I was always that annoying person who would say things like "if you are not enjoying yourself, then you probably shouldn't be doing whatever it is you are doing" and "just smile and you will feel better". I used to just do all kinds of things because they made me happy - lots of art, outdoorsy stuff, reading, learning new things... I was always seeing how people who took themselves too seriously get into a mess of trouble and stress. I do have a tendency to be over analytical and serious, and clearly being a parent has pushed me over the edge. I've gotten so focused on parenting that I've all but given up on my own interests, and lots of things are just a chore for me or have just gone completely by the wayside. I haven't been hiking in forever, can't remember the last time I went to hear live music, I have no clue what is going on in the ice hockey world, and haven't picked up more than a magic marker for art in some time. I do still garden, and while I used to love home improvement projects, I got a little burned out on those.
I realized the other day how dire the situation actually is. Peanut came up to sit on my lap while I was reading this blog post which had me hysterically laughing. She watched my face carefully, and started to smile too. Then she kept asking me to go back to the picture of the big chicken and laugh. Later that day, and then again the next day, she brought up that "funny metal chicken" and wanted me to laugh again. I realized then, that she was trying to get me to laugh that hard again because it is such a rare occurrence lately. Really really sad.
Yesterday, I felt like I just wanted to rebel. I'm 40, but I had this huge urge to go out and get a new piercing of some sort, dye my hair magenta, and just do all the things that this "good girl" never did. So it's clearly time to put the fun back into all of it and stop being so serious. Last night I actually went out for drinks with some girlfriends, which is priceless. Just being able to sit and relax and talk about anything without being concerned about little ears is a magical thing. This morning the kids and I painted our nails - they got the nontoxic calmer colors and I broke out my old greens and blues. It was amazing how much a little blue polish and some New Order (yep - it was a cassette tape!) playing in the car can do to make me smile. After a morning of splashing with the kiddos at our friends pool, and now with two kids napping soundly, things are looking up.