The timer has started. And now I have to navigate writing - while in the fog. I can recall one time in particular. Ricardo and I landed down in Toronto, rented a car, and then had to make our way to Meaford to my sister's house. I was five months pregnant with Cami, it was night and from Toronto to Meaford, the headlights of the rental car barely pierced the fog. My heart felt heavy and my fear was cusping. Is that even a word? Cusping? That's one kind of fog. The kind that blinds you. The other kind of fog, is the one that is brought on by lack of sleep. This is the fog I believe I have been operating in for the past I-don't-even-know-how-many months. The fog of fatigue. It doesn't help that every self-help podcast, book (just kidding, I can't/don't read books right now) and conversation I have with healthy people seems to conclude with one thing. 1. Sleep is uber important. 2. Starting the day with lemon water is HUGE. I know. That was two. Living in the fog has me drifting from room to room, forgetting why I am even there. Looking at people like I have something to say to them - and then forgetting, forgetting if I washed my hair already in the shower, moaning from time to time, and the best - wondering what is real, and what I dreamed. Are you thinking, "Ah ha! You are sleeping after all!" Nope. These "dreams" are the mish-mash of thoughts, and ideas that I have while lying in bed at 4:00am, unable to get back to sleep. Unable cause I am so tired, but hear a baby coughing, or unable because I start thinking about the university fund I haven't started yet. This fog. I'll name it for you all. Motherhood. And I have it b.a.d. Someone said to me that going from one to two was a game changer, but this? And some people have more than two kids … these people - my heroes and sheroes. I don't even know what's happening anymore; a miracle that I can function. And I say that to people all the time, "I don't even know how I am functioning." And then I make the comment about how amazing the body is. Cause, it is. So my question is this. Moms and Dads out there. HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO IT? Do you hear me? About the fog? Do you live in it too? What's it like for you? Do you remember who you were before kids. Have you had conversations with your spouse recently? What did you talk about? What are some of the funny things that have happened in the fog? Ricky always catches me when I do stupid shit. "How was your tea?" He'll ask. When my tea cup is starting to form icicles because I forgot about it nine hours ago. The fog is a real thing. But back to the story of us driving to Meaford. Let's heed the advice from real life situations and inject this metaphor with what we know works. It's not just moms and dads that end up in the fog. We all get there now and again. So let's remember:
Slow down. You can't race through the fog like some sort of maniac. Or someone's going to gonna get hurt.
Turn off your high beams. What? It's easy to project when you're coming from a place of vulnerability. Turn that down. Own your own weather, and move on. Albeit, slowly.
Be ok with not being ok. Once you let go of the need to control certain aspects of your life, you can find comfort in the unknown. Not everything can and should be controlled.
Now. having said this. Well - written it, I will heed some of my own advice. I have to get the girls from daycare … and I am going to walk slowly this time round.
Like it is - According to Vail
The following is list of things I would like to blame on the fog:
Forgetting 3 ATM cards in the machine and letting them get sucked back in. (My husband forbade me from using ATMs where I needed to insert the card for a period of time.)
Locking myself out of my own house and having to break in through a window with an umbrella.
Allowing my dog to eat on the morning of her surgery. Anesthesia required.
Sometimes I feel like I have to make a mistake or tragic error to snap me out of the fog. Then the fog will lift for a while and begin to slowly, sneakily creep its way back into my life until the next awakening happens. Like a jolt.
Sometimes, the fog and the clearing are not that evident. There are days where I feel like I am just a bit removed from the clarity and colors of life, like I am not operating on all cylinders.
I wish I had an understanding of exactly what causes the fog in my life. Brain fog seems to be all the rage right now, and I have been reading a lot about why I do things that my normally functioning brain would be too intelligent or alert to do. I have read that it can be lack of sleep, hormones, stress, diet and medications. At any one time over the last 5 years of my life, any or all of these could have been the culprit. I have often mentioned to friends and loved ones that I am not myself. When I don’t feel like me, that is the fog talking.
But not all fog is bad. I had the opportunity to hike the Inca Trail years ago and I still treasure the photo where we crested Dead Woman’s Pass. Was is a cloud? Was is fog? I don’t know, but it was one of the most beautiful things I have seen in my life. A white mist was rolling over the landscape. As we trekked on, the fog began to clear and opened into a breathtaking valley.
This is true in my experience too. Once the fog lifts, there is often a deeper clarity than I had before. The textures of life seem twice as bright. I guess I am always trying to figure out how to break through to that technicolor opening, living less time in the fog.
Kind of like happiness and sadness, fog might be a necessary state to understand the value of a spectacularly present and vibrant moment. If I never knew the fog and what it feels like to be a little bit off, would I know to search for my most powerful, lucid me?
Although I hate to admit it, I am probably part fog and part clearing. I will bring compassion to my fogginess and try to let go, because it will eventually lift.