Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Goodbye maternity leave, hello new reality


Today was a landmark day.

1) Hannah went to daycare for the first time.
2) I went back to work.
3) I signed up for a gym membership (and then un-signed up, with intentions to sign up again immediately...we'll get back to this).
4) All of the above happened, and I still felt peace.

Let's review each in detail.

Hannah went to daycare for the first time
Yesterday's anxiety about this event was actually worse than today's. Have you ever noticed how that happens? Anticipation of an event is often FAR more excruciating than actually experiencing the event.

I am on drop-off duty and Jason is on pick-up duty, but for the first day I asked Jason to join me in case I fell apart/lost my way/needed a hug/needed to be talked out of turning around and taking her home. To both of our amazement, we walked her into daycare, set her down in her room, went through a few things with the staff, and left without a breakdown. In fact, I think my moment of calm came in when Miss Jill, the gal who was overseeing our angel, brought out the activity mat. Hannah (a.k.a. Baby Party Time) loves her some playmat. We set her down on the mat and she began to go nuts. I'm convinced she no longer knew we existed. So we left, and I felt OK about it.

I went back to work
After leaving Hannah, I turned on some happy music in Sully (side note: we named our Honda Pilot "Sully" after Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III - the amazing dude who landed the plane successfully in the Hudson River in '09), and I followed the concrete path all the way to the workplace. I felt kind of like a kid returning to school after summer break.

The warm "welcome back" I received was indescribable. My friend Christie gave me a card and an Independence Day-influenced seed of happiness. It worked - I felt much happiness. My friend Gina also gave me a card with the kindest handwritten sentiments. My boss Michele brought in gooey butter cakes (how did she know this was a favorite of mine???) and I may have had a piece or two and shared them with my buds. I spent a fair bit of the day catching up with friends, visiting with my pals Kim and Jenny for a good length of time, spending quality minutes with my two favorite Kristins/Christins (one with a K, one with a C-H), and generally just hugging many people and shooting the breeze.

And then, naturally, I dedicated much of the day to going through the email pile, sorting through what was pertinent versus what was instantly delete-able. I was afraid that I would feel anxious, but I didn't. Not even after the 3 or so cups of coffee I downed at my desk.

I signed up for a gym membership (and then un-signed up, with intentions to sign up again immediately)
Mama needs to get back in shape. So, Jason and I have been discussing the fact that in order to do so I need to find something that maintains my interest. I recently saw my friend Shauna at a wedding, and she looked very physically fit, so I inquired about how she achieved her nice figure and she said that she took classes at a local gym. I have been thinking about doing Zumba and/or other classes for awhile, and at that point I decided I would sign up for a gym membership where copious amounts of classes were offered.

There's a Golds gym near my house and near work, so this seemed like the right fit. I paid ol' Golds near my house a visit this past Monday and got some info about how the gym was configured, classes offered, membership fees, yada yada. Then I decided today that I would also check out the Golds near work to see if I could dig their chili too. I went during my lunch hour, and I dug their chili, so I enrolled in a membership. I went back to work and told my friend Marci that I had enrolled, and was then informed that if I enrolled via my company I would receive a discounted monthly rate. GAH! I like discounted monthly rates. So I went right back up to Golds after work, abolished my contract, and my next task is to fill out the paperwork so I can enroll through work. The monthly fees will be deducted from my paycheck, but we're getting merit increases soon, so I won't even know what I'm missing. At least from a monetary perspective........I will know what I'm missing when I shed this entire second baby's worth of weight that I'm carrying around. Gross.

All of the above happened, and I still felt peace
I can't say for sure who all was praying for me today, but I definitely felt the presence. I also received messages today from a lot of people checking in on me to see how I was holding up...my Aunt Kathy, mother-in-law, Cup, Kelly, Lara, Cari, Shayne...the list goes on. And of course Facebook friends were wishing me well after I mentioned something about receiving a "mom's survival kit" from daycare that I had hoped contained Kleenex, Xanax, and a flask of Jack.

I actually felt good today. Really, really good. Somehow happiness feels best when it's unexpected.

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