I’ve already churned out two blogs this week – which were actually left-overs from weeks past – so this one will be short. But I promised myself I would write one, both today and every Sunday night. And I will finish the blog on Sunday night, and post it Sunday night, and that will be the end of it. The lingering blog – that I begin writing Sunday evening and drag into Thursday and Friday of the following week – is one (and only one) indication of the prevailing challenge of my life: UFOs. Unfinished Objects. (The more accurate acronym would be really be UFPs – unfinished projects – but UFO is my way of sharing the other-dimensiony realm of existence my procrastination leaves me in every day).
This week was a pretty hectic one for me. No more hectic than others in the actual things I have to do: get the kids up and ready to be out the door at 8am – which is no small feat -, drive Emerson to school and back about a thousand times, try and remember what I have to do in the small amount of time that Emerson actually IS in school, make sure I remember to pack snacks, lunches, a million changes of clothing for Ophelia, and grab everything else that I might need while we are out of the house, make sure there is money in the bank account, work two jobs, drive 45 minutes to pick up 100 lbs. of beef to put in our freezer (yeay!). There are always thing to do, things to remember.
But then there are the extra things that are running through my head, which this week ranged from starting study groups/teacher training sessions at the school to purchasing/publishing a quarterly magazine. By the end of the week I felt so completely turned around that when I actually got the rare chance to sit down and work on some writing (not blog writing, but my real writing – Lyza, Jenn, and Jenny take note!) I just sat and stared at the computer screen for two hours unable to decide how I wanted to structure one sentence. ONE SENTENCE!
I went to bed defeated, and with a thought/question burning a hole in my skull: I am trying to fit too much in. I need to give something up, but what is that something going to be? Writing? Blogging? Exercise, which I have just incorporated into my life again? Thoughts of any future career? Time with my children? What is the thing that is most important to me? And what are the things I need to leave behind?
And the answer is….. nothing. Balance. That is the most important thing. And although I told myself a million times over the week – in panicked moments when I felt like I was being left behind in any sort of career – that Ophelia, as a second child, needed me less than Emerson, (she is more social, etc…) the truth is that her childhood and her time with me is the most important thing as well. But not the only thing.
Someone told me recently that by trying to parent all your children the same – in other words, trying to “be fair” – you are actually doing a disservice to your children. Each individual child is different, and each one needs to be met on his/her own terms. It was great advice, and it has helped me to look at Ophelia’s situation and realize that just because I did something with Emerson at a certain point in her life, doesn’t mean I have to do the exact same thing with Ophelia (or feel guilty if I don’t). It also doesn’t mean I can totally disregard Ophelia and rationalize dumping her off with babysitters because the circumstances are different. What I need to do with her – and know I can do now – is to look at where she is, and where I am, and decide what is best for HER at this moment, instead of just putting her into the same activities Emerson was in. This is freeing for me, and fun. But it is her time now. She won’t be little for much longer, and I am not willing to give that up for anything.
And I’m not giving up the writing either, or the exercise, or the moves towards a future career. I’m just doing them on my terms, and making some rules so that everything fits. So now the blog is written on Sundays. It doesn’t drag into the rest of the week, eating up time I could spend on other things. There is a place for everything in life, and my aim is to become the master of keeping everything in it’s place. Be present when I am writing. Be present when I am with my children. Be present with everything that I am doing, so that I spend more time bringing things to fruition, and less time trying to catch up with myself. I don’t want to live in the land of UFO’s. I want to live in the here and now.