Am I the only person getting completely pumped for the Olympics? I have always been more of a Winter Olympics fan, but since I've become a runner and have started swimming I'm getting excited about the Summer Olympics, too.
I was watching the US team time trials a few weeks ago, and was amazed to see that Janet Evans, who is 40 years old and a mother of two little kids, was there competing for the first time in 16 years. She swam really well, even against swimmers less than half her age. She did not earn a spot on the team, but the fact that she showed up and was good enough to be there was amazing to me. After one of the trials, they interviewed her, and this is what she said about it (transcription mine):
"I think swimming was always in my soul, and it was who I was, and I got to a point in my life where my kids were good, and were sleeping through the night, and I thought "I want to swim again!" I don't want to swim to make the Olympic team; I want to swim to see what I can do to be a mom and a wife but also to have a little something for myself at the end of the day, and this is in my soul and what I love, so here I am!"
I'm taking two important (IMPORTANT) things out of that:
1. You are still you, always you, even when you're a parent and your kids are in the front of your mind. And it's ok and wonderful that whatever those things in your soul are–swimming, graphic design, music, actuarial services, etc.–are calling to you even when you can't make time for them, because eventually your kids will need you less and the things you love will be able to be a bigger part of the daily mix of your life than they are when your children are little. And even if you're older than anyone else doing those things, you can still hang, if you love it and work hard at it.
2. Everything is easier once your kids sleep through the night.
Stories, please. What is it you don't have the energy for because you're still in the weeds with little children? And those of you with older children, what have you gone back to once you came out of the long tunnel of babyhood?