I’ve been trying to post this all week, but I just haven’t found the time and energy in the same span of quiet time. Giving it a try on Friday night finally!
Having the boys gone for two weeks was an amazing experience. Like I mentioned before, the week alone with my husband was great. I worked a LOT and we had some good downtime together also. Getting away for 5 days in FL the second week was utter bliss. I truly disconnected once I got away from home, away from all the distractions of coulds and shoulds and maybes that surround me here, whether my kids are home or not. Vacation is a different story.
My SIL and her new hubby (of the epic wedding last year) were the gracious hosts, my sis was along too :), and I didn’t run into a single should all week. Utter freedom, quietness, and sleeping in. I had some ideas of what I wanted to do while there (journaling, blogging, etc.) but the urge never actually hit me, and so I never did. It was like being single again, and not having responsibility for anyone or anything. I felt almost lightheaded to be honest. I missed my husband, and my kids, but not in a way that made me want to pick up the phone every night … I think I talked to the boys once that week, and to Michael maybe twice.
So what did surface in all this lightess and freedom from responsibility? I was more aware of my feelings, mood, appetite, and appearance. I cared a bit more (not much mind you, but a bit more!) about what I was wearing, and how I felt after eating. I’m always fairly up on the food part, but could see it more clearly when I wasn’t doing the same thing for my boys as well. I also realized how self-imposed my hurrying all the time was. I was so schedule-less and relaxed there that the contrast with my Brooklyn life was stunning. Why do I hurry all the time? It’s not like someone else is setting my homeschool schedule, and we have only 2 classes a week to make it to. It’s really a matter of me and my unrealistic expectations, and when the responsibilities are stripped away, I can see it for what it is. Utterly self-imposed.
I also realized that I was living truly in the moment, and how that seems so much harder when I’m parenting. Worrying, planning, double-thinking, correcting, fussing, you name it and I do it all the time. It felt wonderful to not worry or fuss, and made me want to bottle that feeling and bring it home with me. My answer to it for the short term was to write “what can be fun about today?” and put it on a bright orange post-it next to my computer. When I think in the moment, I can make things fun. If I think ahead, I find reasons not to be spontaneous … which is the best way to have fun with my boys. It made me let them run the wrong way on the moving walkway in the subway last night, because they could, it was a ball, and there was absolutely no reason not to other than some silly what-ifs. It was fun :).
Speaking of fun, there was a first Anniversary photoshoot as part of the week, and it turned out to be a lot of fun!
Not exactly conventional shots, which was the point … as well as getting some more mileage out of the finery that was only worn once. Good times …
One general take-away was the all-consumingness of parenting, and especially for me parenting + homeschooling. I don’t regret the choice, and mostly love it, but it did show me how much it required of me mentally and physically. You don’t hear the ambient noise until the room goes truly silent. It was blissful silence, and I’m incredibly thankful to have had the chance to experience it.
One last thought. I also remembered, briefly, how much I love photography and how fun it can be. Many moons ago I did candid kid’s portraits as a side business, and while I have no desire to resurrect that job, I’d love to get back in the habit a bit more. Maybe it’s time to start saving up for a digital camera that’s less than 10 years old and has a bit more control to it, I know it would be fun to play with! And play is a good thing … here’s hoping you get some in this weekend too.