I miss October.

My October was a month of travel: Chicago, then Austin. It was filled with friends I don’t get to see often, the gorgeous Chicago skyline, the energy of both cities, fantastic food, amazing music, and days with nothing to do other than sit back and listen.

November, though, is all business. Budgets. Work. Mothering. And while I’m thankful for my everyday life, and that I’m back with my kiddos, I’ find myself longing for October.

October felt a bit like my life before marriage-kids-divorce.  I spent chunks of time where no one expected me to cook them a meal, wash their clothes or sign a stack of papers. I spent time closing my eyes and getting lost in a song, opening my eyes and marveling at architecture, and lingering over meals so full of flavor that I can almost—almost—still taste the chilies and the chocolate and the tequila.

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Chicago street. October 2014

In October, I spent time just being Lisa. Not the writer, not the mom, not the ex-wife. Just me. That might sound silly to some, but there’s a difference there. It’s a difference that I struggle with. This article in the NY Times today explains it much better than I can, the identity crisis that we face as mothers. For a part of October, I tried to remember what it is like to just be myself, and even though it felt a bit like playing dress-up, it also felt good.

Austin City Limits at night. October 2014.

Austin City Limits at night. October 2014.

Which makes me feel guilty. Because isn’t a good mom supposed to be happy and content to be home, mothering, instead of being someplace else? October makes me wonder what things will be like in a few years, when all three of my kiddos have moved on to college and a life of their own. Will I know who I am, independent of the daily chores that have become my life?

I know that I have time to think about that, but I also know that the time will fly and in the blink of an eye, I’ll be walking from room to room, with only my cup of coffee to keep me company, looking at bare walls and empty dresser tops, wondering where the time went and what my life is now if it’s not filled with the mothering that’s become the core of my identity.

I’m participating in NaBloPoMo, and posting every day in November.

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