My time: the rituals and margins

Time flies.  When I was 2 weeks overdue with Leo, I sat around twiddling my thumbs all day and badly wanted him to arrive just so I would have something to do.  Now, that's hilarious.  Since he came into our lives, I have a whole new relationship with time, one that is now defined by my personal rituals and the margins of time I have here and there.  Rituals stop the doing and let me simply be in time and the other requires the maximum use of time.  Both are important in their own ways.

Those first few days and weeks of Leo's life completely blurred together and I wouldn't have been able to tell one from another if it weren't for a couple of rituals I've implemented into my life.  Rituals provide us a way to mark time and allow for a special observance of events.  In a way, they give us our time back by simply honoring it. 

Each day, I take one photo and I write just a bit about my day.  Then, before going to bed, I write 3 things I'm grateful for and one thing I love about myself.  These are my rituals.  They have given me a chance to stop and observe what has happened, to appreciate what has passed, and to internalize it all before moving forward with the time that flies.  They put little markers in the timeline of my forward-moving life and give me something to look back upon in appreciation.

And now that I've made an attempt to get back into my previous life, with all its responsibilities and demands, I find myself using the margins of my time more than ever.  I've become an expert at creatively using the tiny slots of time within my day to accomplish something.  Thank God for smart phones.  Suddenly a traffic jam is an opportunity to send an email and waiting for something on the stove to boil is a chance to clean up around the house.

In the midst of it all, I've tried to land on a daily practice for solitude and silence.  Some days, that seems out of the question and other days I snag those moments when Leo is napping or late at night.  I try to remind myself that balance does not mean doing it all and I hold onto the small rituals that give it all meaning.