Monday, June 09, 2003

On the evening of my thirty-eighth birthday, I want to give thanks for the best and most special birthday present I received this year - time.

Having personal time has allowed me to rediscover fitness; a love of mine that I've been away from for years. When I had kids, I pretty much (like so many others) threw myself into parenting to the determent of all other parts of my life. For the longest time I felt out of balance, but the time spent with my kids held so much benefit for them and me. As Banana and McMonk grew older and more independent, I no longer needed to be within arm's reach anymore. It was important to be around, but it was more of a "hanging around and waiting for something to happen" kind of parenting.

So that's when I saw my opportunity to request more time to do my own thing and ... I got it. I started swimming more regularly and made some good friends in the process. With established training buddies, swimming led to some cycling, then some running. The more I did, the better it felt. I was getting fit and suddenly, I was needing about two and a half hours a day to get to my workout, do the deed and then get back. I am very lucky that both my family and my job have allowed me to have time to do what I love to do. Jenn and the kids have been great - I've abandoned them for regular Monday and Wednesday evening swim sessions and some Friday and Sunday rides and runs. On Tuesday and Thursdays I've skipped out of work as I've been allowed to stretch my three-and-a-half paid days over four days, punching a long, long lunch break into the middle of two afternoons.

Having this time means that Jenn doesn't get as much help with keeping the house running or as much attention from me as she's used to. It also means the kids lose their biggest playmate, story-reader and a disciplinarian for two nights a week. It also means that others have had to step in and pick up the slack with kids and chores when I'm not around - my mom, my mother-in-law, my co-workers, ... many others. But having this time for me has been a great gift. I feel so much better about myself and have more energy and stamina to do what needs to be done. It's also meant that there's about 11% less of me to start this 38th year than there was starting the 37th. That's substantial.

So, thanks to everyone who's given me a bit of time this year. I've made good use of it.

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