These weeks totally make me understand the Elizabeth Stone quote:
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When my heart has traveled to a different time zone in a far-away state, my soul feels instantly deflated, darker, and less whole. I am grumpier, more tired, more sarcastic, and my sleep cycle becomes (even more of) a mess.
On the other hand, in the week before Esther goes away, I remember that she'll be gone soon, so I try to soak her in and snuggle her more. And in the week when she gets back, I am so relieved and joyful that my heart has returned, that I revel in her presence. (Of course, I still have to tell her to stop banging her spoon on the table, and I still have to remind her to use her words, but, I get to tell her to stop banging her spoon on the table! She's here, and she has words she can use!) In the week she's away, I think I'll be glad to sleep through the night without the weird noises from her monitor, or her crying out in the night or talking in her sleep. But really, I miss the buzzing and the little mumbles.
The darkness? depression? of her departure each month make it hard to do what I promised I would do: make time to take care of myself. You would think I could be more productive without my two-year-old around, but it's not true. I sleep. I zone out into my computer. I don't even sew/craft/knit more when she's gone.
I know this needs a change in attitude, a change in perspective. I imagine that if I am intentional about doing things for me in this week, then maybe I'll begin to be a bit more ok with it. Maybe someday I'll appreciate the time, but I'm not there yet.