free time

I was asked to complete a bio about myself for our hospital’s web site this week. Easy enough. Started writing my education and nursing experience down in third person. Enter, new paragraph, she’s married, lives here, has a son, a dog, and a cat. In her free time she enjoys running,

And then I was literally stumped. Could I acceptably admit that I like to take naps in my free time?

I have been so immersed in my education and career and childbearing and rearing that I have completely lost tract of what I like to do. My “free time” is fairly limited. I do laundry. Decorate for the holidays. Try to run a few miles, if only for my thighs’ (and husband’s) sake.  Try to text my friends and keep up with birthday cards. Sit on the couch and zone out at the TV.

I thought, before having Jackson, that I would be a do-it-all-and-make-it-look-good mom. I sense that most of us have the same idea. But after he was born, life was about staying above water and not dropping every ball I was juggling onto the floor. It was so much more than I had anticipated, in both beautiful and overwhelming ways. I hadn’t read a good book since I was 30-something weeks pregnant. Or used my sewing machine. I was busy.

Then I graduated, and I just wanted to sit down and not do stuff for a little while. I was tired. I was trying to figure out a new normal. I thought eventually I would come back. The normal old ambitious me.

BUT, as I sat at my desk and stared at the comma and blinking cursor after the word running, I realized a few things. First of all, I don’t give my self very much time, but I think that’s the nature of the beast of having young children, as they are little time monopolizers. Next, I realized that I didn’t know much about what makes me happy anymore. I’ve been so focused on future goals that I lost track of present day life. And now that I have some time to think about the present, I am tired. But it is still important that I hold some semblance of an identity. And lastly, I needed to accept that I will never again resemble old Amanda, whoever she was. I can enjoy the same things. I can go for runs, and go to movies, and enjoy a good book – but I cannot do them without the consideration of my family. They get dibs on my time and energy.

However, I did read a book this week. I curled up under the lamp light and laughed out loud at the story after Jackson was tucked in bed. It felt so accomplishing. I think I’ll do it again. And at least add reading to my bio without feeling like a fraud.