Perspective is a wonderful thing. And when I took a step back from my second life to examine my first life, i began to realize how much i was missing for a while: my family - playing with my kids, spending time with my husband, running around with my dog, talking with my parents. I was also not giving my students what they deserved. I'm glad I did this before school started. The year has been going so much better. At home and at work.
The time on my bike has been a huge factor in keeping me balanced - every pun intended. No ipod and only an occasional riding partner on the longer rides. Mostly its just me and my thoughts, recentering myself; reflecting on the day or looking to the next. My self-confidence has grown tremendously, and many of my issues with body image and self-esteem have fallen down on the totem pole of my general neurosis. In other words - I'm feeling great.
I read a bed-time story to my son last night, Bubba and Trixie by Lisa Campbell Ernst about a caterpillar, Bubba, with very low self-confidence, afraid to leave the leaf he was born on. He is befriended by Trixie, a lady bug with a crimped wing and a zest for life. She gently encourages him to go out into the garden and explore. He finds it a wonderful magical place. When it is time for Bubba to become a butterfly, he is again fearful of change. When he awakes and sees his wings, he is confused - he doesn't feel different. Trixie explains that he's the same on the inside, just the outside changed. He smiles and declares "I'm downright gorgeous!" Trixie now asks Bubba to help her fly, something she could never do with her bum wing. The two take off and soar high up to the wishing stars. Hooray for Bubba and Trixie.
No wonder I love my butterfly wings!