There are times I feel like there are so many things that I am giving up or missing out on. It is hard to look through old pictures of my overseas travels and not wish I could go back, or go somewhere new. I miss date nights with my hubby and wish that we could somehow get to NY and see Wicked (something I've been dreaming of since it won its Tonys in 2004). I can no longer hang out with friends at the drop of a hat or volunteer for things that take day light time commitments.
In less than two years, my life has drasticaly transformed.
Here's the thing though, there may be things I miss or that I pass on today, but with a slight shift in perspective I recognize that what I have is more than enough.
I wont be using my passport any day soon, but I did get to go to the Outer Banks with the amazing Winter clan in September. I get to show my boys a variety of wonders in our own back yard on a daily basis. And soon the kids will be old enough that we will get to go on mini day adventures to places like the Pittsburgh Zoo or the Baltimore Aquarium. Sooner than I can imagine, these baby days will be past and perchance that passport will emerge to whisk me away to an overseas photography conference, or a girls getaway, or a romantic re-connection with dear hubs. My border hopping days are not over, just on hold for a short time.
Date nights are few and far between - I realize that alone time between a couple is essential to the health of the marriage and family, but beyond the logistical COST of a date night plus babysitters the sheer exhaustion that envelopes my life after 7pm is ridiculous! So, we have started family date nights. We use the rewards points from our credit card to get gift cards to restaurants. We go as a family which is wonderful for three reasons: 1 - I don't have to cook or plan a meal, 2 - the boys learn how to behave while out to eat, and 3 - it is just fun to be somewhere new and watch the boys study and enjoy their new surroundings. Do we have in depth conversations, no. Are their fancy outfits and come hither high heels, no. But, we laugh, we eat, and we leave a mess for someone else to clean up ;o) Once the boys are in bed, Hubs and I watch a movie and cuddle baby girl. All in all a great date night!
Although I can no longer on a general basis hang out with friends (without pre-planning) - it doesn't stop them from occasionally kidnapping me after 7pm for a yogurt date or showing up at my house - frozen coffee in hand - for a work meeting. We have also simply redefined 'hang out' time into the guise of playdates or a quick lunch out with the kids (where we try to scare whatever restaurant we walk into with the fact that the children outnumber the adults ;op).
Habitat for Humanity and big missions endeavors may be out for right now, but I've gotten hubs to agree to serve with me in the church nursery once a month. And soon I'll be watching our little ones offer to rake the neighbors' leaves - just as three little guys showed up on our lawn Sunday afternoon.
Life is DRASTICALLY different, and then not all that different at all. I have to give up my desire to control each situation and shift how I define an experience... but in the end, All I have is more than enough.
(This is a link to the song: Enough, by Chris Tomlin)