The house is clean. The kids are in school. The dogs are sleeping. It is so quiet that I can hear the hum of the refrigerator. I actually have time to sit and write. I'm sure that if I thought, even for a second, that I could come up with something that needs to be done. But instead I am opting for "me" time. Why is it that when you become a mother, you can't do this without feeling guilty? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? I can't quite decide.
I love it that I no longer crave a mid-day nap. Yet, that used to be my favorite indulgence. I appreciate that my house tends to be tidy. Yet, I used to take pride in the fact that I could let myself relax even if it wasn't. Now I can only unwind when everything is put away and order is restored. We used to eat out, pick up or order in all the time. Now that seems like chaos and, instead, cooking and cleaning up after seems easier.
I used to wish the evenings away so that we could put the kids to bed. Now, I glance at the clock and wonder where the night went? I used to pray that one day our girls would learn how to talk. Now I find myself wondering if they're ever going to stop. I used to want to keep every piece of artwork that the kids ever made. Now, I carefully select the masterpieces and sneak the rest into the trash.
I used to think I looked my best in a pair of high-heels. Now, I'm happiest in flats. I used to eat an entire bag of chips, and feel as though I deserved them. Now I eat only a few at a time, and then suffer from lingering guilt. I used to kill every plant that ever got near me. Now, I have a green enough thumb that even my step-dad trusts me to babysit his plants.
I used to smother Tucker with affection and feel frustrated that he wasn't a lap-dog. Now he is ignored most of the time and won't leave my side. I used to complain that Craig didn't talk enough. Now I am impatient with his rambling and tell him to get to the point. I used to take pleasure in mindless television shows, because I could turn off my brain while I watched them. And now I prefer a quiet room and my computer, because I like to hear myself think.
When I grew up, I couldn't wait to leave my small town. Now I often find myself longing for the simplicity of little old Edon. I used to avoid eating fish at all costs because I hated it. Now, I am training myself to tolerate it because I know it's good for me. I used to be the loudest one at the party. Now I prefer to sit back and let someone else wear that hat. I used to want to stand out. Now I like to blend in.
I used to like to argue, because I knew I could win. But now I often bite my tounge, because I see no point in the battle.
It's funny, isn't it? How we change? How we grow? I had no idea where I was going with this blog when I started writing it. But now I get it.
Just yesterday, I said to Craig: "You have lived with me for 12+ years. How can you not know this about me?"
I can't remember why I said it. It could have been for a number of reasons. Maybe he put his bowl on the top rack of the dishwasher, instead of the bottom rack like I prefer. Maybe he didn't give Tucker and Bella fresh water when he fed them, like I prefer. Maybe he was joyfully singing at the top of his lungs in the morning, instead of being quiet and near-grumpy, like I prefer. Maybe he left only one pillow on the bed for me, instead of leaving me two, like I prefer.
Whatever the case, I am constantly evolving and changing. So, maybe I need to be more patient with him for "not knowing me" when it's pretty obvious that I'm still figuring myself out, too.