With the start of work I’m finding myself slowly coming out of the tunnel I was in.  That tunnel being: New Mommyhood, in which I felt ZERO desire or calling to do anything but focus on my new baby.  SHE was my new identity and that was the way I wanted it.  Everything else came second if at all.

But as I said, I’m coming out of that tunnel vision very slowly, and finding myself wanting an identity in addition to Mommy.  That role will ALWAYS come first, and I treasure every moment spent just being with Catherine.  And she will definitely be a part of my new “ventures.”  What I’m saying is I want more depth as a person.  I want to get back into running, mostly with the stroller but sometimes without since Catherine doesn’t have the patience for really long runs.  I want to do a marathon!  Maybe this summer or fall?

Regarding work – I wish I could be there more so that I could really absorb myself in projects, but I am not yet willing to give up that mommy-daughter time.  Eventually, though.

Friends.  I want a richer social life – with Catherine and Chris!  This is ESPECIALLY crucial for several reasons.  1) One of my big goals for being the kind of mother I want to be is giving Catherine the gift of a rich social network (the REAL kind, not the online kind).  I know the benefits: confidence, a support system, connections that lead to open doors, and happiness overall!  Currently, I’m not giving her that to the extent I’d like.  We spend too much time alone, I think.  2) Chris hasn’t been home much these days and I need company.  I’d love to find other moms whose husbands travel for work, or activities I can do that Catherine fits into.  3) Let’s not forget – my own health and happiness.  I know myself, and I know that when I’ve got a good healthy social life, with lots of time outdoors with friends, I am a happier, more confident person – and that means I’ll be a better mommy to Catherine and partner to Chris.  This is long, long overdue, and I’ve got to take the steps towards this goal.   Spring is just around the corner – perfect timing I think.

Reading and writing.  At the end of the day, I do look forward to sitting down for an hour or so of reality tv before bed.  But it’s time to put that precious time to better use.  The realty shows are a quick fix, but they don’t leave my soul happier.  What is a comparable, relaxing evening activity that does?  Reading.  I feel smarter, calmer, and happier when I take the time to read.  My hope is that eventually I’ll start incorporating writing into this time, too.  It’s more daunting, when my brain just wants to relax.  But it’s who I am, and I can’t keep ignoring it because it’s “hard.”  If I can begin to put those couple of hours of downtime in the evening before bed to good use, I know I could eventually write something good, worthy of publication.  I don’t know what, and I don’t know when, but I know I could do it if I make it a goal and take action.  If I don’t – if I put it off until “after Catherine is grown” it won’t ever happen. All the people I can think of who did big things creatively began when they were young.

So…there you have it – the ways I want to get back in touch with HELEN.  Why do I want to do this?  Because I have always believed that the very best gift I could give to Catherine is to be the kind of person I want her to be – 100% herself and deeply fulfilled.  To lead by example.   I want to be a better example than a realty-tv show watching, smart phone addict.  We can live a more adventurous life than that!