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Stronger than we think

I had the honor of attending my 9th birth this past weekend.  It knocked me off my regular blogging schedule (a baby being born is slightly more important than my self-imposed goals...), so here's a quick one as I run around getting my head back on straight, my house back in order, and getting ready for the new week and month ahead.

During each and every birth I've attended, whether it's been completely drug free or medicated, whether vaginal or cesarean, there reaches a point (or several points) where the mother says, "I can't do this.  I can't do this anymore."

And yet somehow - they do.  They get through it, the baby comes out however he or she comes out, and life continues on to the next adventure, the next challenge, the next demands.

I'm inspired similarly whenever I come home from a visit with my sister, in frank awe of everything she accomplishes every day by raising her 3 small children and the absolute onslaught of work that entails - not just feeding and comforting and playing, but the phone calls to insurance companies and dealing with when things break in the house and being a support for my brother-in-law, who works his heart out on their business.

I never fail to be inspired by moms, and it never fails to remind me that we are all stronger than we think we are.  We can all do more than we think we can.  We all have more time than we realize, if only we did not squander it - through shallow distractions like facebook (and lord knows I am not counting myself above that one) and through deeper distractions like freezing in self doubt.

Sometimes, your body takes over and shows you the spectacular strength and capability you never realized you had, as in many births I've witnessed.  Sometimes, it's the mind that takes over in the face of overwhelming challenge, and a stubborn mental belief and strength is what carries you through.

The truth remains the same, though - we are all so much stronger than we realize.

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Grateful.

It's been eight years today since I've been with the love of my life.

A few months from five years married (Costa Rica, here we come).

Eight years and a couple months since living in the city.

Seven years of Friendsgivings in NYC with my chosen family.

Seven years of Karma Kids Yoga - more chosen family and buckets of kids.

Ten years since college; fourteen of the friendships.

One picked-clean, no leftovers turkey last night.  A table of desserts.

And in ten days we do it again with family.

This morning I'm tired, still full, and grateful.