Thursday, May 24, 2007

Year in Review: The Impact

To say that having a child changes you forever is like saying Morocco in September is a little warm. Since LP's arrival my world has been twisted, turned and stretched in so many different ways it might be hard to make a dent in the list with one blog posting, but, of course, I will give it a shot.
  1. My Body. Now that I am done nursing, I have my body back. Well, actually, I have a body back. It isn't the same body that I had to begin with. However, all is not so bad with this new body. The "skin pouch" (you know, the belly skin with the stretch marks that no longer have elasticity) is almost overshadowed by the fact that I am in better shape than I was before I got pregnant. For instance, my legs are more muscular from frequently doing squats while holding a nice-size (20 lb-ish) weight.
  2. My Sleep. LP is a good sleeper. I am really lucky that she has been sleeping through the night for quite some time. And now if she wakes up early she will entertain herself for a while. Even so, I have learned that sometimes sleep is optional. If I was in college right now, I might not be able to be at the bars at 11 when they are just getting started, but I would be hard-core ready to party at 3 or 4 if need be. Too bad I can no longer hold my liquor, not having had more than a few sips of alcohol since a few months prior to my pregnancy.
  3. My Perspective. One of the best things about a new life is the fresh perspective of the mundane. Things that I didn't notice before or that didn't garner my attention are now sources of endless fascination. Watching LP play in the grass or nearly jump out of her skin in excitement at the sight of a doggie has really reopened my eyes to how every moment can hold something spectacular.
  4. My Time. It sure takes a whole lot longer to do things nowadays than it did pre-LP. This advice column from earlier this week really helps to explain how every errand becomes an ordeal. 24 hours is no longer enough time to accomplish much. But in reality, if all I accomplish is having a good time with my baby girl, that is enough to sustain me for quite some time.
  5. My Marriage. The Hoos and I will be married five years this August; before that we were together for seven years. And yet, the past year has really had a positively transformative impact on our relationship. I think our love and respect for one another grows deeper every day. There is nothing quite like seeing the two people you love most in the world light up in each other's presence. Our daughter is beautiful and healthy and amazing, reinforcing to me that I found the right guy to settle down with.
  6. My priorities. Family has always been important to me. And I have always been quite ambitious. It is interesting how these two things are not only often in conflict, but how they also drive one another. For instance, as I consider my career, I realize that I am comfortable in my current job; it might not always challenge me but I have earned flexibility and security. On the other hand, do I want my daughter growing up thinking that skating by is the right approach to life and you should be content with what you have instead of constantly striving to reach your full potential?
At the end of the day, the impact LP has had on my life can be summed up by the fact that I go to bed every night with a smile because the last thing I see before turning in is her little rump up in the air as she nuzzles into the meatloaf position. It doesn't get much better than that.

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