As you read this, we have begun our 12 hour travel day back to Canada. It has been 8 months since we left Vancouver (blink) and 6 months living in Tamarindo (blink, blink). The countdown has been hanging over us for this last month and while I am excited to go home and see our friends and family I am sad that this chapter is coming to an end. I feel like I left the baby-fog and reconnected with ME in these last 6 months and it doesn’t escape me that part of this peace was inspired by hearing “Pura Vida” on a daily basis. This saying is not only a greeting in Cost Rica but also a way of living; the pure life, full of life, life is a gift – enjoy it! and if anyone has a problem with you, well Pura Vida to that as well – what can you do?
Here are a few things this all encompassing mantra has taught me:
1) My kids are developing humans. They are in-progress and as their mother, so am I. I won’t apologize for bringing them with me to run errands or grab lunch and I won’t for a second feel bad if they don’t know how to deal with frustration or excitement in a socially acceptable way. They will cry in public, they will reach for things that aren’t theirs and I will do my best with each situation because they will only learn by experiencing life and it doesn’t matter who has a problem with it – THAT’s Pura Vida.
2) My body isn’t in a “pre-baby” or “post-baby” model. It is “as is”. It is mine. It is healthy. It fluctuates and I will wear clothing that makes me feel beautiful and comfortable – including shorts, tank tops and bikinis. Not letting your size determine your self worth = Pura Vida!
3) My kids and parenting experiences are unique and I have the right to change methods as I go. I am very proud of my choices and accomplishments thus far but I’ve also made mistakes, I am in progress after all (see point #1). Parenting is not a competitive sport. The only enemy is self-doubt and judgement – and they are assholes. Not judging yourself or others = Pura Vida!
4) I like beer. I like sangria. I like having drinks with friends in the afternoon and just because I became a mom doesn’t mean I don’t still get to enjoy a nice “cold one” while my kids play in the front yard. J and I may even take advantage of patio season WITH the kids! Just kicking it = Pura Vida.
5) I am more than a mom. I have GREAT stories, photos and videos of the twins that I will share liberally, but I also have GREAT stories that have nothing to do with being a parent because my interests in music, art, politics, the economy and the world has remained strong so don’t take me off of your “invite list”. True, I won’t be able to make it to everything, but if the timing is right – I am there. Enjoying human connection = Pura Vida
I know the pleaser in me will always want to jump in and say things like “Stop being selfish”, “You are letting everyone down”, “Like me, LIKE me, LIKE ME”. But I tried listening to that voice and I’ve encountered too many people who listen to that voice and it never brings ACTUAL happiness. So I’m choosing to instead hold on the idea that life is simple and beautiful just as it is. It’s the Pura Vida way after all.