We’re only into our second week of the school year and it’s already starting to feel like Groundhog Day.  Every day I get up right after my husband gets out of the shower.  I throw my robe on and get going with the getting ready.  I’ve been getting up earlier so the race isn’t as frantic as it has been which is nice.  I kiss the husband good-bye, get the girl on the bus and head to work.

I spend my day there doing the same thing almost every day: watching the clock until it’s time to go home.  (Ok, maybe it just feels like that’s all I do!)  Then I fight traffic, run inside and start getting ready for dinner.  Some nights I cook, some nights my husband cooks, and then there are the “other” nights.  (“Too tired, let’s do cereal.”)  Once we’re done with dinner and have pulled as many of the fascinating kindergarten details out of Zoey as she’s willing to share, another bell goes off and it’s time for the bedtime routine.  Since I get home from work so late–around 6:00–there is so little time to spend together before bedtime, which starts at 7:30 if we’re lucky.  The rest of the night is a blur of toothpaste, bedtime stories for the kid and a little TV or books for the grownups.  Ignore dishes in the sink, set the alarm, shut off the light and BAM!  Another day done and what’s my reward?  I get to start all over again in a few hours.

Does this sound familiar?  It’s the same day over and over.  There’s not a lot of variation.  Oh wait, last night I cleaned the cat litter box and did laundry!  Does that make my life exciting?  Um, not really.  Ok so how can I keep my sanity and bring some excitement into my daily routine?  I’ll even settle for “slightly different” over “thrilling”.  Don’t want to set my expectations too high.

I feel that I don’t have enough going on that makes me “Me” with a capital M.  I love my daughter and enjoy (almost) every minute I spend with her.  But what do I have to offer her?  When I’m dead and gone, I want her to remember me as…something.  But what?  A great mom, sure, but what else?  One of our bedtime stories last night was a cute book called “Me…Jane” about how Jane Goodall dreamed of helping animals from the time she was a little girl.  She grew up and she did just that.  It was such a great book to introduce Zoey to Jane; strong female role model, a message to follow your dreams, wildlife conservation–the whole shebang!  Well, I want to have that kind of impact on my daughter.  I’m not saying that I want to go to  Africa and live in the bush so I can study chimpanzees (wait–that would be really cool) but I want to DO something.  I want to be the kind of mother who has something to show for her life, one who Zoey can look up to and respect and be proud to say, “Yeah, that’s MY mom.”  I’m not even approaching this dilemma as an overworked mom who has no time for herself.  If I wanted to pursue something that was just for me, my husband and I would totally make it work.  But the thing is I just don’t know what that something is.

I know I’m doing an amazing thing, raising a fabulous daughter and running a great family.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be this wife and this mother that I have become.  But is it enough?   Will I be satisfied that I’ve done all I could have done at the proverbial end of the day?  So, here’s my question to you-it’s a two-parter:  What do you do to bust the daily doldrums of your routine?  And what do you do to leave your mark on the world, while building a lasting impression on your children?  How did you find something that truly turned you on about yourself; that you were willing to pursue?  What was it and how were you able to pursue it?  Ok, so it’s more than two questions, but I am dying to hear your answers.  Give it up ladies. 

There's always time for a bus stop selfie! Photo: K. Stevenson

There’s always time for a bus stop selfie!
Photo: K. Stevenson