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All We Can Do Is Keep Breathing

“All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing now”

I want to believe in more than you and me. But all that I know is I'm breathing. All I can do is keep breathing. All we can do is..

I wrote it on Facebook, where I’ve been doing “Daily Dose of Delightful” posts. Here’s a snippet:

“You know, I’ve been “fine” for a long time now. Through a whole pregnancy and almost a year of a pandemic. I’ve been “fine.” Through the weirdest time we ever did see.

But something about getting almost to the year anniversary of finding out about Rider, and about getting almost to the year anniversary of the kids being in classrooms, is messing me up something fierce. And I mean fierce.

And still, this baby grows and he’s strong. Many kids in the district went back to school for hybrid learning. The world keeps turning and I’m not very fine, but I believe I will be.

So this is today’s Daily Dose of Delightful. That I began yesterday with a lie-in with this kid.”

Sometimes, always, breathing is the only constant. And it’s funny; I find that to be terrifying and comforting. I’m not sure which one more; terrifying or comforting. And sure, it wasn’t the most delightful of my daily doses of delightful. Or maybe it was the most delightful because it was finding something to do or say when I’m most certainly not fine. I actually never intended to be someone who posts endless baby photos on Facebook – in fact, I study algorithms and metrics enough to know not to post too much. Then something happened one morning, when my heart exploded with breathtaking love for this little one. I couldn’t WAIT to share my thoughts, photos, and videos. Sometimes, I couldn’t sleep the night before because I couldn’t wait to post a status.

Luckily, I’m up at all hours of the night anyway. This was one of the photos to start it all:

I want to believe in more than you and me. But all that I know is I'm breathing. All I can do is keep breathing. All we can do is..

“The storm is coming but I don’t mind
People are dying, I close my blinds

All that I know is I’m breathing now”

The fervor died down; it had to do so. I worried that maybe my endless baby posts were hurting the feelings of people trying to be parents; or who have lost children, maybe recently. Not to mention, I can be so tired and foggy – so down and disconnected. Sometimes, often, instead of working or writing when the kids are sleeping or in school, I sit and stare into space. Hard to pinpoint where my regular everyday anxiety intersects with postpartum anxiety and COVID anxiety. Maybe a touch of situational depression, postpartum depression, or COVID depression.

Although, I feel too joyful for anything more than a touch of depression. I feel too hopeful.

“I want to change the world
Instead I sleep
I want to believe in more than you and me”

So, now there are Daily Doses of Delightful posts, and they’re not just of Baby Rider. They can be thoughts or photos or videos, of anything. Just one thing. And I realize that’s how I breathe – by finding and communicating these small and large miracles, adventures, and touches of deep living. I don’t take any of them lightly, of course, but they’re not all heady like the status above. It’s a mixed bag. Sometimes, when I look at Rider, I space out. And it could be because I’m tired, sure, and it could be because I’m having an existential crisis of looking at this baby and already seeing this time passing by – already seeing later versions. It can be hard to enjoy the NOW, when I’m spiraling ahead to the THEN. Even though the THEN – him growing (all of us growing) makes me happy too. Every day, I share one of these deep or funny, or deeply funny (funnily deep) thoughts. It only takes one of them, even if I have these thoughts/moments by the hour.

I focus on the one that runs the deepest – chilling or warming me to the core.

COVID-19 Moderna vaccine

“But all that I know is I’m breathing
All I can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing now”

All I know is that I’m breathing, and all I know is that I keep breathing, heavy and hurried, or light and rhythmic, and it’s my way. This is my way. I’ve looked so long for that giant thing or action or poem or book or photograph that transcends my normality, and maybe my reality. I’ve always dreamed and thought BIG. Will I learn to fly? Will I be a household name? And if so, for doing what? How can I hold in all of this simmering and sometimes near-boiling power and passion? How do I translate it for you – written by heart and hand? And maybe it’s not one big thing, but a series of small and some seemingly meaningless moments. I let it out, by the daily dose, like a slow release of pressure. That’s all we are anyway; a series of small and big and never really meaningless moments. Des looking up at me from his sled, pink-cheeked and gorgeous.

Rider sucking his fingers and fists, rolling and laughing, laughing during diaper changes.

I want to believe in more than you and me. But all that I know is I'm breathing. All I can do is keep breathing. All we can do is..

Running into friends and sharing under-mask smiles and virtual hugs. Oh, to long for in-between days; ordinary days. You can show your strength every day, these days, even if you don’t feel like it’s there. It is. And you do show your character, every day, these days, breathing in those pure and breathtaking moments. Believing. For me, it’s baby laughs and big kid grins. They force that fresh air into my lungs so I can breathe, steady breathe, keep breathing. Dreaming.

Those breaths tell my story. It writes itself and heals itself, as I keep breathing. Steady. Strong.

I want to believe in more than you and me. But all that I know is I'm breathing. All I can do is keep breathing. All we can do is..

“All that I know is I’m breathing
All I can do is keep breathing.
All we can do is keep breathing”

“Keep Breathing” was song #5 on our birthing playlist.

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10 Comments

  1. Thank you for this daily dose of hope and than some. Seriously, I loved it and on a side note I finally am truly feeling hope these days after the long 4 years with he who shall not be named at the helm. So, there is so that, too. Hugs <3

  2. My anxiety is BAD today. I found out that my boss totally messed with my schedule for the next 2 weeks. I can’t work 3 of the days she moved me to and now I’m worried that I’m not going to get enough hours, all due to her messing things up. So of course now I feel like I can’t breathe because I just want my schedule to be set in stone once it’s posted and I’m worried about my hours. Ugh.

    Sorry. That was a tangent.

  3. I love the positive vibe coming from that photo of you guys in the car! I find myself saying a prayer of thanks every morning when I can wake up and take a deep breath. I have this feeling of “One more day when I didn’t get COVID.” One day at a time, focusing on the positive (like doing a lie-in with that sweet little guy) is how we make it through.

  4. Yes, we have to keep breathing! I saw your post on FB and was thinking how much I cannot wait until we can see and hug friends again! I know it is coming, we just have to get there. I love all the cute expressions on Rider’s face – they brighten my feed so much!

  5. All the pics are precious Tamara, and l just gave a wink and two Thumbs Up to your Mom! Yes, Keep Breathing, and let’s not forget to keep believing too! As soon as I noticed Ingrid’s name on the video clip l thought of Grey’s Anatomy. More than ever this is a song for these times. When the suits at WABC Channel 7 asked Ingrid to write a theme song for that memorable program she delivered a gem!

  6. I love your daily doses of happy. I think we could all use more delightful in our days, now especially wherever we are in our pandemic struggles. I get the looking out the window and having mild (major??) existential crises.

    I long for this time to be over but I’m glad I am where I am. I keep focusing on the breathing and that carries me through the hardest of days. I am sending you much peace and thank you for your beautiful words ❤️

  7. Daily Doses of Happy!! Perfect idea, Tamara. Those will help with the breathing while also helping us with the breathing. Gorgeous photos. I’ve never heard of such a thing as “too many baby photos”. What kind of monster is that facebook algorithm to suggest such a deplorable thing? 😀 xo

  8. Girl, you sure do make some pretty babies. I’m sorry I have missed your Daily Delight posts, I have been on a semi-sabbatical with FB for years now. Thanks to you-know-who. My anxiety couldn’t take it. I do get what you mean, worried about hurting others’ feelings, if they’re trying to have a baby. I started to feel that way about my road trip posts. Afraid I was offending those who couldn’t travel, for whatever reason. BUT, those who love you will delight in these posts, and know they come form a place of love. Keep it up, we could all use more love (and I’m still o Insta – so don’t forget there – LOL. Hang in there, anxiety sucks, but breathing is the most important part!

  9. Breathing. That is the stuff these days right?! I think those meaningful breaths have become something important to all of us to remember and not take for granted. At least I hope so. I need your Yoda mask! Have a great week 🙂

  10. Nope, there can never be too many baby photos-keep em coming. Rider’s expressions are priceless, and he looks so wise already! Yes, sometimes all we can do is keep breathing. Throughout the day, my mantra is often, “Take a deep breath, deep breath!”

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