1 Year, 1 Month, 3 Weeks, 5 Days

I know the shift has been happening gradually for several years, but it just dawned on me that the way I like to spend my time has dramatically shifted in the last 10 years. When I was in high school and college, weekends and free time were for *doing*--getting out, going to shows, movies, what have you. I always felt like if I wasn'’t juggling a jam-packed social and event schedule, I was wasting my time. Living in the DC area, there was a ridiculous amount of offerings each week, and IÂ’m glad that I tried to take advantage of many of them.

Thankfully, by the time I moved to Chicago and had to start over at building a base of friends, my social demands were a little lighter. I was content to take a few classes, get out for walks, go out to dinner and have at least 1 firm plan a weekend. Even that proved difficult when I first got there, because I only knew 2 people other than JT, and he was studying all hours in the law library. Not having any plans made a weekend feel unbounded, and not in a good way. I knew I had finally established myself and made Chicago my new home when I lost the panic with which I viewed my social calendar.

When Henry arrived and I was off for maternity leave, time lost all meaning. Days and nights mingled, weekdays and weekends were defined only by whether or not JT was home with us. Slowly we overtook our role as parents and we were able and interested in adding back some activities, outings and plans with friends. I knew I was enjoying my weekends and had a sense that things were in good balance, but this past weekend put a clear view on how much downtime, or just hanging out at home is now valued as much as plans.”

With just a few days in Chicago before Henry and I are out of town for work/vacation for a few weeks, and a bathroom and kitchen remodel to begin while we're gone, we had a serious number of visits to kitchen/bath supply stores to schedule this weekend. Add-in normal weekend chores like shopping, laundry and cooking, and preparing for my work-trip this week, and we had the kind of weekend that made me happy at some point, but now left me feeling drained.

It felt like from sun-up to sun-down on Saturday and Sunday we ran errands, did chores, hung out with Henry, made decisions about remodeling, prepped for trips, etc. It wasn't exciting, it was exhausting. Next weekend might not be any better, but I'’m sure to keep this in mind when we get back from vacation and get back into our 1 or 2 items per weekend. That leaves plenty of time for lolling on the couch in pajamas on Saturday morning while Henry throws all the circulars from the paper all over the floor, and strolling to our local taqueria for an early dinner. Combine that with a get-together with friends and you've got the perfect weekend in my opinion.

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