Three Things I Can Do Better (But Probably Won’t)

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Things to Do.

1. Following through on semi-important at the time tasks:

So, there are always those things that pop up as you make your way through the day and you put a pin it them, so to speak. You think to yourself, “shoot, I can’t forget to call so and so to have this fixed”, and then you continue on the path you were already traveling hoping that this errant thought you pinned in the dark depths of your brain floats back into your immediate consciousness sometime soon.

I could be better at following through on these things. Every night when I get in the shower I kick myself because I have yet to call the property manager of our complex about the temperature in our shower. I don’t know what the heck is going on there, but all I know is that the bulk of my shower is playing with the knobs and trying to get the water temp somewhat tolerable. It is literally a hairline turn between ice bucket challenge and hellfire, there is no place in between that exists or that I can find.

So I lather and rinse off as quickly as possible, either shivering or turning my skin an unpleasant scarlet color. I curse the property manager, the woman who sits in the office and collects rents, the two guys who drive around on a golf cart supposedly fixing things and promise that as soon as I am wrapped up in a towel I will call and leave a well worded message for all of them.

BUT, before the last drop of water from my shower has dissipated from my skin, I have forgotten about it. Why?! Why are we like that.

The answer is, because it’s not an immediate concern any longer. It was when I was in the shower being greatly inconvenienced, but that was then and this is now. Now I am making a mental note to call Time Warner AGAIN, because my cable box is lagging, AGAIN. (Never got around to that either)

I still don’t know the answer to becoming better at retaining these things better, but I have developed a theory, and here it is:

They must not be that important! There are a million tasks and thoughts swirling around in our heads through out the day, and we manage to do the necessary ones like feed ourselves, feed our children, make it to work, pay the bills, feed ourselves again…

Would I like my cable box to do freeze up every time I try to DVR The Good Wife? Yes, that would be convenient, but… I’ll live.

thankyounote

2. Minding Your P’s and Q’s:

Thank you notes, Holiday cards, invitations, any kind of hand-written, time sensitive correspondence is bad for me.

I know it’s polite, I know it’s “the thing to do”, but I very rarely send them out. And, I have found that a lot of people have also found themselves in this moral dilemma.

The fact is, we are in a different time than our parents were when they taught us about this unwritten rule. Now we live in the digital age where I can very easily shoot Grandma a text and say, “hey, thanks for that birthday card!”, or I can send a mass email to everyone I know that says, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”

It sounds terrible. I have the best intentions, too. Every year I buy Christmas cards and sometimes I even fill a couple out. It never goes any further than that. The idea that I have to write essentially the same sentiment over and over again in different cards, shove those cards into envelopes that never seem big enough, LICK this envelope (who knows where it’s been) and then buy or find stamps to place on each one. Ough. The internet and cell phones have made staying in touch with each other an easy and instantaneous process, WHY ARE WE STILL PUTTING THINGS IN ENVELOPES AND MAILING THEM?!

So if any guest at my wedding wanted to know why you didn’t receive a thank you card almost until my first anniversary, there’s your answer.

For those of you who still just love getting something in the mail, and get butterflies in your stomach whilst ripping open the envelope to see what could be in there… please know that whoever sent this card was probably resenting doing so the entire time.

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3. Attending Social Functions:

So, you’re friend/coworker/cousin is having a get together at a bar/restaurant/their place.

The specifics don’t matter, cause you’re always down for a good time! Right? Right..?

Sure, at the start of your day when the world is brand new and there are a million bright and shining opportunities in front of you, you are down for ANYTHING!

But that was before you went to work, got yelled at by your boss, got a run in your stockings, realized you were having a bad hair day and the pizazz from your initial cup of coffee ran out…

I’m really not an anti-social person. I really enjoy being with other people, and I can get along with all sorts of different personalities. But I do this thing where I overextend myself. In any given day I’ll wake up ready to GO. I’ll hit the gym, get ready for work, the sun is shining and I’ve got some caffeine in my hand. I’ll make lunch plans, fit in a work meeting, tell my co-worker I’ll swing by her apartment for her birthday and commit myself to dinner with my in-laws. And this ALL seems possible at 8am.

By around three I’m wishing I could come down with ebola and be admitted to the hospital just so I could put some slippers on and go to sleep.

I think we all are guilty of this. We have way too much faith in ourselves when it comes to “doing it all”. Unfortunately, the media has portrayed these characters who easily manage high powered careers, juggle their home lives and make it to happy hour still looking flawless and awake.

Instead of being better at running myself ragged, I need to personally start having more realistic expectations when it comes to the amount of things I can do in a day. That means learning to tell people, “I’ll try” instead of “absolutely”, and not feeling guilty when all I want to do is swap out my pencil skirt for pajama pants and watch Orange is the New Black until I fall asleep.

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If I Didn’t Have Kids

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Every so often, as parents and adults, we will ship our children off to their grandparents (or another responsible party) for the night so we can as romantic partners and adults go to dinner and maybe a movie.

There have been a couple of those nights for us recently.

The first night that both children were away for home, we came home and kicked off our shoes. There was no little bodies to bathe or get into pajamas, the only person I had to worry about getting into pajamas was myself. There were no bed time stories to read or songs to sing, no last minute glasses of water or lunch money to lay out for the next day. I took a shower, got right into bed and watched THREE episodes of Orange Is The New Black in bed with my husband, alone, for the first time in a long time.

We looked at each other and laughed because we had both had the same thought. Is this what it would be like if we didn’t have kids?

Tonight we both had a work event so the kids were spending the night elsewhere, and I walked into my house after a long day of work and craziness expecting to feel a relief that I had no one but myself to worry about. I did not feel that relief.

The house was dark and quiet. There was a plate of chocolate chip muffins on the counter that Nev had made when she got home from school because she knows their my favorite. And I wanted to go up to her room to kiss her forehead and tell her thank you, but she wasn’t there of course.

I did not hear the pounding of little feet running towards me, or feel a little toddler body throw himself into my arms because he could not contain his happiness that I was once again within his reach. No, “I love you mama, I missed you mama”, just myself to worry about.

There was no bedtime stories to read with a curly little head still damp from his bath tucked under my arm. No songs to sing while I cradled a creature who holds more value to me than everything else in this world. No pajamas to put on while he tells me a story about a dragon and a princess with wide, expressive eyes. Those kind of eyes you find only on very young children who haven’t seen the worst the world has to offer yet.

And when I got into bed there were not two mini human beings clamoring to find a space near me just to have one more song, one more story, one more glass of water which really means one more minute together.

THIS is what it would be like if I didn’t have kids. I would only have myself to think about, but thinking about yourself doesn’t take a whole lot of time out of your day.

I have so much more to think about while raising children. Does she have lunch money? Did she do her homework? Is he making friends at school? Do they need new socks/underwear/toothbrushes? My days are filled with an infinite amount of questions swirling through my head that I am responsible for answering and acting on.

And while I’m thinking of them, they are thinking of me.

Nev bakes brownies and muffins when she gets home from school and leaves them for me. Aidan tells me one hundred times a day that he loves me. I am not being neglected, I am not sacrificing myself to care for others. I am very, very well cared for. I am very loved.