It’s daunting, starting over here again. It’s been so long. There are so many parts of my life that have had to fall by the wayside. I’m on my feet for most of the day. I’m doing stuff, I’m going places. I’m making beds and folding laundry and cooking food, and wiping toilets. And then I crash into bed, watch something mindless, try and drift off into sleep before I do it all over again.

The good: I’m taking better care of my body. I’ve been consistently getting up early to exercise. I eat salads (I also eat cookies and drink wine; balance, right?). The other good: I feel like I’m doing the best I can in many ways. I’m putting on my big girl pants and being the grownup and doing the hard stuff. I’m being calm even when I feel like screaming back (at kids or at my husband, not random people on the street). I’m taking care of all the stuff that it’s my job to take care of. I’m taking finances seriously (especially after Porkchop’s accident that left us with many, many unexpected and very expensive veterinary bills). I’m stretching our dollars and being creative. I’m trying my best to connect with other people: family, friends, husband. Sometimes I’m not great at this–it’s busy here and some days just pass me by in a blur–but I’m doing my best to make plans and make it happen.

The not so good: some of the other ways of nurturing myself are definitely lacking. Leisure activities are a rarity. Lily’s “nap times” (ok, rest times, she doesn’t nap anymore SIGH) are spent prepping dinner or filing bills. I haven’t knit in ages. I all too often, when time does present itself, find myself playing a mindless game of solitaire instead of reading a novel or writing down my thoughts. I worry that I am sadly lacking in thoughts these days. Or that all my thoughts are in list format: make beds (check), take shower (check), fold laundry (check).

I’m still in here. That creative part of me.

How/when will it be let out again? How can there be the time for just me? I don’t feel like I have the time to be selfish. Being selfish means my family loses out. There are not enough hours in the day. I feel like a winner and I feel like a loser. I’m Superwoman and I’m also a dumb and boring housewife. I’m busting my butt and I’m too lazy to get out of my yoga pants.

I miss me.

I don’t know how to do this balance thing. I long for something cool, something like a woman retreat. Something like a day all to myself. Nah, I’d miss everyone too much. I like this little family of mine. But I also long for the some day, that tantalizing dose of dreaming about the future me, the one that has time for personal pursuits that aren’t centered around making everyone else’s life easier and/or livable and/or cleaner.

I miss me.

Is there a way to come back to me while still maintaining all this other stuff? To get the meals ready and set the table and fold the laundry AND take care of all of me? I don’t know that it is possible. I don’t know that it is possible to live WELL at this stage of my life AND not have it include a fair amount of self-sacrifice.

I’m afraid that if I sway in the other direction, my children and my husband will be missing out. That it would be detrimental to them. And, then, to me, too.

I miss me, though. I still miss me.

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