We just returned from the best family vacation that we've had in years today. Ahhhhh. I can breath again and that tight feeling is gone in my chest. We had a chance to stop and think and reflect on our life. I think that it is taking me years to decompress from this last phase of life with the babies coming fast and furious, job changes and and cross-country moves but I think it may be happening. We have lived in the Burg for two years and in our home for one year. We have a garden and a clothesline. We buy books by the ton (I probably mean this literally) without worrying about needing to move them soon. I have one year of homeschooling under my belt and have been depression-free for over a year. We have bikes and several bird-feeders (I've recently entered my bird-phase). We have a Costco membership and I'm in a Bible study with wonderful friends. I'm six moths post-partum and not pregnant for the first time in three babies. So I'm starting to breathe again.
This vacation restored me to the status of being a person. I did stuff. Thanks, mainly to my brother James, for the first time in years I did stuff. I "played volleyball" (read: I stood in a spot while the other people covered all but the 2 square feet surrounding me). I played whiffle ball. I went out late at night to help my brother celebrate his 21st birthday. I spoke to great people who are not yet in, or are no longer in, my particular state in life. They don't even know what an Ergo is! I talked about God and prayed to Him. I went to a bonfire and sang songs and had smores. I went to Lake Michigan and climbed a sand dune. I talked to my brothers about school and girls. I spent lots of time with people who knew me before I became Mom. People who remember, even when I don't, that I am Alexis. It wasn't until we were driving home (a hideous 15 hour drive in which Rosie and Thomas did not fall asleep until midnight in spite of a dose of NyQuil - or maybe because of it? I was not able to be a person on that drive at ALL) that I realized why I was so reticent to leave. I feel like a starving person who just started to have her hunger satisfied and I was filling up on as much person-time as possible. But after a much-interrupted conversation with John I think that we are in yet another transition.
This next phase of life is the one where time "flies by" because it's so good. No major life upheavals (God willing!) for a while. We made a plan (a Rule, if you will) that will ensure that we each get some "being a person time" so that we don't start to starve again without any hunger pangs. We may still get hungry but at least now we know that food exists and we have a way to get to it.
I can feel the peace seeping into my soul and I'm dreaming about rhythm and breathing. About being alone in a canoe on a still lake with the full moon rising and a loon swimming nearby. It was a good vacation. And I just finished watching the fireworks with my husband from the roof of our porch (very 'A Whole New World') while the kids slept, so coming home can be wonderful too.