember when I quit one of the fiercest-gripping addictions known to man: cigarettes. I prepared the family for what was to come and I set aside a weekend for the worst of it, a month in advance! When the time came I did everything I could think of and I was all prayed-up. Success! After dozens of tries, the key was preparation. I need to learn to love preparation. It's boring but it's effective.

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