I have a very busy husband. In addition to running two businesses, he holds a calling faithfully and is solely responsible for the financial well being of our home. Still, he always makes time for his first love: himself.
Every week he indulges himself a few hours of alone time: he skypes with a professora in Argentina, he meets with a personal trainer at least twice and lunches with friends and colleagues like lunching is going out of style.
I don’t resent him this. I love my husband. I adore him. A lot of days I even have a big huge crush on him specifically for the person he is, the person he’s constantly becoming—the person who speaks Spanish and looks quite trim and relays funny anecdotes acquired over noon-time sushi.
But sometimes I wonder: do I have this? Do I do this?
Since becoming a mother I feel like I have lost myself and I have found myself. I love being a stay at home mom and feel gratitude at its blessing every day. I don’t pine for a career, I don’t begrudge my husband his very important phone calls or his jet-setting propensity for meetings in different states. I don’t want to be anywhere else than surrounded by my three little ones, stockinged toes, cookies in the oven, play-doh and watercolor messiness. And I love the woman all this dang-hard mothering has required me to become—hopefully a more selfless, refined version of a giggly self-centered 20-year-old.
And yet sometimes I miss that 20-year-old. I miss her running legs, her strong limbs. I miss her waist. I miss her innocence. I miss her smarts, her sharpness, her list-making, task-completing efficiency. Sometimes I even miss that every so often she would paint her nails.
(I KNOW. Who was I?!)
So like every woman and mother and grandmother (indeed every woman who faces change in her life), I struggle to find myself again. Even that newer version of myself—I welcome her too. But who is she? How does she reconcile the new version with the old version? Segullah has helped me with this and writing my way to rediscovery. Three-hour mountain bike rides for a few months out of the year are lovely too. I can still run pretty well and the road around my house snakes on for miles. Even the gym offers helpfulness with its free babysitting and mid-morning yoga classes. I do have my things. I just don’t have much passion for them at this point. That, or I’m lazy.
(You can vote lazy. I’m not embarrassed.)
But here’s the thing: there’s something about my husband’s virility, his penchant for self-improvement. Because it rubs off on my in this odd way that doesn’t so much inspire as it does remind. He makes me remember what if felt like to be her, that giggly 20-year-old. To not have kids. He makes me feel beautiful and smart, bold, energetic, sexy; in essence: the very girl I was before children.
But, but… is it enough to recapture myself through my husband?
And what of my “me” time? Do I need to start having a new sort of love story– a love story with myself?
What about you? Are you consistently pursuing yourself, loving yourself wholeheartedly and making sure you (like my husband) indulge in some alone time?