1. Our floors creak and I freak myself out by thinking about random people sneaking inside our house and having something "Today Show" terrible-worthy happening to us.
2. I usually make supper and he usually does the dishes. When he's gone... well, I'm supposed to do both.
3. By 5:15 (about the time he comes home most nights), I'm ready for a little tiny kid-break. He usually takes C downstairs (or outside when it's actually nice out) and plays while I get supper going and sometimes sneak a quick peek at a magazine or book. When he's gone... no respite for mama. :(
4. I do the majority of "the bedtime routine", which I admit that I love. But when I walk out of C's room, I'm done. A switch turns off in my brain and I mentally can't deal with him if he's crying for me or asking for a zillion drinks or lying about having to go to the bathroom. This is M's shift and he's amazing at it-- calm, repetitive, calm, repetitive, etc.
5. When it's time for bed, he warms up my ice cube feet in the crook in the back of his knees. When he's gone.... cold feet for me all night. :(
But since these nights are pretty few and far between, I know I can handle them. Tonight C & I had a great evening. We played downstairs, made spaghetti for supper, listened to the radio & had our own version of a dance party, hit a balloon back and forth with foam carpet square thingys, Skyped with Sister and Miss N (holy cuteness), C took an amazingly long soak in the tub, we read books, and I exited his room after saying goodnight to the sound of complete silence.
I changed into my jammies (okay, you're right-- I totally did this the second I got home from work), washed my face, brushed my teeth, and realized that I have the house to myself. The laundry is for once pretty much caught up (the ironing is another story), the dishwasher is empty, the toys are picked up, and our bed is actually cleared off.
So.... now what?
I turned on the radio, plopped myself down in "my" chair, and just sat. I have some knitting to organize, a new book to start, some webpages I need to browse for work units, and some emails to return but I just sat and hung out with myself. And you know what? It was pretty freaking awesome.
The Parkersburg lite FM radio station is one of the few that comes in without static on our living room receiver. Sometimes, it's a bit annoying with all the 80's ballads and high school sport coverage, but tonight, I couldn't have asked for better company. I listened to a little Whitney Houston, Wilson Phillips, Richard Marx, Roxette, Janet Jackson, Eddy Money, Mike & the Mechanics, Extreme, and Michael Bolton (just to name a few). I grew up with these artists and just sat and reminisced about my childhood. Funny how songs take you back, isn't it? Every song prompted a memory and I found myself just lost in my thoughts, totally reliving things that happened decades ago.
And when I finally drifted back to present time, it dawned on me how completely relaxed and peaceful I felt. (I never feel this way after surfing the net all night, rushing around tidying the house, or forever trying to catch up on the laundry) Aside from the radio, all technology was unplugged and aside from my sweet snoozing toddler in the next room, I was totally alone. I wasn't distracted by a thing, and while I had things to do, I allowed myself to let just sitting and reflecting be one of them tonight.
I have always considered myself to be an extrovert, with incredibly strong introvert tendencies. And as the years have gone by, I've noticed that I've become increasingly more introverted, which is not a bad thing. There was a time when I'd consider extroverts to be somehow superior to introverts, after all, they are the "people-people". But I've realized that introverts also enjoy the company of others, maybe in just smaller doses or different settings. I'm still a "people-person", but I'm so much better at being alone with myself too. I realize that one personality type is not better than the other-- they simply are different. And both can probably learn a bit from the other. For me, having time to reflect and ponder a bit has become something I really enjoy and draw energy from. And maybe, in addition to learning from others, when we actually allow ourselves to just sit and be with ourselves, we might actually learn something from... and about ourselves too.
|My usual "me time"-- the 18 minute drive to school in the morning. February sunrises like this one make it totally worth it. (I promise I was not actually "driving" when I shot this!|