I Did It For Me

I Did It For Me

Earlier this week, I headed out for one of my usual 3-5 mile runs along the water downtown. It was a gorgeous morning, not too hot yet and relatively quiet for our little town. As I hit the place that I usually loop back to where I started, I was feeling really good and decided to keep going and head over the huge bridge here out to the beach, adding 3 miles on. I huffed and puffed up and over that bridge, enjoying the breeze and and burn in my legs. I ran 7 miles for fun. I know, I know…I run a lot and I do it because I enjoy it. But in the past, I ran in high school for a team. I did it because coach said to whether I liked it or not. I loved and hated it. When I was in college, I ran because I was neurotic and was obsessed with burning calories. When I took up running regularly again a couple of years ago, I needed to register for races to keep me motivated. I obsessed over time, pace, distance. I was training and that kept me going. For the past few months, I haven’t trained for anything. I haven’t had a coach to tell me what I was going to run today whether I like it or not. I haven’t a clue how many calories I consume or burn. And I stopped running with a watch. Now, I do it for me. I do it because it’s a beautiful day. I do it because I can and someday I won’t be able to. I do it because it feels good. I go when I feel good and I stop when I am done. It’s been really freeing.

You may have noticed I haven’t blogged in over 2 months. Apparently I don’t do well with expectations, imposed by others or by myself. I can be stubborn like that. I feel too much pressure to do something all the time and do it really amazingly or not do it at all. I guess I hit the don’t do it at all phase.

I got a job.

Every morning, I drop my kids off at school like I always have and now instead of coming home to go for a run, do laundry and mop floors or go for coffee with friends, I go to work. It has been just over a month now and I am just starting to get used to it. It’s been a really weird transition for all of us, but good weird. I feel so grateful for the years I was able to stay home with my babies and watch them grow, guide them, and savor them. Once they were in school every day this school year, I felt a sense of purpose evaporate from my being. My reasons for being home vanished. I was fortunate enough to find a perfect job for me (I’m social media girl and using my writing and photog skills) and my schedule. I quite literally work just the hours my kids are in school. It was truly a blessing when this opportunity came up and it was one I couldn’t pass on.

For the weeks since I started, I have slowly tried to find a groove. I get up earlier now so that I have time to get my kids ready and get myself ready. How easily I slipped into a life of taking my kids to school looking a bit like a raggamuffin. It has been interesting finding the right balance of household stuff and work stuff. Just this past week, I finally felt like I could breathe and really enjoy this new place I’m at in life. For a number of reasons, the first couple of weeks were tears-inducingly overwhelming. But I finally can settle in and feel like I’m doing something for me – that benefits my whole family.

But finally, I’m feeling like I can actually juggle more than one role at once. I can pack lunches, drive the mommy bus, go to work, and still find the bottom of the laundry hamper once a week. Somehow, I feel like by becoming busier outside the home, I have more time for other things as well. I know I don’t actually have any more time than I did before. I just seem to be more willing to make it. I have started running with a friend one evening a week. I find myself making more time for me and with that has come happier everybody. Funny how that works.

I know there is no job more challenging and rewarding than the one I did right here at home for 6 years. I also know that I often felt under appreciated and under valued for the job I did day in and day out. But when I see my kids blossoming at school, doing the right thing, smiling regularly and in general being people I am so proud of, it tells me that I did the most important thing I could then and I am doing something really important for all of us now, too. I know there should be no war between mommies that stay at home or go to work. I know there is no one answer except the one right way for each family. It feels good to be doing something for me that is right for our family right here and now.

I have missed being here in this space and hope that now that I can breathe a bit more, I’ll be here regularly again.

xo
Emily

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Comments

  1. Glad to see you here again! Congrats on the big changes!

    Emily Reply:

    Thank you!!

  2. Valerie J. says:

    Congratulations on the new job and adjusting well! Going from part time school(graduated woohoo!) to full time home. Different season of life. :)

    Emily Reply:

    Congratulations! What an exciting transition for you – enjoy this season, it’s wonderful!!

  3. It’s nice to see you back! I’ve never commented on your blog before but I’ve enjoyed every post and have missed your blog’s activity. I wish you the best of luck finding the right balance for you and your family.

    Emily Reply:

    Kathy, that means so much to me. Thank you!! xo

  4. I started work this year as well! Great post, glad you are back!

    Emily Reply:

    Such a change isn’t it? congrats to you – I hope it is going well!! xo

  5. Stephanie Fallon says:

    Happy for you. A very wise woman once told me “If you want something done, ask a busy person”. Funny how true that is.

    Emily Reply:

    I have thought of that so many times the last month – I have never been more productive!!

  6. Congratulations, Emily. This was an exciting post to read. I am so glad you’re back though. I missed reading your writing. You are very good at it.

    Emily Reply:

    Gay, thank you!! I always appreciate your sweet comments. xo

  7. What a beautiful post!

    Emily Reply:

    Love you, girl!! xo

  8. This was refreshing to read. I’m a full-time working Mom as a kindergarten teacher. I have a 2 and 4 year old of my own. It’s hard to leave them every day in someone else’s care…and I’m always struggling with finding the balance. It’s nice to hear that I’m not alone in that! We do our best, and push on through!

    Emily Reply:

    You are so right – it is all about finding balance, pushing through and doing the best we can. I really admire you, as a teacher. What a wonderful job you are doing. Thank you!! xo

    Jill Reply:

    Oh, my! Do you know how much I appreciate hearing that!? You totally just made my day!! Thank you!

  9. Good for you! It’s not easy finding your groove, but once you do it feels great! I hope things continue to go well for all of you!

  10. Stephanie says:

    I don’t comment often :) , but I loved what you wrote about running. I ran in HS and college competitively and then kind of got away from it for a few years (excuses I used were mostly my babies – ha ha!). But in the last couple years, I have gotten back into it, running a half marathon, a couple 10Ks, another half coming up, and I feel like I finally reclaimed the joy I got from running because I was doing it for me! …just like you said! :) I still use a watch and track my pace (though I wish I could stop that obsession sometimes because I am much slower than I used to be), but it is still fun for me. Thanks for sharing that! And best to you with the new job, finding the everyday balance and enjoying the time. I enjoy your blog. :)

  11. Thank you for writing this post. My five kids are all in school all day for the first time this year. I’ve been looking forward to this for so long, and when it finally came, I just felt lost. And still feel lost. After seven months. What you said about losing your sense of purpose really hit home. Thank you for writing what I feel but didn’t know how to express!

  12. Emily, it is so good to hear from you again! I hope that you are able to continue blogging – I find your voice to be a soothing one. Enjoy your new job!

  13. That is GREAT! What a cool job, sounds like a perfect fit. Happy for you : )

  14. So glad to see you pop up in my reader! Glad to hear the transition is going well and that you’re enjoying the job!!!

    XOXO!

  15. Congratulations! Would love to have tips on how you organize your home and work life. I have been back at work for about 5 years and have not really figured it out yet.

    Judy :)

  16. I’m a total stalker here; found you in a blog party some time ago. Thanks for your post about running just for you. I especially loved the line where you said you do it because you can and someday you won’t be able to. Thanks for the inspiration today!

  17. hey lady – it has been awhile! congrats on your new job. I am very happy for you – and how cool you get to dress up a bit too. Glad to have caught up with you.