Note: I am writing this from my seat in the nursery, where Will has evidently developed an inability to nap for more than 20 minutes at a time. Save me.

Things are different lately. I don’t mean because of my new little assistant:

I mean I feel different. The only way that I can explain it is that I feel like for the past year or two — or maybe even longer — I’ve been on cruise control. Just going through the motions. With everything that was happening, I had unconsciously narrowed my field of vision to include just the things that would keep me going from day to day feeling as alive as possible. I didn’t cook or bake like I used to; I didn’t knit as much or invest my energy into my home; I didn’t see my friends a whole lot; I didn’t really notice a lot of what was going on around me — no matter how good I might have felt, I just didn’t really feel alive. I had physical energy but no emotional or mental energy for anything beyond the essentials.

But I feel different now. Just in the past few weeks, as we’ve moved out of Will’s newborn stage and settled more into life with a baby (however chaotic and tiring it’s been), I’ve felt so much more like myself. Like the me I found the other night when I rediscovered an old blog I’d written six years ago — life has changed in nearly every possible way since then, but I recognized the woman behind the writing and I realized I missed her.

Before a fugly Oscars party I threw. I used to throw fugly Oscars parties and they were a blast, man.

It’s still not always easy to be happy. But I’m not really talking about happiness, per se; I just mean that I feel more alive now than I have in a really long time. And that’s a good feeling. I feel interested in things again when for a long time, I didn’t. Over the last few years I’ve had moments where I could say that I felt like myself, but I never felt quite complete or whole. And at the time, I didn’t really realize how little energy or drive I actually had. I don’t know that I feel particularly complete or whole yet, but I feel closer to that than I have in a very long time. I don’t feel as emotionally and mentally exhausted anymore.

I’m glad I’m going into the summer feeling this way, because there is a lot about this summer that I am really dreading. (Let me just say what a relief it is that the Olympics will be on during the second half of July — I will need the distraction.) I plan to keep myself busy this summer and I finally feel inspired to do so!

This good feeling comes on the heels of an excellent weekend which included Will’s first visit to the pool:

Check out those baby sunglasses!! I can’t even. I just can’t.

This weekend also included peanut soba noodles, a downtown stroll with Maggie (including frozen yogurt!), a three-mile (!) run, grilling out with my family, our first dinner out with Will (Mexican; it was a great success), yoga, and attending Will’s buddy Wesley’s first birthday party. We even made it to church!

This is what I mean when I say I feel alive again. Pregnant or not, there’s no way I would have had the energy or desire to do all those things in one weekend six months ago. It’s really nice to be starting to feel like me again. I hope it only gets better.