Friday, June 26, 2015
The Single Life
Yesterday I hit the one week mark since beginning my solo stretch of summer. As the boys drove away, and in the days following, I scarcely knew what to do with myself. How did I want to fill my days, now they that were my very own? What do I want to accomplish before work begins dictating my days off?
By Monday I had settled into my skin quite nicely and began to properly embrace freedom. I have come to realize how readily and automatically I run all things I'm considering through a series of filters. For instance, traffic patterns influenced where I went and when, which in turn dictated whether or not I could be home before Kiddo's school let out. Which often meant forgoing what I had wanted to do. And there is Mario's work schedule to consider. And dinner to put on the table. Oh! And we need x, y and z from the store. These are all normal occurrences, and very much come with having a family. I love that facet of my life, it's an honor to take care of those boys of mine, but I also really like this other way of living I've been introduced to over the last week. I've had ice cream before dinner, wandered around aimlessly rather than face rush hour traffic, explored the city, and given my camera more attention than it's received in months. Life is good.
In the absence of all of that obligation comes a very pleasant, albeit foreign, sense of independence. I'm tickled pink by the fact that I can come and go as I please. (Though trust me when I tell you there have been quite a few I wish Mario and Jared were here! pangs along the way.) I'm getting a rare glimpse into my future once Kiddo goes off to college. How my twenties would have been, had I postponed family life. (No regrets there.)
As I've mentioned, I'm slated to begin working on July 7. The boys won't be home until early August, so I had my heart set on a quick trip up to my in-laws' lake house for the 4th. Unfortunately, the small town we lived in in New Hampshire has been slow to respond to the hospital's background check inquiry. So although everything else is in order, the process has stalled. Which makes my reunion with the boys less likely with each passing day. Though sad, my gratitude for this exceptional work opportunity trumps all else.
I like to think I'm a fully functioning adult: I cook meals, do laundry, shop, mow the yard, and conduct all the other business we must do in order to keep a household running. Only, I haven't figured out how to take care of only myself. The other day, after submitting my I-9 to the hospital HR department, I ran into a nearby market to stock the fridge. A half hour later, my cart contained a 6-pack of hard cider, two cans of coconut milk, corn nuts, and fried fava beans (which are quite dry and, well, fava bean-like). Chipotle came to my rescue that night. I've started to find my groove in this regard as well, as the last two nights have featured real food. Not in foil wrapper, either. And they required the use of dishes and proper silverware. And contained roughage beyond a sprinkling of iceberg lettuce. (Which I think is the same as water, nutritionally speaking.) It's funny: we are often better able to care for others than we can ourselves.
This is a good moment in time. Calm. Happy. Blissful. I'm thankful to have it on the eve of an exciting, life-changing time. We are moving into a new era; an era where my educational goals feel within my grasp. Where Kiddo is well into high school. (Welp.) Change is good and nerve-wracking and signals forward movement.
But for now, it's me time.