Is it possible to tidy your emotional nest when you are 9 months pregnant?
In less than 3 weeks I will be having a baby. As I work to tie up loose ends, organize myself and my family, and try and wrap my head around the many experiences and changes that are impending it would be both odd and physically impossible ( a woman’s hormones are 6 times higher than normal during the 3rd trimester…6times!) not to be feeling all the feels right now.
In many ways when you’re pregnant you feel more connected to your body and emotions than usual. Or at least you try. Honestly, right now physically it all feels foreign. The kicks, the weight, the bursts of energy followed by exhaustion, even having legit sized boobs is a new and strange phenomenon. Emotionally, I am blessed to have so many people care about me and ask “How are you feeling?” The poor midwife last week asked this with such depth that despite me feeling fine walking into the office I burst into tears.
How am I feeling? There is so much right now that is out of my control which is unnerving — work to relationships and everything and everyone in between. I want to make things right, better, have a plan, map it out, regroup, find peace, make sure they are okay, apologize, express gratitude, DO the art project that’s in my head, write down my children’s stories, illustrate the ones I have, and get every duck in a row. If nesting means wanting to examine the structures that hold your life in place, take it apart, polish, repair, and then put it back together with a satisfied sigh then I guess I’m “nesting.” Yet I know I cannot achieve the impossible. Even if my “house” was tidy and sturdy, that would only last a hot moment before life’s beautiful chaos, or a wet dog walked through the door.
I recently read this article and learned of the 90 Second Rule. “When a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there is a 90 second chemical process that happens in the body; after that, any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop.” Looking at emotions and how one responds from a neurological perspective is empowering. Often we try to push that initial feeling aside if it’s uncomfortable, yet we then choose to ride the waves of emotions that discomfort gave us for much much longer than the 90 seconds. What happens if you just sit with that feeling for 90 seconds? Don’t react. Just feel.
As I go about life these next two weeks, and continue to wrap my head around the impending changes in life I intend to try and not freak out if a project doesn’t get finished, if I can’t repair a relationship, or if my ducks decide to free-range vs get in a row. I’m going to sit with discomfort, joy, anticipation, fear, and excitement for 90 seconds. Let it wash over me and send it back out to sea. I will reflect on the reactions I feel during those 90 seconds, make a mental note of the important ones and how in the future I can address them, but right now I’m just going to try and feel all the feels.
I’m sure I’ll mess up along the way and react. Don’t hold it against me, I am 9 months pregnant after all, but I’m putting this intention out there. If you haven’t heard of the 90 second rule check it out. It’s an interesting scientific and psychological concept that I find easier to grasp than “mindfulness.”