A few weeks ago I watched my youngest graduate kindergarten. Yesterday, I dropped off both munchkins at summer school in the morning and didn’t pick them up until almost six hours later. Yes, you read that right. Not one, not three, but SIX hours. That’s the most I’ve been on my own in almost nine years.
And it was glorious.
I went walking with a friend (four miles, baby!), shopped for groceries and guinea pig bedding, ate lunch and worked on book #3 without any interruptions!
Then today happened.
When I dropped off E and C at school again, I had this odd, unsettled sensation in the middle of my chest. It made me feel kind of lost like this …
… except without the island and smoke monster and cute doggie by my side. 😉
After some prayer and reflection on the drive home, I had an a-ha moment (which is a lot easier to do when you don’t have two kiddos fighting in the backseat). I realized that for the past nine years, I’ve poured all my time and attention (and blood, sweat and tears) into helping two people learn how to talk and walk, how to read, how to add/subtract/multiply, how to get along, and how to (insert countless verbs here) that I kind of put myself on hold. I pressed the pause button on my goals and dreams and ambitions. (Side note: Yes, it was a decision I made which I am (or have learned to be) okay with and am grateful for.) I just never thought the day would come when I would get to press the play button again.
Each year as the kids get older and more capable, I find myself with a little more time and energy. And with those extra hours and brain cells back, I’ve been finding joy in writing. If you had told me a decade ago that I would get to make up stories for fun, as well as write about real life stuff to encourage others, I wouldn’t have believed it. I had plans to work as a therapist and get licensed by the time I was forty. Instead, I ditched the internship hours I had earned, stayed home with my munchkins and am now heading down a completely different career path as a writer. And I’m turning forty this year.
Whether it’s a mid-life crisis or a mid-parenting crisis, I am definitely feeling lost. Strange as it may be, as E and C are becoming more independent, I’m having to learn how to “walk” on my own again. It’s a new experience and a new chapter in my life, so I’m reminding myself that it’s okay to take baby steps. And it’s normal to stumble and fall. But as I’ve taught my kids, the most important thing to do is to get up and keep on trying.
And on that note, I’m going to be taking some time off this summer to “find myself” so I will be blogging about 1-2x a month instead of weekly. I’ll be posting on my Facebook page though, so you can find me there. 🙂
I think Kelly Clarkson’s song, “Catch My Breath” is a good song for this post. I feel like I’m catching my breath now that I have some down time, but also looking forward to what’s to come.
I would love to hear from you on how you’ve handled life transitions – I know there are all kinds! What helps you to find your way when you feel lost?