I cleared my inbox, turned on my out-of-office message, and said “peace out” to my co-workers yesterday.  Today marks day 1 of my six-month maternity leave!  I have been eagerly anticipating this break for awhile – I hit my 8-year anniversary with my firm in August, and while I take a lot of pride in what I do, I was feeling ready for a change of pace.  A hiatus from Revit and building permits and too many emails.  I’m wanting new challenges and opportunities and forms of communication (remember when I talked about dancing around with a bowl on my head?  not likely to go over so well in my workplace).  But when I shut down my computer and walked out the door last night, rather than throwing my arms out in overwhelming relief, I felt surprisingly anxious.  The frustrating-but-true fact is that no matter how much I look forward to something new, whether it’s a vacation or an art class or motherhood itself, when the rubber hits the road, I freak out a little bit.  Whenever we go on a big trip, I spend the entire ride to the airport thinking about work deadlines and our unmade bed and that extra sweater I should have packed.  Yeah, the day-in, day-out can wear on me, but I also find comfort in it.  I like stability.  I like knowing what to expect and knowing what’s expected of me.  Same old, safe old.

As I was getting into bed last night, I realized that I don’t have to set my alarm clock for the next six months (let’s temporarily forget about the fact that I’ll be waking to an alarm without a snooze button once the baby is here).  And this morning, I lingered in bed until 8:00.  I made myself breakfast and ate it slowly while I watched the rain fall outside and checked my favorite blogs.  I took a shower and blow-dried my hair without once looking at the clock to see how much time I had left to get ready.  I went out to lunch with La Verne and satisfied my persistent shaved ice craving.  That nagging pain I’ve been feeling in my right shoulder didn’t bother me a bit today.  I watched a movie this afternoon, and then dozed/read/dozed/read on the couch for awhile.  I had the time and energy to do a little yardwork while Shane cooked dinner on the grill.  I’m capping off the day with Project Runway, kicking back while my belly rocks and rolls (baby loooooved that shaved ice!).  So all that stuff I said about maternity leave anxiety?  Nevermind.  Day 1 was kind of amazing.  And watching La V cradle baby N in her arms over lunch, I realized the best is yet to come.

20130905 shaved ice