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At the risk of sounding selfish and like a bad mother I am going to say no yell as loud as I can for all the world to hear “Thank God my daughter has gone back to college!”  

Don’t get me wrong.  I love her and I miss her and I am sure that by tomorrow I am going to be on the phone trying to hear her voice,but after two weeks of Christmas vacation with the two of us crammed like sardines into my tiny one-bedroom apartment, I and she are  both ready to go our separate ways.

When she was a child I had a teen-age girl who would come after school to watch my daughter till I got home at seven p.m. One day the girl was going to be late and I explained to my daughter that the girl would be there in an hour and that she would be fine by herself and to just stay in the house and have her snack and watch her shows.  I don’t know if I expected fear or tears or questions or what but what I got was a nine year old girl spinning in circles waving her arms in the air singing “I’m in charge.... I’m in charge!”
That is how I feel today.  I have my house and my life back. When I saw her car pull away from the curb at 11:00 a.m. I shut the door and my first urge was to do the “I’m in charge dance.”

As much as I have been whining these past three semesters about how far away she is I realized almost a week ago that we had reached a new place in our lives where we as mother and daughter do have very separate lives and very different lives even from what we had a couple years ago.  

In the last year I have changed my eating habits to be healthier but when my daughter arrived we suddenly started eating out at least once a day.  Not the light fiber filled food that makes me feel energetic but the heavy pasta and red meat that sits like a brick in my stomach and makes me realize why I never wanted to go for a walk back then.  

Four months ago I hated exercise.  I would avoid it at all costs.  I have not been able to use my resistance bands or three and five pound weights in three weeks and my exercise ball is currently being used as a desk chair.

I have not seen the main man in my life since the 12th of December just because he is being a sweetheart and giving me time with my daughter.  Normally we are inseparable but we have only talked on the phone.  We haven’t even exchanged our Christmas gifts yet.  

I have put this entry in the “relationship category” because I am now taking a look at my relationships with everything.  My daughter, my man, my friends at work, food, my free time and most of all my relationship with myself.  

I went from being a stressed out woman with 9 people in my house and two jobs to totally by myself in the space of a year and a half.  I had always told myself “Kym, enjoy this because one day soon it will all change and you will have all the time in the world to do what you want.”

While that is only partially true because I still have to work, and I somehow became a workaholic trying to cope with my aloneness, I have spent the last two years trying to figure out who I am and what the heck I am going to use all that “self-time” for.  

I know now that I am going to be ok. I know now that I have a life that does not involve my daughter.  It almost seems like a secret life because I am sure if she ever saw me when she is not around she would wonder what happened to her mother.  Her mother does not walk (or didn’t) or do toning exercises and she has already pointed out that I have really weird food in my fridge.  

I am in hot pursuit of a serious writing career and I no longer recognize myself as the stressed out woman who goes to work and come home and flops in front of the t.v. for an hour before bed.  I am a person with a life and am doing all the things I enjoy doing.  All those things that I used to always put on my to do list that I wanted to get to on the weekend after the soccer game and the grocery shopping and the girl scout meeting... I can leave my scrapbooking on the dining room table for weeks on end (well if it didn’t drive me nuts after a few days) and no one will touch it or move it to do their homework.  

I feel like I have just run out of things to say but somehow left the thoughts incomplete, but I do hope all who read this will forgive me because I really feel the need to go do the “I’m in charge dance.”

Thanks for reading.



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