Monday, July 25, 2011

The Dust Starts to Settle

It dawned on me the other day that my life is finally calming down a bit.  It's been a crazy year.

A year ago today, I was 6 months pregnant living in our basement while our kitchen was being renovated (a nightmare, nightmare, nightmare).    Once our upstairs was ours again, Braden turned 2 and started preschool.  A month later, I had Casey.  I went a bit crazy.  Braden went a bit crazy.  My husband stayed fairly sane, but his workload didn't.  Sleep deprivation hit big time.  My meds kicked in.   We spent two nights at Children's Hospital when Casey spiked a fever (he was fine).  The holidays came, with lots of fun and family time, but were followed by a lot of cold and dark days.  The anxiety of my impending return to work festered.  I decided to quit.  I quit.  I adjusted.  I blogged.

Somewhere in there, Casey started sleeping through the night.  Braden got used to his new sibling.  Spring came.  The weather got nice and the sun stayed out longer.  My husband's workload normalized a bit.  The case I worked on for 3 years at Dickstein settled.  Life went on without me there.  I started getting more used to life at home.  After living for a year on adrenaline, and anticipating the next big shake up, things are settling down.  Normal life is starting to creep in.  In so many ways, it is refreshing.  In other ways, it leaves me feeling empty.

For my entire living memory, I have had some kind of structure - some kind of goal.  It started with school, and getting good grades and making it to the next level.  Then college, and a clear four year plan.  After college, I had grad school (two stints of it).  And after law school, you know the story.  Two jobs, two firms, two cities, and hours and hours of stress and billing and climbing the ladder to partnership.

After abandoning that ladder, I realize for the first time in my life, I don't have any tangible goals. Instead, I have time.  Lots of it.  Sure, I am taking care of my kids all day, but the time is still mine to spend.  We can go to the park, stay in, go swimming, etc.  It's all up to me.  And when my kids nap, or go to sleep at night, that time is all mine.  I don't have to log on for work anymore.  I can do whatever it is I want.

That freedom is daunting in lots of ways.  For the first six or so months of Casey's life, I used that time to lay around and relax.  As any mother of a newborn knows, if you get a second to yourself, you better relish that time and rest.  And I did.  But now, I'm not so exhausted anymore.  When the kids go down for a nap, and I have a full two hours to myself, I find myself wanting to do something else besides watching Real Housewives episodes (not that that isn't enjoyable - trust me, it is). For the first time I'm wondering if I should take up a hobby.  But what is a hobby?  I guess blogging is a hobby in some ways.  But using blogging as my hobby, and then blogging about looking for a hobby, seems a bit circular.

I want to somehow use this time to better myself.  Read more.  Exercise.  Take a photography class.  Maybe start doing yoga again.  Figure out what it is I want to do with my life.  Because as much as I love being a mom and staying at home, I do want something more.  What that is, I don't know.

For now, I am just working on adjusting to a slower pace, and living life on a smaller scale.  A slower pace is okay.  But a drastic change from the ride I was once on.

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