Tuesday, February 21, 2012


This is the last week of the e-course I've been taking, Stephanie Levy's Creative Courage. This is also February vacation week in this area, although my boys only have the first three days, since Thursday and Friday are being used as make-up days for the time lost at the start of the year due to Tropical Storm Irene. While I'd rather they not get stuck in school until nearly July, I'm sort of bummed we have such a short week off.

These two things really do go together; stick with me. Stephanie starts each week of the course with a video, and in this week's, she talked about Leap Year and how that can be an inspiring idea, to leap. "Leap" is actually one of my word cards, but I wasn't making the connection with Leap Year at that time; I was thinking about how going to Squam will be a leap, but such a necessary and good one. I've been trying to be more open to stepping out of my comfort zone, which has definitely narrowed a bit over the past ten years of caring for little people.

So her video and my own thoughts on leaping (and shifting, too; she said the phrase for Leap Year in German translates into "Shift Year," which she thought wasn't as inspiring, but I think sometimes a shift is all we need to see things completely differently) were rolling through my head when the kids and I went downstairs to play with blank Shrinky Dink sheets. Until recently I didn't realize it was possible to do whatever you wanted with Shrinky Dinks. All I remembered from being a kid was those pre-printed sheets you colored in, and where's the creativity in that? Well, the kids and I got creative, as is our habit, and we had a blast--absolutely the most fun I've had with the oven in ages, since when you are forced to cook every night whether you feel like it or not (food issues), it kind of loses any fun it might ever had held. I may have, er, made more pieces than the kids.

Oh dear, these are all mine.
Yes, those four matchy ones are buttons! How cool is that? I pinned this tutorial a while ago and kept it in mind. And hey, want a closer look at that little Leap! pendant?

You know when you're swinging really hard, just really pumping those legs and flying high and feeling soooo free, and then you jump off and fly for just a second or two? That's the feeling I was holding onto while I drew that, just a little reminder--perhaps to go on a key chain, maybe--of how freeing and liberating it can feel to leap! Can't you tell? Whoever it was just jumped off that swing. She is leaping.

I love to swing. I was swinging not too long ago, in the playground at the school where my daughter and I attend parent-child playgroup. We were the first ones outside and she was swinging on her tummy and didn't need me to push, so I got on and just started pumping, and it felt so good, especially because my body has been unreliable for so long. I'm keeping up with my DDD challenge, which is walking, trying to start the month with two walks per week and end the month with three per week. The first day I put my daughter in the stroller and walked half a mile up the street and half a mile back, I was in so much pain afterwards. All my trouble joints ached. But the next day, I got the whole family up and out to a family hike (organized by RI Families in Nature), and it was okay. And the next one-mile walk was better, and the next walk was two miles, and I can do it, and I'm not in crippling pain afterwards, and I'm not exhausted. I ache, and I'm tired, but not fatigued, and I think the exercise is helping with that.

Bit by bit, I am walking through this. My follow-up blood work for Lyme came back okay. On days I get out and walk I feel amazing. I used to not give a thought at all to whether I could handle a walk; my body just did. I'm grateful to be working my way back to that place. I swung next to my daughter and I was grateful, even when my hip began to ache and I had to stop...I was grateful for that time of swinging and the feeling of flying.

Are you planning to make a leap this Leap Year? {I'm pretty sure Squam won't be my only leap...}


GirlAnachronismE said...

Great post, I love the buttons and the leap pendant. It has such good sentiment behind it. My leap this year is moving from the lecture hall into the wide world of hospitals, dealing with real patients dorm the first time!

Erin_in_Boston said...

Every year I sit and ponder Squam and drool at the chance to go. I hope by next year I can make it a reality! Until then, I live vicariously through you!

Donna Lee said...

The buttons are glorious. I hadn't thought about Leap Year beyond having the extra day in Feb. Now I'm going to give it some thought and think of something special to do. I'll have group that day so maybe I'll run a special group.

Jill said...

Want to hear sad? I used to love swinging too, but I can't really do it anymore. I have balance issues, and when I swing or do something even more unbalancing, I get vertigo. Sometimes the vertigo takes hours to go away. Once it took almost a whole day. That's really the pits.

Bells said...

I love swinging. I really love it. I'll take any chance. It's exhilerating.

I love that your creativity is definitely feeding, and being fed by, your inner life. The two are so linked.