Sometimes I’m overwhelmed, utterly undone. I let the driving winds of responsibility push me along as I struggle to catch my breath. I kick and scream against the undercurrent of societal pressures, and drown myself in the volume of it all. I’ve been treading the rough seas of parenthood for over a decade like this. I’m exhausted, but I survive. I have made it work. We are all alive.

Lately though, I’ve found that I have another option. I don’t have to merely survive. I can take that breath, and hold it tight. I can puff out my chest and lean myself back until I’m floating high enough that the current can’t touch me. I can trust that those driving winds are pushing me toward bright days and calm seas. I can stop struggling against it, and relax into the journey.

Maybe it’s my thirties. Maybe I’m soaking deeper into this unapologetic bath of self confidence everyday. Maybe it’s experience. Maybe my children are transforming from bottomless pits of neediness into beautiful souls that make their own lunches. Maybe I’m finally waking up from the perpetual living-dead state that parenting infants and toddlers propels a person into. Maybe I mix metaphors like I add tequila to my wine and just hope someone can make sense of it. Whatever it is, I’ve been waking up feeling empowered more often than overwhelmed, and I’m calling that a win for today.