heart strings

For someone who is an obvious introvert, I have a pretty hard time being alone.

I spent a lot of time reflecting on that realization during my most recent ‘Mommy Weekend’, which is what I’m calling the weekends the boys are with their Dad. It’s got a nicer ring to it, and helps me frame it as an opportunity rather than just weird. Which it also still is.

I realized that, while I do love my alone time, I never do it fully alone. I’ve got my shows. I’ve got books, so many books. And now of course I’ve got the omnipotent interwebs to distract and numb me.

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Being alone is hard. Especially after becoming a mom.

Because now, the farther I get from my little dudes, the tighter those heart strings get pulled. And when I’m having fun, I feel a tiny bit guilty, like I’m somehow being neglectful. Like at some point, being a ‘good mom’ became giving away all the things and never refilling my tank or taking any time for myself. Where did that even come from? Because I’ve got it, bad. Maybe it’s got something to do with my doormat syndrome.

What I know is that, over this past year as all the things I thought I knew fell apart, it became apparent that self-care needed to be a top priority. Because if I’m not fit, physically, mentally, spiritually, then there is no way I can be there for my boys. It’s one of the Truths that I’m especially grateful for in all of this hard stuff.

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And so I spend time by myself. Sitting in the forest by a beautiful creek, or by my bed for a few moments before I go to sleep, or most recently near a whole lot of amazing waterfalls. I literally talk to myself sometimes, or sing whatever song is stuck in my head. I pay attention to the thoughts that bubble up and I mull them over and try them on and feel their feels.

And I cry at lots of things I wouldn’t have in the past. Beautiful scenery, really good words, commercials, deer doing regular deer stuff, and that time I went hiking for 2 hours and when I got back to my car my little wallet was tucked into my windshield wiper with all of my cards and cash still inside. Seriously, I bawled like a sick baby and had to sit down in the parking lot to collect myself because I was shaking. Thanks Universe!!

Being alone is starting to feel more normal, but it’s still strange. The quiet is lovely and relaxing, but also a little unnerving. Especially when I’m physically far from home, from my boys. But I’m also really starting to enjoy it. And when the heart strings are feeling especially taut, I’m trying just to pretend like they’re a musical instrument, and I’m composing songs for my babies.

I hope they’re catchy.

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