May and June were a whirlwind of culmination of children's school years, and July has been a pick up game of catch up. Throw on top the planning of a bathroom remodel, and 3 years of maternity leave from my garden in which time all manner of green has run amuck. Whew! It has been a little busy, and adult responsibilities can only be ignored for so long before anarchy ensues.
So this little place in the ethersphere that I set aside for myself, was placed on the back burner. It had good company, like my sewing machine, my unfinished quilt, my paints and art pencils, bubble bath, and uninterrupted adult conversation. All things that have been pushed to the wayside in the wake of motherhood. I'm not complaining, these are the compromises of family life.
The benefits of my absence, (aside from you being spared the obligatory read) is a memory card full of images of my family's shining smiling faces, a yard that is no longer an embarrassment to my neighbors, and if the stars continue to align, no longer having to walk up two flights of stairs to take a shower. *sigh* Very good things.
I guess in some circles these are trivialities, but for us, it is the sweet gluten free-dairy free icing on a year that was NOT dominated by illness. Life was so busy, so....normal, I began to take it for granted. As this is dawning on me, emotions are washing over me, relief and gratitude and restrained joy are welling in my eyes. I didn't expect this when I sat down to write. In the world of autoimmune illness, success is difficult to measure. I am frequently so absorbed in the constant vigilance of symptoms, ingredient checking, and safely feeding my family, that I miss the signs of a job well done. Unfortunately, people get sick when I let my guard down.
My 20 something self measured success with income, independence, and professional reputation. It is hard to apply her standards to my life.
What is the worth of holding a child when they wake from a bad dream, or the time spent interpreting the directions on a second grade homework assignment, or being home so your tween daughter has a supervised place to get out of the summer heat with her budding social circle of friends. How do I quantify the worth in the simple gift of my presence for the people I love? This is the fabric I need to measure, the soft fleece to wrap around my soul that eases my burdens.
I told a friend having a difficult time once, that time and Love given are never lost. As a Mother, I'm banking on that belief. I invest in it everyday.