I crave it.
So much of the past five years has felt heavy, a sensation similar to peddling a bike up hill with someone hanging on the back. You pull and struggle and eventually make it up the hill, but are left depleted.
You know that nagging feeling that you've forgotten something important? Yeah, that one. Imagine having that all day long, every day. And your brain is like an overheating laptop spinning its fan trying to figure it out.
The glimpses of light come randomly, where I can relax enough to feel a surge of giddiness for everyday things. During our family vacation in July at a campsite in Montana, I leaned back in my campchair and stared up at the big sky, wider than my periphy could scan and was able to breathe in the beauty.
That is how I know I'm feeling good. The heaviness lifts and life feels simply light. When I don't stress about minute details, or feel anxiety around every corner, no matter how banal.
In the Utopian memory of my "past life"; that is, before children and postpartum depression, I felt light all the time, running gaily through the fields of my existence without a care in the world. But I know that isn't true. I have my journals to remind me. I would say the first time anxiety gripped me in its talons was in high school. I had qualified for some swimming tournament. I remember sneaking around the side of the building to peek into the moist air of the pool, knowing that I would not swim that day because I was scared to do something that I chose to do every day after school because I loved it, and yet, my anxiety disabled me. I watched the race from outside the brick walls, ashamed to face my coach, and stared at the empty starting block appointed for me.
Fittingly, the heaviness has faded as the physical weight I've had to bear has lessened. It was greatest when I had two babies, two carseats and a packed-full diaper bag to lug around. Although I would often find myself under the weight of two toddlers begging to be carried, I relished the relative freedom when the girls could walk on their own. Leaving the house felt lighter too, because I could grab some juice boxes, goldfish crackers and go.
Now? They can pull themselves up into my car, dress themselves and brush their own teeth...
But I'm still reaching for the lightness.