Wednesday, October 30, 2019

on making time to write.

I am currently drinking coffee and (accidentally) eating a couple pieces of the candy I bought yesterday for the Trick-or-Treaters tomorrow. Muffled light seeps into the kitchen from the laundry room - every other light is off downstairs. And even though I feel like I would rather be in bed snoozing during this (usually small) window of time when both of my children are asleep for nap time, I am writing.

It's so easy to scroll Instagram in these moments, isn't it? To escape out of our own lives for a bit, to see what others are up to, to see what leggings and boots and coats our favorite "influencers" are pushing. To watch story after story after story.

I get it, I really do. But I have to make a change.

I used to have a lot of time to devote to reading and writing. It was one of the main things I did each day, and looking back on it now, I know that is because reading and writing bring me a joy that is life-enhancing. Give me a well-worn library book, give me the latest issue (or perhaps an unread issue from months back, as is the case lately), give me a notebook open to a fresh page alongside a pen, give me an open laptop. These are my people.

I noticed a large shift when I went to grad school. And then another large shift when my first child was born. And then another shift when my second child was born. The common denominator in all of these scenarios? Less time.

A long time ago, one of my favorite YouTubers said that once she had her daughter, it taught her invaluable time management skills. Being pre-child at that time myself, I was like, "Yeah, ok, whatever. Having a kid really can't be that time consuming, you're just doing your normal life with someone in tow."

Let me just go ahead and say that is inaccurate, and let me just go ahead and insert my foot into my mouth.

Life is changed by having children. Priorities shift wildly. Hobbies and interests that are not iron clad are thrown to the wind. There is the birth of the child, yes, but there is also the birth of you after that child. A rebirth. You become new, and your new self has different responsibilities, and even though it sounds trite, it is enormous in a way that is unimaginable before you find yourself in these exhausting-challenging-rewarding-glorious trenches.

My children have absolutely taught me an encyclopedia-set-sized amount on time management. I have succeeded some days, I have failed miserably other days. Sometimes I don't brush my teeth until after lunch. Sometimes (like today) I wear pajamas all day, even though there is someone coming over to my house. Sometimes tears are shed (by both parties) when one of my children refuses to nap. But sometimes, I throw things into a crock pot and let dinner simmer all day long, filling the house with delicious, comforting aromas. Sometimes I fold all of the laundry and even put it away. Sometimes - sometimes, but not often enough - I sit down to read and write.

I am so happy that is how I chose to spend this gloomy, drizzly nap time today. Sipping coffee, tapping the laptop keyboard, letting the thoughts flow. Thank you.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

from the floor of a bedroom, part two.

Good morning from Lake Norman. 

Yesterday, Justin, the boys, & I went out for Saturday morning coffee. When it was time to return home, we decided to just keep driving, & this is where we ended up. It has afforded us an impromptu visit with family, as well as a respite from daily life in our own little bubble. 

Life lately has consisted of adhering to nap times, drinking inordinate amounts of coffee, having hummus & crackers with my two-and-a-half-year-old, & trying to squeeze in some sleep here & there. We are currently making our way through the four month sleep regression. I phrase it in that way because I truly believe that this particular developmental milestone demands that you simply survive. Sure, I've read the books, I follow the sleep experts on Instagram (and watch their stories religiously)... but somehow, we are still met with a bit of a challenge in this department right now. 

I won't sugar coat it - it's hard. And unfortunately, I am one of those particular individuals who are grumpy when they lack sleep. 

But, it won't last forever, and we will persevere. 

I'm making it sound far too dramatic, but that's what happens on little sleep & a lot of coffee. 

I was chatting with a friend yesterday via text, and she remarked that maybe, one day, we would look back on this time in our lives and miss it. 

I replied that I thought we certainly would. After all, despite the challenges of our daily lives, there is an overarching tone of joy, of purpose. From moment to moment, hour to hour, I find myself already missing it. The whole-face smile of a four month old baby, the stories told by a nearly-three-year-old, punctuated by the question, "Ee-mem-er?" On two hours' sleep or twelve, nothing could be sweeter, nothing could be more significant. 

the sunday currently, volume 125.

reading a mish-mash of things right now. I don't usually like to read more than one book at a time, but I am in a reading rut... and I...