HELLO. I’VE MISSED YOU.

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Where do I even begin?

I’ve missed you. I’ve missed writing to you. I mean like really writing, from my heart.

At the same time, it’s been a relief to let myself off the hook from blogging this past year or so. I used to blog every day. For years. I loved it. It was part of my routine. I started to get burnt out. Not just with blogging, with everything. Someone told me it was ok to blog less, and I listened. It was ok. It is ok. But I’ve begun to miss the practice and the clarity that often came when I would just sit down to write, not knowing what would come… but something always did. There’s something about writing that helps me make sense of things. Interestingly, I’ve hardly written at all since Coen was born.

It feels like it’s time to start again.

So here I am.
This started to spill into my head this afternoon while I was out for a walk with the babe. And now he is napping (oh wait, now he’s not. Hello, story of my new life!).

Coen is almost 6 months old! 6 MONTHS.

He is a joy. I’m learning that it’s practically impossible to explain or express what it feels like to look at your own child, your baby, who you created like magic, who didn’t used to exist but now he does, and how in the world did I get so lucky that such a perfect little creature chose me as his mama? It’s unreal. It’s surreal. It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve cried more tears these past 6 months than I think I have in my whole lifetime before it. That is true. It’s getting more amazing, fulfilling, fun, and magical every day. That is also true.

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It seems there is no time. It’s all nursing and diapers and trying to get this baby to sleep (oh, why won’t he sleep??) and arguments with my husband and any attempt to finish anything taking 5 tries.

And yet it also seems these days like I have all the time in the world.
I am so lucky. I don’t have to go back to work. I work at home and I get to figure out this new way, this new life with a baby, and making art, too. How lucky is that? I get to watch this amazing baby make sense of his world. I get to witness all the firsts that have come and will continue to come. This new human!!

This morning I found this short video by Gretchen Rubin. I never want to take any of it granted again. I know that I will sometimes, but I don’t want to.

The sweetness of it, the magic, is almost too much sometimes; my heart might explode.
The monotony of it, the piercing nighttime cries that fill me instantly with stress, are almost too much sometimes; I might explode.
I guess this is being a parent? A mama?
I’m a walking ball of tears, mostly. Not in a bad way. Just in a new way. I’ve been cracked open. I don’t think the crack will ever seal up. Is this what they mean when they say being a parent is like having your heart walking around outside of your body in the world? Oy. That is what it feels like. I love this tiny human more than I knew is possible.

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Look at him! How is he already so big and old that he’s excited about trying food and riding in shopping carts at Trader Joe’s?

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These two are, sadly, not the biggest fans of the baby. They tolerate him, and I think they know he’s here to stay, but they certainly don’t get close enough to snuggle. I’m holding out hope that one day they’ll all nap together. That will be my dream come true.

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I’m going to be real: I’ve been putting craaaaazy pressure on myself these past several months. The above statement? I haven’t really been believing it so much.

I’ve been making art, running and going to the gym several times a week, teaching Pattern Camp last month, and then doing it again next month (registration opens tomorrow!), thinking about all the things I want to create (and getting frustrated that I don’t have time to create them), thinking I’m Super Woman and can do it all (spoiler: I’m not Super Woman and I can’t do it all!), and then collapsing every now in then in a heap of tears and wishing I would just go easy on myself already. I haven’t slept more than 3 hours in a row in 6 months. That is not an exaggeration. Go easy on yourself. It sounds so simple.

Just go easy!

Why is it so dang hard?

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There are bits of self-care here and there. I had a luxurious 3 hour hair appointment a few weeks ago. That was nice.

Painting feels like self-care, but it also feels like it’s walking a fine line between self-care/pleasure and crazy-making pressure to do do do, to be busy at all times, as is my typical way.

Now and then I can say to myself “you know what, self? It’s ok to just not do anything right now.” But not that often.

I read (and have been re-reading) this quote recently:
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu

Seems applying that idea to myself could be useful…

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But oh, the paint! When I have small chunks of time these days, going to sit quietly at my painting table feels meditative. Like a relief. Just so good, in a new way. Almost like I took it for granted before, and now I don’t do that. So that’s interesting.

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A new idea emerged, and I’m grateful to have something to work toward in my art making moments… my animal totem series, which stemmed from my idea to create an animal a day at the beginning of 2016, is still feeling fun and energizing, and I’m working toward creating an oracle deck (YES!), so I’m just plugging away plugging away, painting my animals and trusting that it will all fall into place. Trusting trusting….

What else is there to do but trust, really?

Worry, I guess, but I spend plenty of time doing that, so maybe it’s time to try something different, eh?

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It’s Spring in Portland, which is one of the most glorious times to be in Portland, I think. It is just so stunning. Flowers and trees blooming everywhere, moss covering everything, rainbows and rain storms and bright sun poking through clouds. I love it here. I mean, look at this:

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WHAT?! Coen and I walked by this house again today and you couldn’t even see any green grass poking through the pink. It was so beautiful.

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I am so blessed. We are so blessed. What a life this is, isn’t it?

I’m feeling life differently than I did before. Some days are more graceful than others, but I suppose that’s just part of being a human on this journey.

I am so grateful for this. To get to experience this. To be alive, now.
This is life. This is LIFE! It’s happening now. Now! It’s always happening right now. That’s the trick. I get caught up in thinking life is in the past and the future. But it’s not. It’s now. There is nothing to worry about. Everything will be ok. Everything is ok.