We’ll all float on Ok.

I don’t seem to know who I am anymore.

Not so long ago I felt like I had it all figured out.  I’m a mom.  I’m a runner.  I’m a teacher.  I’m a friend.  Things were going well.  I had a wonderful new daughter, two amazing boys, and a fantastic support system of friends and family.  I literally had no complaints and was perfectly content any happy.

And then I broke…again.

This wasn’t like the first time I felt that I had broke, when my dad had died.  When that happened I feel apart all at once so it was almost easier to out myself back together.  The pieces were right there and easier to find, not scattered over space and time.

I wish I could say I knew the exact moment that it happened, but really it was a series of events that started small, each one separately almost microscopic in size, but together crumbled my world into a million pieces.

I cut back on my running and dropped out of the NYC marathon.

An old friend came back into my life just when I thought I was finally over our past.

I lost a person in my life who I thought was a good friend.

The separation began…and ended…and began…and changed so much that I don’t even know where we are at this point.

Most recently I’ve done things I probably shouldn’t have.  I’ve eaten things I probably shouldn’t have.  I’ve stopped running altogether.  With each passing day, the numbers on the scale keep inching closer to where I said I never wanted to be again.  And the worst part of it all is that I just don’t seem to care.  Not about being a bad person, or losing certain people from my life, or even losing everything I worked for.  None of it.

I feel like I’m on the roundabout on the playground spinning more and more out of control each day.  The sad part is that I know I’m the one that’s pushing it to go faster and faster.  I am in complete and utter control of this and I can’t seem to jump off and just stop. Because I know that when I do I’m going to break even more from the impact.  I know that I’m really going to have to work to find all the pieces and put myself back together again.  Not only in the “now” but in the past too.  The task seems daunting and so impossible that 99% of the time I don’t even have the desire to try.

But then, out of the blue, today happened.  The 1%.  The one glimmer of hope I had been hoping for.

We’re driving to the park and the library and all three kids are squeezed into the back seat.  Charlotte is singing along to Modest Mouse playing in the background while Oliver and Max argued about how many sheep are in an adjoining field.  The sun was shining in the blue sky as wispy clouds float by, my hand out the window rising and falling in the warm air.  I finally felt it.  What I had been longing to feel for so long lately.  A sense of peace and contentment.   A sense of placement.

This is where I was supposed to be.  Maybe not forever, but at least for right now.

And with that tiny feeling of hope, I know that pretty soon I’ll have enough courage to make the leap off the roundabout.  And maybe, just maybe, my feet will actually hit the ground and I’ll be able to pick myself up and begin to collect all the pieces.

Reinvention?

“Slow down you crazy child
You’re so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you’re so smart tell me,
Why are you still so afraid?
Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about?
You better cool it off before you burn it out
You got so much to do and only
So many hours in a day.” ~Billy Joel

It’s been almost a week since baby #3 has joined our chaotic family.  I should probably stop calling her baby #3.  Her name is Charlotte Emerson and she was born on Tuesday.  I won’t bore you with the baby stuff (like I’m sure I’ve bored almost every single person on Facebook and Instagram) but I will say that she is completely perfect in every way.

While I’ve been on maternity leave since April 2, this kids and pretty much every one I know was on Spring Break last week so it really didn’t hit me until this morning when I had to get up and feed and dress people with the timed deadline of school.  Even though everyone slept in later than normal (even the baby Charlotte) we managed to get showered, dressed, fed, and out the door on time and I was able to spend the next few hours completing some random housework, holding Charlotte, and flipping through Netflix unencumbered buy anyone or anything.

I realize it’s only day 1.  I realize Charlotte has only been with us for less than a week. But honestly, things are working out better than they were before.  I’m trying to figure out if motherhood just agrees with me more, or if it is, in fact, simply maternity leave and time off from a very stressful job that has changed me so completely in just a few short days.

Last night Mike took Charlotte to visit with his parents.  I cleaned the main level of the house, made dinner for the boys, and then went outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. After having baby #3 six days ago I’ve never felt more sore, more tired, and more poor in my life. I’ve also never felt happier, more relaxed and more in love with my life. I haven’t been short tempered, or depressed, or annoyed with anything. It made me realize just how much having to go to my job (not work in particular, specifically my job) affects my happiness.

I have 7 weeks off (plus all of summer vacation) to do some real soul searching and think about the direction that my life is heading.  The last 10 months of pregnancy were hard on me and I am sure they were hard on my family.  I was a pretty miserable person and, in turn, am pretty sure I made them miserable too.

I have this time now, though, without the stressors of work, to get myself together.  I keep thinking of it as having a chance to reinvent myself, to become who I really want to become.   But I don’t think that’s what I’m really aiming for. Reinvention consists of the idea of remaking or making over.  I feel more that I now have the time to focus on becoming the absolute best version of myself.  For me,  For my friends.  And for my family.

I need to slow down more, have more patience, see past faults, be more understanding, be less frustrated, and a myriad of other things.  I always felt that what I really needed to discover myself and work towards a better me was time and that’s actually the one thing I have in droves right now.  Time.

I raise my glass to toast to the future.  To toast to time.  To toast to becoming the person I want to be…the person I know I can be.  I toast to becoming the best version of me.

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