Rediscovery


» beckyhansmeyer.com — originally shared here on

There is a kind of brain fog that feels unique to early parenthood, and yet I know it isn’t. It’s the same sort of disorienting haze that envelopes anyone who finds their time is not really their own, but rather has been sacrificed to another purpose, voluntarily or otherwise. You lose pieces of yourself, little by little, often unnoticed, until one day you begin to emerge from your experience without the faintest idea of who you are, or even who you used to be.

I had this realization when I first got Covid last year, and it’s been gnawing at me a ton lately.

Ever since having knee surgery, I’ve gained weight to the point where I’m almost the biggest I’ve ever been.

My daily routine is just not at all what I want to do. What’s a day in my life, you asked?

I wake up around 6a and immediately grab my phone and doom scroll. Then I wake up and get breakfast prepped for my wife and kids, then I work.

I work from 6:30a until 5p, only taking occasional breaks to interact gruffly with my family and coworkers and stuff unhealthy junk into my body.

The unhealthy stuff has gotten worse over the last few months. I hadn’t had pop in nearly 2 decades. Now I find myself grabbing a Sprite from time to time. I also eat as much sugar as I can bear in as many forms as I can.

After work, I come home and if I’m lucky, I chat with my wife and eat some dinner, then I play with the kids. If I’m not luck and had a particularly tough day (which is the norm as of late), I come home and sit on my phone until it’s time to put the kids to bed.

I do like getting the kids down, it’s a routine I rather enjoy. Vitamins, pajamas, an episode of something, a few books, then tucked in.

After that, I sit on my phone while the tv blares something I’m only half paying attention to in the background. I eat more sugar. Eventually, I move to bed where I continue on my phone until pass out from exhaustion.

A night filled with awkward dreams and uncomfortable sleep greets me at this point (try sleeping with a heavy brace that keeps your knee locked straight). Then, I get to wake up and do it all again.

That routine sucks. It’s no wonder I’m itching for a change. I want to spend meaningful time with my kids and wife. I want to get involved with activities that bring me joy, like working out, tinkering with hardware, or programming new websites. I want to spend time hanging out with friends and folks who give me energy.

I’m heading out of town for an extended business trip here soon. I think I’m gonna budget my life a bit better while I’m there, and when I return, I’m gonna make some changes.

Because life has a way of making you forget who you are.

And when I start to remember the things that used to make me happy, it can only make life better for me and those who have to put up with me.