Lately - months, years - I've been finding it harder and harder to really feel anything. Numb, void of emotion, blah. I know I love my children, but I am struggling to feel the surges of complete love, fascination and adoration that used to flow so freely from within my soul. To live in the moment. To soak into myself the miracle of their very existence. I have been feeling shut down, exhausted, drained. I can recognize, discuss and analyze the malaise that I have been feeling, but helpless to find a "cure".
Last night I returned home from a few days away with only one of our children - albeit for a hockey tournament, not a luxurious spa weekend. I was exhausted physically from lack of sleep, a long drive and fighting a nasty cold. I had a hot bath and put my pajamas on, then sat and watched the kids as they played and talked. As I watched Emma playing and singing away on the piano I was overcome with a feeling of pride, adoration and love. Later as I cuddled up with Abbie I felt the old familiar tug at my heart and it struck me - relief and love all mixed together - that I still have it.
Then I thought about the importance of a little break. A time away to regain oneself. A change.
So simple. A little break from the stresses of everyday life: noise, crying, fighting, complaining, cooking, laundry, schedules, cleaning, expections, the phone, the demands. I have a beautiful life, but over the years all the little criticisms and hard moments have chipped away at my real self. My negative internal voice had all but taken over completely. It hasn't been often, but every time I take a little break, I can see more clearly, feel more deeply, love more fully when I return. I think this is probably true of most everyone, though some people seem more able to maintain a zesty joyful attitude throughout life. But I can recognize clearly that for me to thrive in my job and my life, I need to remember to take a break. Sometimes it seems impossible to do, but I think it is essential to being the kind of mother, spouse, person that I want to be.