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Lately, I’ve noticed I spend most of my day hurrying everyone along. Sometimes it’s for an actual reason – we have to get to school and since mornings consist of putting on shoes “all by myself”, throwing toys into the toilet, pouring cereal all over the floor, and refusing to wear anything that is not in the dirty clothes, things sometimes take a bit longer than planned. But, other times, it’s just me, moving us along for no reason other than I’m in the habit of hustling.
So, I am trying to find places in our life where there isn’t a deadline or anywhere to rush off to, but instead where I can teach the kids (and myself) we have plenty of time. Because it is a feeling you can go back to, isn’t it? It’s like when you’re halfway through a vacation and you realize you didn’t feel the compulsion to check your phone or email because you are actually in time.
Normally, Chris and I are pretty good about making sure we each get a few hours every weekend to ourselves (I’ll meet a friend for lunch or catch up on work while Chris plays the guitar or ride his bike); it’s a life-saver for my sanity, but there’s always a vaguely panicked feeling to it, knowing my time is highly limited and feeling like it’s on the verge of running out.
So, we thought, what about a whole day? Yes, you read that right. We’ve started a new thing where one day a month we each get a whole day to go and do whatever strikes our fancy, free from the worries of nap time and what princess is currently in season (Belle).
I kicked the whole idea off last Sunday and did what any rational mom with eight hours on her hands would do – I planned on cleaning out the garage. I was going to go through baby clothes, finally get our Christmas decorations in order, maybe even get in there and scrub out the recycling bin, if things got really crazy, basically utilize my time wisely.
When my little sister heard the news she was horrified and immediately nixed the idea. As she pointed out, the whole idea of this day was to rejuvenate me, give me a chance to “be myself” again for a full day and, perhaps, most poignantly, reminded me not everything has to be about checking things off my to do list.
She basically took me upstairs, forced me into my Ryan Gosling leggings (I know! She’s so mean!) and marched me to brunch. Then she dragged me to Haight Street where I became reacquainted with some of my old thrift stores. At this point, she felt safe I wasn’t going to make a break for the garage so she left me to my own devices.
So, I just wandered. San Francisco is chock-full of adorable little stores, and amazing coffee shops, and totally weird happenings that you miss when you’re zooming around in your car, and it’s one of the reasons why we moved here. I ended up walking through a bunch of different neighborhoods, I had two different iced coffees, I sat in the park, I talked to a bunch of people about our shared love of Ryan Gosling, I saw a lady walking a pig, a guy walking around on stilts totally casually and joined a quick street dance. I spent time looking through a bookstore and then actually bought and started reading a new book. It was AWESOME. I remembered what it felt like to have enough and simply go where the day takes you; by the time I got home I was dying to see the kids.
Surprisingly, that feeling of space has lasted all week. While it’s been predictably busy around here, it’s felt more manageable, maybe because I feel like I’m carrying this little secret around. The secret that I’m still here: not Kara the Mom, or Kara the Wife, or even Kara the Fabulista, but just plain ole Kara. The Kara who is enough, even when all she’s doing is walking around and being herself.
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