Lately I have been falling into bed at night rather early for myself, completely and totally exhausted, and sleeping sweetly all night long.
I love that feeling.
I used to envy my husband when he would come home from work, eat dinner, shower, and fall asleep like someone flipped the "off" switch for the night. Back when I was working too, I'd drag myself to bed after the 11 o'clock news just to toss and turn and worry about upcoming deadlines at the office and wonder how I'd get everyone ready to go in the morning and whether I could make it to the kids' school parties and all kinds of other obligations we mommies tend to busy our minds with.
This went on for all of my married life.
Until I quit my job.
The two-year anniversary of my last day at work came and went with nary a mention here, but not because it hadn't crossed my mind. It's just that it occurred while we were doing exactly the thing I wanted to be able to do all those years I was working: taking my kids on vacation during spring break.
April 2, 2008, was my last day. I left my full-time job to be a homemaker and stay-at-home mom. It was a monumental event in the Pipe Life household, one that required much thought and prayer and discussion and yes, even more sleepless nights. I felt like I had hit a breaking point, for many reasons. Our house was in chaos. The kids needed some focused attention that I just didn't have the energy to give them. I needed some focused attention. Steve, too. I felt like we were all going in different directions and nobody really had any particular destination in sight.
I spent that first few days at home with the kids while they finished up spring break, then once they were back to school I slept for - I swear - two weeks. I'd get the kids off to school in the morning and go back to bed or hit the couch and sleep for hours. Sometime during that two weeks a lot of negative energy slipped away and was replaced by plain old energy. And it felt good.
I started cleaning and sorting and organizing and making lists of all the things I wanted to do around the house that I hadn't had a chance to do in ... well ... ever. When I went out to run errands I would bump into people I knew and they'd ask if I was bored yet.
"Wha? Umm, NO."
My mom told me it would take a year for me to feel like I was finally caught up. She was right.
I remember those first few weeks - the weeks after the Sleepfest of '08 - when the weather was beautiful and I would work around the house or out in the yard all day and then after the kids got home and we had dinner, we'd go for a walk. We'd talk, pick flowers, visit neighbors. Then we would all fall into our beds at night and sleep like babies - like someone hit the "off" switch.
All that physical activity, all that fresh air, and a wide-open summer to look forward to.
Kinda' like how it's been around here lately.
I'm lovin' it.