I think I'm starting to feel like my old self again.
That's a strange thought, because I'm not sure what my old self is, or when the last time I felt it was. I'm not even sure if it is my old self, because I have no real, clear conscious memory of it.
I wrote this post two months after Charlotte died, now over two years ago. Since then I've been absolutely blessed to have a happy, healthy, beautiful little rainbow baby, my son, Ethan, and Mia, my little princess, continues to be healthy and happy and smart and beautiful. I still have a husband who loves and supports me and makes me feel special and important. I have a million things to be thankful for. It's overwhelming how lucky I feel every day....but I've been living as the embittered woman in mourning from the above mentioned post.
For....wait for it...OVER FIVE YEARS I have been giving myself permission to feel overwhelmed and depressed and defeatist. I really truly believed that I wasn't capable of doing better. Allow me to give you a few examples...
1) Working Out: Since Mia was born, which was 2011, I allowed myself to believe that I didn't have time to work out. It makes logical sense, and I could easily explain it away. I can only work out when she's asleep (still true). This means I can work out during nap time or after bedtime. During nap time I'm either still at school and/or on my way home, and after bedtime is my ME time...and everyone deserves me time, right? Especially working moms whose husbands work night shift.
2. Cleaning: While I am always happier when the house is clean, again, I told myself I just didn't have time. Cleaning takes a lot of time, and I just didn't have that time with Mia (and then Ethan) running around and just undoing it anyway. I did only what was absolutely necessary as late as was absolutely possible. When we ran out of forks and/or there was no more room in the sink, I did dishes. When the playroom was unnavigable I put away the toys. When the bathrooms were on the edge of total embarrassment, I cleaned them. And so on and so forth. For the last few years, my housekeeping has been walking the edge of eww. I am not proud of this.
3. Laundry: This one is bad. As with housekeeping, laundry has been done in this house as a matter of necessity. When we run out of underwear, I do laundry. Unfortunately, unlike forks, I didn't do ALL the laundry. I just did enough to keep us in underwear. This means the clothes on the bottom of my laundry pile have been there for a while. As in over a year. At one point i bought my husband more underwear to further put off how much laundry I had to do. I am not proud of this. I am confessing this to serve as a cautionary tale.
4. Food: As said in the above-mentioned post, I am a comfort eater. I am conscious of this. Since my first miscarriage in 2009 (hence the six years) I had gained up to...wait for it...70 pounds. Now, to be fair, some of this is pregnancy weight that never went away (as though it is the weight's job to go away and not mine to send it on its way). For the last six years, I have mostly considered myself a lost cause. I'm a mess no matter what...bring on the cheesecake.
I have been vaguely surprised that my husband hasn't had more reaction to this. I think a part of me had been waiting for him to say something...like I wanted him to be the catalyst for my changes. This is dumb.
Now, I have had brief flirtation with not failing at life over the last six years. They usually last about two weeks, during which I shift into gear and briefly remember what it's like to be a functional human being. At the end of those two weeks....I kid you not....I have gotten pregnant. Every time. First with Mia, then with Charlotte, then with Ethan. Tomorrow marks two weeks since I have been actively trying to be a real person again. I had my tubes tied after Ethan, so, barring an act of God, I won't have an excuse to back down this time.
They say it takes 21 days to make something habit. If I can make it one more week, maybe this new lifestyle will become habit.
Here's a typical day in the new Life of Kait:
5:30-6am-Wake, shower, and dress in the clothes I organized by outfit on Sunday night so it is ready to go.
6:00-6:30am-Wake and dress kids and grab premade lunch and breakfast from fridge. Grab kids' cups and granola bars, also set out in advance. Take kids to daycare.
2:30-3pm-Work out with other teachers.
3:30-5pm-Tidy house and put away toys.
5-8:30pm-Time with kids
8:30-11:30pm-Put away toys and tidy, do dishes and fold laundry, deep clean one room, set out things for tomorrow, and relax.
Ironically, I feel like I have more time and energy now than I did before. I feel more confident and content because I'm not going home to a house that embarrasses me and makes me feel like I have a million things to do.
I don't remember the last time I felt like this. That is not, in any way, a hyperbole. I don't even know if this is my old self. At some point in the six years of relative apathy, did the counterfeit, lazy me become the "real" me?
Please note: While I have been lazy and apathetic, I have loved my husband and my children with reckless abandon. I have never taken time with my family for granted, and I value every day spent with them.
How long does the current me, the one I'm actually PROUD of, have to last to become the new me? This is NOT a New Year's resolution. This is just a new start with a new set of priorities. It's socially acceptable to allow New Year's reolutioms to lapse. I don't want to do this.
One more week, I hope, will make it a habit to care about what my life is like.
Dear faceless community of people I hope are reading my words. Yes, you. I need you to care. While I should be able to sustain a good lifestyle for my own sake, and that of my family, it's hard. I need external support.
There are no meetings for Apathetic Anonymous. Hi, my name is Kait, and I am bad at existing.
Nope. Not a thing.
I've shared a lot of things here that I'm not proud of. Things that I am downright ashamed of. I did that to make myself accountable to someone. You now have a window into my motivation and my excuses. Don't let me slide, faceless readers.
I am starting to feel like my old self again. I think. Or maybe, I'm starting to feel like the self I want to be. I think that's ok, too.