I awoke to silence this morning.
The kind of silence that reminded that I was all alone in my house.
I have never spent the night alone in my house. Never.
I have had nights with just Luke. I have had nights with just Maddy. Never a night on my own.
This sort of silence is refreshing and strange. I have become so accustomed to the hustle and bustle of motherhood and marriage that this stillness, while amazing, is quite unsettling.
I am in a constant search for balance. A continual search to hold on to the individual in me while retaining all the important pieces that are only there because of the people I love. I am a wife and mother trying to find a way to just be Catherine sometimes too. The biggest impact waking up on my own had this morning was to remind me that I most certainly have not found the balance I seek yet.
If I was in possession of this sought after balance I would not have felt lost this morning without the people I make it job to care for. I don’t know how to just worry about myself anymore. I know that at points in my past I was too good at just worrying about myself, somewhere along the way I have lost the ability completely.
I know it is completely normal to place the people you love above yourself. In fact I think prioritizing oneself at the bottom of the list runs deep in every mother. I can embrace this, actually I have embraced this, but I don’t think I am going out on a limb here thinking that there has to be some exceptions to this sometimes.
So much of wife, and mother has been woven into Catherine. There are people around me who are able to look closely at my fabric and see through all the added threads of wife and mother to the original framework of me, the individual. I am the one that struggles to remember all those threads that made up me before the additions of the red that love wove though my life, Luke’s calming blues so full of trust and patience, the brilliant white of my vows, deep browns marking the stability and comfort that marriage added, or Maddy’s joyful yellow and vibrant, energetic orange mixing with the pinks of her pure and unconditional love.
I love that Luke and Maddy are so much a part of me. The goal has never been and will never be to tear apart my fabric to focus on those original strands that made me Catherine. The goal is to one day be able to remember and sometimes single out some of the pieces that are me, and me alone while retaining a firm grasp on the vibrance and beauty that are now a part of me because of marriage and motherhood.
Today is an exercise.
I’m stretching and bending and trying to relax enough to remember me, even if it is for just a few minutes while slowly enjoying my coffee or allowing my mind to wander to whatever intrigues me.
Maybe I’ll neglect my assigned duties and spend the day listening to music that moves me instead of music that involves Elmo or “Pop Goes the Weasel.”
Maybe I’ll enjoy some vegetable soup and not have to worry that vegetable soup doesn’t count as a meal to a certain person in my house.
Hopefully spending the day just taking my time and doing what moves me, instead of those around me will help me get over the unsettling silence and stillness that greeted me this morning and instead see the gift that the silence and stillness can be.