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A Second Wind

Sixteen years ago, my youngest child (5 months old at the time) spent a week in the hospital with pneumonia from a virus picked up in daycare. Call it mommy-guilt, fatigue, boredom with my career - who knows - but I decided it was time to become a full-time stay-at-home mom. No one believed that I could do it. In fact, I harbored dreams of becoming a freelance writer of sorts, opining on globalization in my community and other matters that, at the time, I felt somewhat qualified on which to opine. The reality? I shut the door on my old life and instead turned my attention to carpools, dance, soccer, basketball, cross-country, Parent Association volunteering, and eventually, running the Parent Association itself. I burnt out on all the volunteer activities by the time my last child reached fifth grade. My mission in life thereafter became chief Uber driver, dance/game/meet cheerleader, backstage/team mom, scheduler, dinner chef and enforcer (yes, I was the mean parent while my husband was the nice one). That was my life...And it was enough, for a while. As my children got older, I began to wonder what I would do when they were all gone and I had no one but my husband and dog to "manage". In other words, what did I want to do when I grew up? It sounds amusing, but it can be a depressing, soul-crushing experience to realize you have subsumed yourself to the needs of others for so many years that you have forgotten what feeds your own soul. I started to make a list of what I liked to do, outside of my family. At first, the only thing I could write down was "drink wine". Hmm...not a promising start unless I wanted to become a sommelier. I kept thinking on it, however, and slowly other things emerged. I liked languages. I liked to spend hours on my computer researching family genealogy. I Iiked to read (mostly romance novels). I liked to write, and yes, I still liked drinking wine, although I don't love what it does to my bathroom scale. I didn't want to go back to a structured office environment. I did want to engage in something meaningful that required me to learn, grow and adapt. Voila! My "second wind" as a budding author emerged! I'm only a year in and have the draft of my first novel. Writing is a lot harder than it looks - if you want to do it well. I'm learning as I go and I'm energized. I hope my journey inspires you to find your second (or third or fourth) wind. Life is a journey, not a destination. Never has this cliche held so true for me as it does now. A second wind. Onward...


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