My girls are upstairs in my bed, asleep as I write this. I got home late from work last night. It has been a recurrence lately. Long days, late nights, and babysitters. We have managed as a team to make it work. The girls follow the list I have made to ensure everything is done when I get home. When I arrive, I greet the dogs and sometimes my girls, but they are cuddled up in my bed most of the time. It is the special treat I extend to them on nights when I will be out late. I pay the sitter, take a breath and get ready for bed. We do this well as this has been our lives for the last 7 years, the 3 of us.
This morning I woke up early and decided to exercise. I have been eating out of control lately (my unhealthy coping mechanism when I am out of balance). I thought it would be a great way to begin my day to focus on caring for myself. It felt good to move my body and reminded me of how uncomfortable I felt in my skin. Not a feeling I like and all too familiar for me in my lifetime.
I headed to the kitchen to make coffee after feeding the dogs and prepared to wake up the kids to start the day. I opened the fridge and saw a carton of strawberries I had bought for the week. They were hidden away in the refrigerator, and I took them out. I didn’t want them to go to waste. As I began cutting the strawberries, I realized I didn’t want to waste this moment. I haven’t had a chance to connect with my kids in a few days due to work and life, and here I go, about to start the day all over again like a machine. No feeling, no emotion, no connection…just one foot in front of the other, moment by moment and day by day, ready to do it all over again.
At that moment, I decided that today, I would go to work a little later. I will make a fresh breakfast. Today, we will have a chance to connect, talk, and laugh before starting our day. The girls will get an opportunity to sleep in on a school day unheard of as they are up at 5:45 every morning. Today they will awake to the smell of fresh pancakes with strawberries and whip cream. It is so easy to get into the cycle of doing it all and churning out life day after day, and today I will not. Today, I will not let a moment pass by without taking it in. Life is far too short, and there is so much to enjoy that surrounds me.