One of my favorite memories of life before my daughter was born was explaining to everyone I worked with that I was going to use my 6 months of maternity leave to catch up on some research and tackle new business ideas. I figured if I were going to be home for those extra 8-10 hours every day “doing nothing”, then I could finally accomplish the things I was unable to find time for before.
“Before” is a timeframe in my life that lasted until my mid-30’s where my life revolved around work, video games, reading and socializing with friends. Saturday mornings were typically spent sleeping in till just before noon as a result of being out late the night prior. Saturday afternoon revolved around going out for lunch because I didn’t have time to cook and then followed by a modest 3-4 hours of couch time playing role playing games or reading a novel. Sundays were spent much the same but with maybe a few extra hours put aside to prep for the work week ahead and tinker with some “special projects”.
“Before” is a timeframe that now, just three years into my role as a parent, seems absolutely ridiculous and something of a dream. Now, success is 6 straight hours of sleep and the ability to eat a meal that is above room temperature. Reading is generally limited to the 2-3 paragraphs of a book I can digest before completing passing out into a sleep deprived coma only to be immediately woke up again from the clunk of an iPad hitting me squarely in the face. My Xbox consoles are completely ignored except for one that my daughter uses to play her Sesame Street game or dance to a One Direction song on Just Dance. I do still socialize on a Friday night but it’s usually just me and my husband as we attempt to watch a movie, only to make it 20 minutes in before one of us is passed out cold and the other is trying to pull a late nighter and stay up past 10 while trying to sneak in an extra hour or two of work on their laptop while the other sleeps.
This is my life now. And I wouldn’t change it for anything. Because NOW my life and heart are full. And BEFORE was just an empty shell that resides somewhere in my past and was always missing something. I just didn’t know what it was. Now I realize that something was Dylan.