Tuesday, October 23, 2012

fighting for time

Sometimes I feel like I'm fighting for time.  Fighting for more time with the kids.  Fighting for more time away from the kids.  Fighting for more time to exercise, more time in nature, more time to write, read.  Fighting for more time with Jeff, with my friends.  Fighting for more time to sit down, to move my body, to veg out, to use my brain.  It's this crazy push pull.  Ceaseless.  On-going.  Ever-shifting. 

My savant and savvy sister, at nine or so, came up with this theory about days.  Somehow Hilary managed to hold on to a copy of a biography she wrote.  It's pretty amazing.  Anyway.  Little Hilary decided that each day is either a good luck day, a bad luck day, or a middle luck day.  We re-read this together this summer and, after a few laughs, I realized she was on to something.
Yesterday was a kinda easy-breezy day.  My lessons were satisfying at school.  I made it to a dance class.  I still had enough inertia to throw together a simple, yet veggie-fueled meal that my children enjoyed.  I didn't get cranky when I was reading them books at bedtime.  And they went to bed without problem. 

It was a great day.  A good luck day.  The only problem was, that meant today would be a bad luck day.  Or at least middle luck.  Neither of which is ideal.

And it totally was.  I didn't feel like I really accomplished anything all day.  I got tons of little things done, but nothing in that wholly satisfying way.  My computer wouldn't work at school. I didn't feel like I had enough time to complete what I wanted to do with my students.  Cooking dinner felt like a tremendous, arduous and heavy task.  I didn't even really want to eat my own cooking (this really sucks when you feel like all you do is cook --- at least I usually want to eat it).  I craved a giant scallop burrito from Sr. Fish.  Craved my version of comfort food.  California style.  Maybe it was a reaction to the first snow.  To the fact that my three-quarter length sleeves just aren't cutting it anymore.  That I really need to just bust the down jacket already.  But it feels just too soon.  Too bad luck.

This weekend was picture perfect fall.  Just two days ago!  Crisp, blue skies, air cool but clear.  The yellowing leaves danced and I had a very hard time staying inside.  The kids and I walked to the hill, to the park again and again, the sun a magnet, a force, a pulse. 

Today's grey was like an ugly, dark reminder.  Like going to the dentist.  Something inevitable but highly unliked. 

But if this was a bad luck day, or, at least, a middle luck day, I guess I should count myself, perhaps, lucky.  I remember the twenty minutes I had alone in the tub before my freakos joined me.  My first real re-group, solo time of the day.  The way I turned the pages in the Athleta catalogue and thought about how much I like cross-country skiing, how fun it would be to wear one of their little athletic snow skirts.  I then balked, knowing that I would never spend money on a snow skirt.  Too sporty.  Because even though I get more Montana every year, I'm still a total snow dork. I'd feel like a poser.  I'll wear my big 'ol bibs anyday.

When the kids joined me, I watched the way that they interact.  The way Soli loves to say, "No way, Jose!" to just about everything we say, always with a big smile.  The way Elie and I exchange glances about how funny and cute and weird he is.  Jeff came in and sat with us.  All four of us hanging out in our insanely small bathroom.  We're way cozy back in our little house.  Way cozy.  Like we kinda shimmy around each other everywhere.  But that's what we know, that's what gives us comfort, so we roll with it.  And without too much upheaval, the dishes have been cleaned and the counters have been wiped.  Teeth brushed and books read.  Second round of snacks consumed, second round of bedtime songs sung.  And even if this was sorta a middle luck day, it's only 9:17 and I'm here in my bed with this computer.  I get to write.  I can write!  I get to process.  I can process!  I have two amazing children.  A husband I love (who gets full credit for dishes and counters today).  An awesome job that I care a ton about.  Friends that I fight time to be with. 

Doesn't sound so bad luck at all. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

fall catch up

 I have a serious case of blog back up.  That's what happens when life is moving too fast for you to keep anything documented, when you want to give everything the meaning and time and justice they deserve, but instead end up hammering it out.  This is a hammer out. 

We had a beautiful visit from Mazzy Rell, her mama and my mama.  Finding them in my early October town and our whole crew meandering through the farmer's market made me feel replete and complete.  I am so in love with them all. 

For my whole life, my sister and I have done everything side by side.  We've always been insanely tight, from early Fame dancing days to post-college Bohemian roomies. When I had a child, I entered a realm of life wholly separate from my sister.  It was really the first time I did this when she didn't quickly catch up.  But five years later, here she is.  And she's as beautiful and strong and natural and perfect as ever.  Mazzy is equally good at playing her part - she sleeps, she smiles, she barely makes a peep.  Until she hurls.  And then it's like hanging with a sorority girl on a bad Friday night.  But over way faster.  Wowzahs. 

 It was short and sweet, our time together.  Lazy days of naps and hikes and dreamy chats.  Soli and Els enjoy their roles as big cousins.  Soli was especially into talking about Mazzy the days leading up to and following our time together.  He's finally not the youngest and you can tell he's psyched.

Otherwise, we continue to move through this busy fall.  A month of smoke makes the crisp autumn days all the easier to savor.  I've been discovering new trails and finding myself taking in my surrounding landscape like a foreigner in a new land.  It's marvelous to me.  It really is.  And even when I feel too spent and tired to do a whole heck of a lot, I can always muster up some time to walk outside.  And I always return refreshed and full of appreciation.    

 Jeff has taken to bringing the kids to the baseball field for batting practice when I'm not around.  I finally made it to the field with them this weekend.  I think it might have been the highlight.  Eliana is turning out to be a pretty solid hitter, which is hysterical to me because I personally cannot think of a more mortifying sport than baseball.  The pressure!  The eyes on you!  The fast running!  Luckily homegirl has daddy to help round out her skill set.  Otherwise it would be all Broadway and jazz hands. 

I love that while Eliana tries to hit the ball, Soli runs as fast as he can into the chainlink backstop.  When she finally hits a ball, she screams for him and they run the bases like fools.  They never stop, these children of mine. 

Tomorrow it's a 7:30 am meeting, a full day of teaching, including the evening.  It's amazing how my priorities have shifted since going back to work full-time.  It just feels so clear.  Work hard all day at school, come home and hunker down with children in the evening.  I just don't have much else to give.  I'm attempting to release all evening commitments, but still have one evening yoga class hanging on.  Of course, I always love teaching once I get there.  But it feels like for me right now, if I have a moment, I should let someone else teach me, run the show, show me how it's done.  I get really, really tired of telling people what to do, trying to stay inspiring and upbeat all the while.  It's a lot.  How in the world to full-time working mother's ever exercise?  How do they get time to themselves?  I mean, I have this, right now.  These quiet hours while the kids sleep, while Jeff is out, while I still have a few more shots of juice.  But my contacts are getting stuck and heavy in my eyes, I'm ready to settle into the down of my comforter, my book needs to be picked up so I can read another two or three pathetic pages and then turn off another day.