Do you ever start driving and before you know it you’ve made it to work, or your kid’s school or some other place that you routinely go? Then, once you arrive, you look around and realize you have no idea the turns you made to get to your location. You have that scary realization that you had checked out mentally and somehow spent the last 30, 40 or 60 minutes on autopilot and can’t remember anything that happened or how you got to where you are.
With Labor Day and the official close of summer, it dawned on me that I had spent my entire summer on autopilot.
Truthfully it began with last spring and then spring turned into summer. Working through the madness of each day, I would only wake up and find more needing to be done. Even on my “vacation” I routinely spent the first 4 hours of almost every day working and then an hour or more in the evening. The luxury of being able to work remotely in some ways became a curse and the first night on “vacation” I found myself working to nearly 11 pm.
My work comes in waves and this year has proven unpredictable, more than in years prior. The result of which was breezing through the personal obligations of life—including at times being a mom.
I’ve missed out on time to just hang out with my kids. I’ve missed out on beach walks and sand castles. The pool passes I bought were used once; the guest passes never used. My kids watched more television and played more video games than ever before, and the mommy-kid projects I planned sit uncompleted.
I’ve missed out on being present with my kids—and it really stinks.
As Robert J Hastings said in The Station,
“It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today. “
As frustrating as it is, I can’t live in regret or in fear that it might happen again–because honestly, as a working mom, it probably will. What I can do is to put energy towards new ways to operate, being more present and making the most of the time I have with my kids today.
Until next time…