Sunday, March 25, 2012

What Fills My Tank?

She does!

My brother uses this expression, talking about things that "fill my tank." I like it.

After a hard couple of weeks, it's something I've been thinking about a lot. Because my tank was needing filling.

One thing that fills my tank is hiking. I love being outside, and the repetitive movement of walking lulls me into a wonderfully tranquil state.

Another SMC, Obernon, and I decided to go hiking, and she kindly agreed to pick up the rental car and come to Brooklyn to pick us up.

Let's just say it was not an unmitigated success. Just getting us out the door seemed a Herculean task when I had that low gas tank to begin with, and after a couple months of not being in cars... my daughter does not like them any better. She's okay for a little while, which is an improvement -- she can handle a cab ride to Manhattan now, thankfully -- but longer car rides are a challenge, and any kind of stopping, say, at a red light makes her miserable.

The walk was beautiful, and the rain held off, thankfully, and the picnic was fun, but given that she's a baby that rarely cries, listening to her heartrending wail for many long minutes is really stressful. Given that she almost never complains, the car must really be hard for her.

Doing anything for me that poses such a hardship for her isn't worth it to me at this point. Maybe taking a train to a trailhead would be better, though the thought of having to carry everything on my person is intimidating. Anyway, I'm looking forward to summer travels to California and New England where hikes are much closer at hand.

The big thing that I'm feeling good about right now, apart from my girl, is my village. It's coming together so nicely. I've got two SMC friends in walking distance who I see most weekends -- often we congregate at the farmer's market and then hit the playground right next to it. And then I've got two mom friends from the local playgroup, one of whom shares a nanny with us, and they are becoming good friends also.

It's great to have people nearby. Given that my energy is lower than I wish these days, I'm loving activities that take place locally. And other people with babies whose worlds are not, shall we say, expansive at the moment are perfect company for me.

Speaking of both villages and California... I've found that I've made a decision, without really realizing it.

I'm staying put.

My village matters more than hiking.

My friends and also my job, which is rewarding and busy but not terribly stressful, and enables Calliope to travel with me to school every day, once she's old enough... these are all intangible things which make my quality of life pretty great.

Yes, I miss hiking and the outdoors. A lot. So I will just have to do my best to make up for it during my summers off. Another quality of life enhancer, my summers off. Even with the subsequently lower salary.

It's all working right now. I'd be a fool to change it.

Have you ever seen such a cute tushy?


  1. Awww that's cute. Sorry the hike didn't go better. You're village sounds awesome!

  2. I almost commented on your last post about how getting out and walking really helps me stay happy - now, having read this I have to do it!

    It's nowhere near as exiting I know, but just being sure to get out in the daylight and walk with the pram every day could maybe help you keep your tank half full at least.

    I grew up in a farm so the outdoors is in my blood. I think BB inherited it too as he too can't stand more than a day of stuck inside.

    Spring is springing too - that should help!

    Take care

  3. I'm glad you went off for a hike. And also sounds like you've reached a peaceful decision. Looking forward to seeing you this summer in CA, and hoping we'll hit the mountains a couple of times ;-).