I have no idea how September came to be. The moments have felt fleeting – my last “this moment” (prior to yesterday) was last month, posted when I still felt grasps on “this moment” rather than all of the next moments rushing by. I cannot remember the last time I sat down and had a chai with someone else – lately I have been gulping them at board sign-outs, in prep of incredibly busy shifts. This is all to say: I am thankful for a few moments to sit down and think about sitting with any of you reading, to process the month, the fleeting moments passed and, hopefully, the tangible moments to come.
On my playlist as I write this (press play for some tunes as you read!):
As we sit down with our caffeine, I would settle my spirit by taking in a deep breath, taking in a deep long look at you, and asking about you. How fast are your moments? Do they feel in your control enough of the time? Have you taken the time to remember some of your favorites over the past few weeks, and think about how to make some more of those favorites in the weeks to come? What is your favorite moment so far today, and what was it yesterday? What are you looking forward to next week, next month, and before the end of the year?
Wrapped up in reflection and the steam floating above our cups, I would reflect on what has caused my moment to be so scurried. My vacation in August was amazing, and such a different world of time and place that my transition back has been incredibly difficult. How is it that we not only appreciate the special spaces of respite and relief, but create the most important pieces of them in our busy life? How do we stay connected with people and moments from that time, giving credence to the people and moments we left behind and to whom we return? How different are we as people when we are way for a week’s time, and how does that shift the space to which we return? And how do these questions exist without the time to address them? Add to that moving my home, starting a new part time job, my partner starting a job out-of-state, and my working an average of 80 hours per week x3wks, and life has yet to settle down. Today is my last 24 hour shift for a while, so I am looking forward to experiencing what it feels like to work only 40 hours per week. Novel concept.
Caffeine hitting my system and our conversation flowing, I would reflect on recent visits with friends. Midwife get-togethers have become more frequent, as I build my midwife-friend community here in the city. Somehow these always include Thai food and wine, and that’s just fine by me. I am so thankful for the stories and love and friendship of these people – looking forward to another date with them next week. Friends have come in from out of town and brought flowers and raspberries and love and support: and for that I am forever grateful. If it were not for them, I would have skipped the half marathon I had been training for out of exhaustion and stress, but their presence provided just the oomph needed to push me through. Recently, I have seen many people on social media purposefully posting days worth of things for which they are thankful, and though I am not participating, I realize that for days on end I could write notes of gratitude for my friends, whom I miss and love and am thankful they take the time to read and talk and reach out to me from spaces near and far.
Realizing I’m drinking too fast, I set down my cup and take a chai-obsession break to excitedly tell you about my latest adventures: (1) I started a new part-time job. The largest midwife practice in my area, a mix of private and public aid patients, evidence-based care, positive collaborative relationships, hilarious co-workers… the list goes on. I couldn’t be more thrilled. Already my midwifery spirit has felt lifted, and I am looking forward to continuing that feeling. In the world of life balance, one full-time job and two part-time jobs is hitting a bit on the busy side… but I just can’t help myself from drinking in midwifery in all its shapes and sizes. (2) A friend and I are collecting stories from midwives who have worked in Chicago’s hospitals. See below for our “call” for stories – if anyone out there has ever worked in Chicago’s hospitals, please contact us!
Wishing I had ordered something with tea leaves to help with my fantasy football predictions, I would ask if you’re into football and who you follow. My Michigan Wolverines and Pittsburgh Steelers started their seasons strong, but followed up with horrific second games. Sigh. At least my dedicated knitting time has returned! And I just returned to my fall cooking this past weekend with my favorite Baked Potato Soup recipe. Up next for this week’s cooking includes Apple and Red Cabbage Slaw, Late Summer Minestrone, and Corn, Cheddar and Scallion Strata.
Finishing the last sips, I would share my excitement for the upcoming birth of my niece! I am anxiously awaiting a phone call from my sister-in-law that she is in labor, and out to Arizona I will go! I will try to hold back my proud-aunt pictures, but I’m not making any promises. I am looking forward to spending time with my two older nieces, cooking food, taking care of my sister-in-law during her postpartum period, and spending time with family. If you have any recommendations for yummy foods to cook, best practices for immediate postpartum care of a family member, or any words of support for my family that I can use to bring her strength during birth or the week after, please send them along!
As we plan our next chai date, I would ask what other fun plans you have had since we last saw each other. Books? Movies? Music? I have been trying to go see The Giver, but haven’t found a chance and I’m wondering if you’ve seen it? I just finished reading Blue Is the Warmest Color, after the movie version totally rocked my world. It is a graphic novel: a whirlwind of black and white drawings littered with blue notes, and is completely different from the movie. I haven’t read many graphic novels, and this one will not be my last. I can’t find where I packed the second book in Margaret Atwood’s trilogy, so I started reading Americanah, the next on my stack of books to read, and the October listing for a Feminist Book Group that I attend. Last night I watched the movie New York, I Love You, during which I sobbed uncontrollably the entire time. There’s nothing like a movie about relationships and life and the complexities of each that brings me to my emotional knees. Then, because I am still reeling from my Thursday night shift and weird post-call day, I continued with my zoning-out Netflix run and started watching the show The Fosters, which is an amazing show about lesbian moms raising biological, adopted, and foster children – check if out if you haven’t already! Music that has been on repeat in my home (when I’m getting ready to leave or go to bed, which is the only time I’m ever home lately!) is Sylvan Esso, Krudas Cubensi, and Brandi Carlile (so I can prep my mind for her PinDrop tour here in Chi-town!).
Is there something in your life that you could write about for days on end, expressing gratitude for its presence in your life? What communities are you building in your life, and are your purposefully making time for them? What new adventures have you started, and do they feel solid or shaky? If you had tea leaves, what futures would you be hoping to predict? What song would be playing if we were having chai together today?
Sending you warmth as the weather cools, and looking forward to our chat next month.
Chicago Midwife Book of Stories: Four, Water on the Floor, or You’re Out the Door