I purposefully photographed my personal library’s latest addition for a reason. Even though I’m working hard to take care of a busy toddler, and making sure she has interesting and wholesome stimuli, I’m still making time for myself. It’s taken over a year, but I’ve finally started to reestablish a routine that allows me to maintain personally meaningful, deep spiritual connections. It was difficult, and I still have a lot of work to do to return to where I was before pregnancy, even before graduate school, but I am getting there. It’s also a little different since some of my daily rituals involve prayers that are more childlike to promote Bee’s understanding of Gaelic polytheism as well as her early literacy skills. Morning and evening prayers are simple and melodic. Motherhood has given me a new appreciation for nursery rhymes and ritual gestures. So the experiential and the experimental are going well.
The hardest habits to reestablish are my academic studies. Between six months and a year, Bee suddenly became very active. That’s only increased. Finding peaceful time to read has been problematic. I’m still nursing her, so there are times, during the day, when I may fit in some reading, but she usually wants to play with her hands. Seriously, she grabs and pinches everything. Everything. Imagine a cat laying on the book you’re reading. Now imagine the same scenario, but give your cat opposable thumbs. Get the picture? My new plan is to try to read more in bed at night with my trusty reading lamp. I spend too much time trying to catch up with social media at night, and for what? To see all the quiz results people want to share? Psh. Between the uselessness of that and recent studies showing how detrimental screen time before bed can be, I think I seriously need to make a change. This great post on sacrifice from the Agora blog really drove that home to me.
Thankfully, I have allies to encourage these revived and improving habits! A fellow ADFer started an Initiate Program study group through Schoology to help people like myself get through it. The study program is a beast but this group, and her breakdown, is just what I needed. Some of the books on the ADF reading list are very academic and require focus when reading. I have no choice but making time, during Bee’s sleep, to read. This study group has really helped reinvigorate me, thus my latest purchase towards the course “Indo-European Mythology 1.” I scanned the table of contents and I’m already excited!