Monday, April 29, 2013

A Tale of Two Weekends

Last weekend was extremely low-key. It was cold. We barely left the house and saw no-one. We pretty much read books, cooked, and finished up all our chores easily and with time to spare. It was refreshing and relaxing and boring.

This weekend was hectic. It was glorious & sunny. We went tons of places and saw lots of people. For the first time in ages, actually, we didn't get our chores done---we have no food for adult lunches and no pre-made dinners. It was spontaneous and fun and exhausting.

I love both types of weekends, but my capacity for enduring the second type is waning with age. My ideal ratio of Weekend Type1  to Weekend Type 2 would be 2:1. I need to recover.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

By no means a comprehensive list...

Things I find hard:
Calling people on the phone; this includes mundane stuff like pizza delivery.
Reaching out to strangers for their help---I’ve only had to do this at work.
Saying No.
Remembering to charge my work phone.
Not interrupting people as they are talking, especially when they talk slowly or do not get to the point. (i.e. my husband)
Staying up late.
Deviating from the schedule.

Things I find less hard:
Waking up early.
Exercising in the morning, now that I have a schedule for it.
Remembering to charge my personal phone.
Taking help that is offered to me.
Saying Yes.
Scheduling, organizing, & otherwise managing time for myself and family.
 Adhering to the schedule.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Checking in...

The April Attitude Adjustment has been going remarkably well thus far.  I went a whole week without complaining about being tired. Taxes are done; kind of glad we put it off because, for the first time, we owe some $. I got a hair cut, eyebrows waxed, pedicure, and bought some nice spring clothes & shoes (I took a day off this week). Last weekend was lovely, lots of outdoor time! I give full credit to the weather, its harder to be grumpy and lethargic when the whole world is blooming.

Today may break my streak, however. Its drizzly and gross. L has a fever. He's asymptomatic, so he's going to school. We were abruptly awoken last night by intermittent piercing shrieks...took as about an hour of messing with the CO2 monitor (and sleeping in between beeps) to realize it was the FIRE ALARM when all the ones in the house went off together and we ran downstairs, grabbed the sleeping kids, were heading out the door, and realized it had stopped. Another hour to let the adrenaline levels drop so we could fall asleep again, and morning came too soon.

I am looking forward to the weekend. Some things I want to do with the kids (dinosaur museum! park!), and for myself (basil seeds! window box flowers! tomato plants!) and maybe (please?) some rest for all of us.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Luxury of Time

One thing I no longer have in my life is the luxury of time...of endless mornings lolling in bed, or lazy weekend afternoons stretching out for hours with only hunger driving the need to move on. These days there is always a need to keep one eye on the clock so as not to miss mealtimes, naptimes, bedtimes---the structure and routine so essential to avoiding little-person meltdown. Beyond that, there are the essential tasks we have to fit in, the groceries to be bought & cooked, the laundry to be put in the washer, then the dryer, then the drawers. Dog-walks needing to happen.

Just part of being an adult, I suppose, with family, home, and work responsibilities. I'm OK with that. What bothers me a bit is the realization that even my young children don't have that luxury of time. I feel like I'm constantly pushing them along to the next thing, all the while delicately managing each transition (because toddler psyches seem to come apart quickly while switching activities).

We work. The kids are in daycare. Mornings require constant motion for everyone to end up where they need to be. Evenings, similar, for everyone to end up in bed. All the other stuff gets done on the weekends, including the fun stuff. Swim lessons, Children's museum, birthday parties, park trips, etc... We want our kids to experience these things, and they love them, yet by necessity going places precludes staying at home and hanging out.

I used to think the kids enjoyed being out & about. That they got cranky & bored at home. But I'm realizing as they get older that they actually need down time the same way I do. B in particular is showing introvert tendencies. He likes to just lay in his crib alone sometimes or goes upstairs by himself and pages through books. Particularly after something stimulating or with other people. He also likes to play on his own, or one-on-one with a parent, on quiet activities like puzzles, play-doh, blocks. He likes "helping" us with chores & cooking. When we're home doing nothing is also when the boys fight play together, out of sheer proximity, they are negotiating their relationship and building their bond.

Lately I've been trying to be mindful of their need for downtime. To limit our activities so that there is time to simply hang out, get bored, know each other. To read just one more book 20 times,  go through the whole bottle of bubbles, transport every. single. toy. from their upstairs bedroom to the living room, and then back again, JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO MOMMY. For B to follow me upstairs and help me sort socks, while G holds L in his arms and talks him through his special chicken spice rub.

We still have lots of activities planned. Its spring, after all. Time to venture out and explore the city, celebrate with friends, and learn about the world. But I'm making sure the going & the doing doesn't completely obliterate the being.  Being together, being home, being the family I always envisioned.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for April, Action, and Attitude-Adjustment

As an objective outside observer, I'd probably characterize my behavior over the past few weeks in the unflattering terms of lazy, whiny, and indulgent. Yes, I was actually sick for a couple of weeks but I stretched that out into a full month of time-wasting, navel-gazing, and complaining. As sick and tired as I am of being sick and tired, I'm actually even MORE sick of listening to my own relentless sighing and complaining. I'm sure poor G would agree.
Its a fresh month and a fresh season, and its time for a change. Sunny crisp spring days just do not lend themselves to misery & woe the way slushy gray late-winter does.
I want to spend this month DOING, rather than THINKING. There is a backlog of work & home projects, and a string of fun family activities that just need to happen. Taxes, organizing/inventory-ing/buying spring clothes, moving my work office, writing a pilot grant, planning some travel etc...
I mentioned feeling stuck in the metaphorical sense, but I've been feeling stuck physically as well. Too overcome by inertia to actually move forward in anything. Utter lack of motivation. And thus 99% of the change has got to happen in my head. I vow to refrain-- for the entire month of April--from uttering the words "I'm soooo tired" or any variation thereof. No speaking of exhaustion, fatigue, weariness, or sickness. Also, no litanies of the children's sleep or behavior shortfalls or the well-known and documented challenges of medicine or research or dog-ownership or city living.
Fake it 'til I make it? Or at least get my damn taxes done.