Thursday, July 17, 2014

They should probably come home now.

I've been a mom for long enough that I'm often not entirely sure which parts of my identity are me and which parts are dictated by being around my kids. It's like when you've been dyeing your hair for so long and someone asks "what's your natural color?" and you press your lips together and raise your eyebrows and you're like "brown...ish?" because let's be clear: you really have no idea how much of your "natural brown" is blended for you in that little black tub of hair dye by your stylist. You can't remember what color grows out of your head, and you have a sneaking suspicion what grows out of your head looks more like those grey wires you try to tuck underneath a sly part so you don't get the urge to pluck them.

Or so I hear.

Anyway, my kids have been gone all week. They're up at their Mimi's house taking swim lessons and running all over the mountain. I miss them like crazy, but I'm not complaining. I have used this time. I'm still playing book review catch up from playing hooky in Europe for three weeks, so quiet time in my house has been a total luxury. I've tried to be good and work and also get some things done around the house, too. It's not just book time in the middle of a crazy pile.

I wonder a little if these rare times alone aren't some way to see what I'm really like, now. Like, maybe the reason I am not BeyoncĂ©-fabulous and Lizzy-Caplan-chic and Misty-Copeland-fit and Herman-Melville-published is that I have too much to do when we're four of usWhen there is nobody to ask for things or dictate a schedule or leave the bag of Lays potato chips on the carpet for the billionth time in a row, maybe it's super easy to be awesome. I can't go off of what I was like pre-kids, because at this point that already feels too long ago.

So of course like any neurotic 35 year old woman, on Sunday I decide I am going to DO ALL THE THINGS during my week alone. The list:

I am going to floss like nobody has ever flossed before.
I am going to read three books, one of which is Middlemarch.
I am going to reorganize my kitchen (see also: be a better person.)
I am going to find the floor in my closet.
I am going to eat only fresh, fabulous and mysterious vegetables because
a) Gwenyth
and b) I'm sure it's not hard to give up Icees.
I am going to probably lose ten pounds. Or so.
I am going to write like five book reviews and maybe a novel.
I am going to plan my first semester of English 9 and AVID.
I am going to write some short pieces for essay contests.
I am going to get up and dawn and run every morning.
I am going to eat hella stuff out of Mason jars.
I am going to make like five kinds of jam.
I am going to meditate, and take long, thoughtful walks.
I am going to binge watch like three new shows.
I am going to keep my house spotless.

So yeah, all that happened. Because that's who I am. See you later.


I mean. I guess what I learned that week is I am not the kind of person who can do all that in one week, even if my kids are not here.

Don't get me wrong. I did a lot of stuff. Just sometimes I was a total asshole about it. To myself. Take today for example. All I did was go for a walk finish reading a review book, and my internal dialogue was not a pleasant one. I won't tell you the words I said, but it felt like it took forever to finish reading 50 pages. Neat.

It's not like I didn't know this, but in my haste to be skinny and productive and published this week, I forgot to account for the two things I was going to spend the most time doing:

1. Naps
2. Being fascinated by my pets

There have been a lot of cat pictures up in here.


And cat talking. And weird talk-to-dog voices. And you get it.

I did some good things. Sunday I got a desk. A real honest-to-God desk so I can type there and stop having couch related laptop neck pain. It's very simple and very small and very much better than the card table I've been using.


Plus it has bookshelves, which my forays into critical work are quickly demanding we need more of. I filled the top with books on my to-read (not for reviews) list, and I filled the bottom with books by people who inspire me.

Oh hey, professors.

So, listen. I did read. And I walked the dog a lot. And I ate a little bit better than normal. And I did cull about 20% of the crap out of my kitchen and haul it to Goodwill. And then I did the same for my closet. And I sent reviews to editors and I kept the place pretty clean and I tested some new recipes. But that's about it. There are probably 8 or so hours each day I can't account for, and I'm guessing only about two of those hours were spend Googling obscure facts about Nicole Richie's hair color.

I didn't become an entirely new person, no matter how many inspirational pins I found on Pinterest. I was productive, but I'm probably just about as productive when the monkeys are here.

More than anything, I missed 'em.

No comments:

Post a Comment