I wash my face and look in the mirror and there I am, staring back at myself. Still me. Still not special. Still not particularly good at anything. Still not beautiful. Still not who I dreamed of being when I was a little girl.
Of course, I count my blessings. I do every single day. My boys are at the top of the list, in no particular order. Then, Jay, the love of my life. I'm beyond lucky to have found this amazing man and my soul mate. Then, my home. I'm so proud of myself that I was able to refinance in my own name after the divorce. I love this house now for the first time, when I couldn't even muster like for it before. It was just where we lived. Now, it's mine and I love it.
The people that I love, I love deeply, so deeply, it goes beyond my being, out into the Universe, where I'm hoping they'll find it when they need it most in their lives. Years from now, when I'm dead and buried, I hope my boys will still be able to feel the love I left in everything I touched for them. It's in every lunch I packed, in every form I filled out signing them up for summer camp, or lacrosse, or Boy Scouts, in every night time kiss on a sleeping forehead, in every picture I took of their beautiful faces, and in countless other places, it's there. Loving them is the one thing I'm great at.
Everyday, the car takes me to work with talk radio, some tunes, or a book on CD keeping me company along the way. It all depends on what my mood is. Sometimes, nothing but silence will do. I shuffle papers, click around on the computer, type, balance petty cash, enter data, answer the phone, and talk in window and door jargon that, three years ago, wouldn't have meant anything to me had I overheard it in someone else's office. Words like z-bar, casements, low-e, and countless others rattle out of my mouth like I've been dealing with them my whole life. Heck, I didn't even know the difference between a bay and a bow window! Now, I'm talking about mullion degrees and overall projection of bays. It's mildly interesting, until I drive home, listening to silence, the Top 5 at 5:00, Sean Hannity (God help me! I'm not a conservative, I'm just super fascinated by it all), or the traffic report.
Family time comes next. I used to call this the Witching Hour in my previous life, before divorce. It was a stressful time of day. Kids were crying and fighting. Homework was a struggle. There was dinner to cook and a mountain of dishes to do. Now, I call it the Golden Hour. Things are just better now. Sure, the kids still fight a bit, but the edges are softer. The harshness is gone. There are paper airplanes, card games, and chit chatting around the dinner table. The amazing boyfriend does the dishes. Then, I tuck the boys in bed and give them their nightly forehead kisses before I get ready to drift off myself.
I wash my face and look in the mirror. I'm not pretty. No one has ever accused me of being so. No one expect Jay. Maybe he's crazy or blind, I tell myself. Or maybe he's just awesome. Either way, I look in the mirror and I like what I see. A mom, a girlfriend, a woman with a life she loves.