It turns out that finding selfish joyful time when one is a parent is very different from when one is not. It's complicated. On the one hand, I tend to want to spend as much time as possible with my kid. I love being with him, even when it's hard, and obviously when it's bubbles and laughter. I love it when he exposes me to new things from his world, and I love introducing him to stuff from mine, and we already have some old standby's that I also enjoy. So then, there's lots of joy, but is it purely for me? Not often. Is that OK? It's great, but I still need the pure selfish joy as well. Why? Partly because I am dedicated to my year's practice, and think it's important to keep discovering what it means to do this. Partly because I notice how very much better my life is for myself and everyone around me when I stick with this practice—whether for 5 minutes a day or 5 hours. I'm more relaxed, I'm more interesting, I am not in a rut, I have a part of my brain that focuses on the question of what I like, I care about, I want, I hope for.
Also, I've heard about this thing? This thing where parents get a little overworked and overwhelmed and over-focused externally? Maybe you've heard of it too? So I am trying hard to keep carving out a little bit of pure and selfish joy time, even though I am very much digging the pure and UNselfish joy time.
And so after the load-in and first rehearsal of the theater festival I'm producing, I came home and went straight to bed. Except I didn't go straight to bed. I went into bed and watched the season 2 finale of Scandal. Whoa. Quinn. Whoa. Liv. Whoa. Cyrus. Whoa. David Rosen. (Actually, I saw that one coming.) Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.