I’ve allowed myself to be a victim of my exhaustion for far too long now. It’s finally starting to sink in: I’m just going to be exhausted. ALL the time. The kids will get up early every morning. The baby will wake up to eat in the middle of the night. The chores will always be there. But I no longer want to use it as an excuse for not doing things.
As I sat awake with the baby in a wee hour of last night, I asked myself what I would be doing with my time in England if I didn’t have kids. What I would want to do with a year of days with no boss, no schedule.
First, I would travel. To lots of places, for the sake of doing it. I might even go on my own, simply to see what there is to see and take it all in. But that’s a whole different animal now. It’s unlikely I’ll traipse off alone to Amsterdam with two kids for a weekend.
Second, I would take care of myself. Keep up with the dentist. Go to the doctor for a checkup (for the first time since I had to have a physical for high school). Work out. Eat well. These things I can do anyway. So I’ve booked some appointments.
Sometimes I daydream about being well-rested, about being able to read deeply about the history of the British monarchy without falling asleep. About taking that botanical drawing class I spotted in the community college guide, or doing a photography workshop. Hopping the train to London and getting lost for a day. While the rest isn’t coming, I could probably swing some of these things if I call in some support. So why not?
It has been two years since my husband’s first deployment from England. Then I managed to use my 7-month-old son as an excuse for stressing way too much, for not staying on top of things or not looking out for myself. I just can’t do that this time. My boys need me to be my best. I need me to be my best. And so I will try.