Windows down, Diet Coke in my hand, Tom Petty's "You wreck me" playing way too loud on my radio, I pop a handful of the newly purchased M & M's in my mouth. For a moment, just a brief moment, it felt as if I was sixteen again, driving my beat up Mazda GLC in the spring air. Then I drove by my reflection in an office building's windows and I saw it. The minivan. I'm thirty nine years old and I'm a mom.
I got to thinking, what else am I? I'm a professional diaper changer, short order cook, personal care attendant, nurse, housekeeper, teacher, barber. All of these things I've become since being a mom.
What did I used to be? An professional event planner, a pretty good cook, an avid runner, a yoga enthusiast, a huge Oasis fan, a rabid Timberwolves fan, a recovering alcoholic, a sister, a daughter, a wife.
It's sad how those things just seemed to drop away slowly from my life. This week was a bit challenging, how do I entertain three kids all off from school and take care of my own interests and needs? I found out this morning that I didn't. I'm trying to become an avid runner again, but of course that takes time. I haven't run regularly since last fall and it's been an awakening to try again. My legs are sore, my lungs burn a bit and my motivation is lacking. Then having to negotiate time on the weekends with my husband, or decide what comes first, grocery shopping or a run. you know which one wins out. Then I find out that Oasis really did break up, are you kidding me? And don't even get me started on the Timberwolves.....haven't spoken with my brother in weeks, so not much of a sister, at least I'm still sober and still married.
My sister-in-law lives in town and visits frequently. She's single, has a great job and a cute house. She mentioned today that she's planning to run a half-marathon this summer, I felt a twinge in my gut. Oh how I envy her. I used to run a half-marathon every June, I really miss it. Training for it means at least, a guaranteed hour to myself every day, a feeling of accomplishment, not to mention a reason to try that bikini again. As I write this, I wonder what's stopping me? Is it just me? I just purchased a new double jogger that Dermot fits into, the weather is getting nicer every day, the boys mostly sleep through the night so I'm more rested and the sun is out later and later. Could it be that I'm the one taking these things that I used to be, away? Could I just be sitting in my house feeling paralyzed by my grief?
I know that once Ryan gets into school, my life will get more predictable, I know that there's way more life to live after forty, I know that I won't always be in this funk. But what I really NEED to know more than anything is that it's up to me to get up and get some of my life back. Go run, start cooking again, find another band to follow around the country, another sports team to cheer for....and remember that I won't ever be able to do everything I want, but I can do some of it. So I better get busy.