Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reflections, Part I

Tonight's one of those late nights where the mind wanders and the inner spirit tremors with worry, with trepidation.  So many times I've wanted to write, yet so many times it's been easier to wrap myself in my blanket, close my eyes and wish for my mind to clear and allow myself some calm wave of inner peace.

Not tonight.

Where do I begin? To look ahead to the future would be just to look at my past.  What has happened within the past year?

My little girl is about to turn 9 months this week, and I'm not kidding when time really does fly by. She's a real beauty, at least I'm reassured by others, and we all love her to pieces. Not to belittle the presence of my two older boys, but she has made our lives complete, filling me with pensive joy even when I'm on Hour 2 of rocking her to sleep because she needed the extra comfort. Jokes on her when it is really I who needs the comfort, and I'm glad to hold her a little bit longer in the darkness of her room.

I'll be returning to work in a couple of months, two months early (who's counting? I am.) Financially, it's the most logical choice, but emotionally it's been a battle.  Loving this little girl, holding her with me all day, knowing this will likely be the last child I will bear as I approach my 40's, I don't want to let go. As much as I could never be a stay-at-home mother, it is essentially that which I seemed to have enjoyed these past few months. I wished the hiatus would last as long as allowed but I'd be lying to myself that we wouldn't be crushed financially by doing so.  Partly to blame could be my husband who decided to start his own plumbing business when I was pregnant (self-employment isn't exactly lucrative, yet, anyways), but I can't fault what we agreed upon as a couple --through thick and thin, richer or poorer. No, it is what it is. We want the house, we gotta pay for it.  We'll need a larger vehicle, and I haven't found anyone giving any of those away for free. Not to mention the kids' winter and spring hockey seasons (nevermind the hubby's), going back to work early should be a no-brainer.  But no one ever said that I didn't have to go back feeling happy about it.

I'll also be returning to my Masters degree program in January.  Scared shitless? Uh huh. It was hard enough heading back to school after 15 years. I persevered and had many late nights reading, typing papers, finishing projects, and by the time I took my leave from school, I had at least an 80% average. How the hell am I supposed to do that again? I don't know if I have enough juice in me to tackle another 8 courses and a thesis (don't get me started on that! Unless you have an idea for a topic!). Life is different now compared to a year ago. People said I'm crazy for being a mom, working full time and going to school. Yep, I am, I'd say, and would have probably elbowed you to the wall and ask if you had a problem with that. Ask me today and likely I'd likely bow my head and feel the self-doubts fill my throat and teary eyes swell as I cower away. I won't know my new cohort, and I imagine the half year of school I do have left will be spent in a virtual isolation booth, with no one to commiserate with,  no one to rely on for help. So wants to help a "mother" (gasp!) in the classroom? Not these young, enthusiastic, twenty-somethings I heard this cohort mostly consists of.

But not all my days are filled with this dread and forlorness. In anticipation of returning back to my old self, my old life, I've been running more and watching my eating habits, to fit into my old clothes again.  I can breathe better, deeper, now, especially after a long run. Many people hate running because it's hard, but ironically it's because it's hard that I find running appealing.  The mental challenge of the repetitiveness pushes me, the monotony of my breathing speaks rhythms to my mind. In the last 50 days, I've lost 11 pounds. And I can, for the most part, fit back into my jeans I used to wear before I was pregnant. Not one to shy away from challenges (obviously), I have another 10 pounds on my radar, 15, tops.

Fast forward to January 6, 2014's my reflections on this night kept me away from completion....