(Post #26 in the 31 in 31 Blog Challenge) My kids go back to school today. Or, they were supposed to. My youngest is home sick, and so is my wife. This post was going to be about how this is the first day in months that I will have to myself. That I really need a good amount of alone time. That I have sorely missed it and this date on the calendar has pulled me through some rough days lately. This was going to be my day to get my life back. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids and my wife. I love to spend time with them. But, I have lots of other parts of my life that get pushed back when the family is in residence. We have a very small house, and the only real door is on the bathroom. So when I say "get my life back", I mean my balanced life. Where I am dad and husband, but I'm also just me with my work, and my volunteer commitments, and school and play. They call it "balance" because it's just that, it has to be. If not, I fall over.

We all need time to expand into who we are apart from our labels and commitments. It's not always easy, and sometimes we come into places in our lives where it just isn't possible on a regular basis. When this happens it should be a warning that a shift needs to occur. If you see the end of this, if the light of a little time for yourself is on the horizon, then breathe and wait for it. It will come. If you don't see that light, if it's not a temporary situation, then look for small ways to make room. There is almost always enough wiggle somewhere if you dig for it. When we take the time we need for ourselves, we are able to care for all the other people and duties in our life in a much more present manner. Don't believe the voices in your head that tell you it's selfish or unnecessary. It's neither.

You are worth it. It is essential. And your family and friends will thank you for it.