Sunday, October 9, 2011

Feverishly Squirreling

This amazing weather is frankly exhausting. I'm plum tuckered out.  I keep trying to squirrel the most into these last truly perfect days. I can smell winter around the corner and if predictions are right (I'm not holding my breath), this winter will be even colder and snowier than last winter.  It will be nasty and dark and we will all be hermit-ed in our insulated homes.  That said, I'm nearly hoping the weather will be dismal soon!  I can't keep up this level of productivity much longer.

I require a shocking amount of downtime.  When I pack our family too tightly with obligatory functions, even if they are fun, we're pretty much bound for a meltdown of epic proportions.  My normally very happy DD uncontrollably cries.  My DS becomes competitive and argumentative and eventually joins my DH collapsed in a stupor of video games. I'm honestly the worst and give myself anxiety and migraines and high blood pressure and strep throat.  My body literally revolts and demands that I stop.  Thankfully, I'm not yet to mid-life and already realized the pattern so I back off; I would rather choose my own downtime than have it forced on me while I lay in a delusional heap of pharmaceuticals. Regardless of how badly I want to do it all, I can't.  I say yes to a lot because I truly want to rather than because I am incapable of saying no - in fact, if I really don't want to do something, I pretty much never agree to it.  If I say yes to things I don't really want to do, I will need to say no to things that I really want to do.  The logic is dizzying but simply true.

We've paid the price upfront for years.  We fixed up houses, upgraded, and moved 3 times before our oldest finished Kindergarten; all while my DH got multiple masters and I worked part-time and got strep throat every December.  That stage is a total blur and although I couldn't be happier with where we are now because of those choices, I feel a wave of angst rush over me when I mentally relive those days.  A stage totally impossible without the help of our family and friends.  A stage that I will never be willingly sucked into again.

I strive for a truly manageable life at every turn.  Nearly to a fault.  I try really hard to make sure that The Oracle (what my DH calls our calendar, as in, "If it is written in The Oracle, it is most definitely in my future and will surely come to pass."), does not resemble an evil prophetic curse but an eagerly anticipated and color-coded foretelling.  I attempt to organize our time and our activities so that we may exhaustedly struggle through a couple of weeks, but at the end, there is a beautiful empty space to be filled with unscheduled relaxation, whatever that may mean at the time.

So, as I'm feverishly cleaning up the yard, planting bulbs, running errands, painting GG's bedroom "a real pretty birds egg blue", and as we're enthusiastically scurrying to meals with family & friends, zoo trips, NFL games, soccer, walks, parties, lantern hikes, pumpkin patches, the arboretum, photography classes, cards by the fire, and lattes... I'm embracing every moment but secretly, I'm kind of looking forward to a couple of weeks from now, when it is just too cold and awful to leave the house.  When I can open those books patiently waiting by the fireplace, scrapbook a year worth of fun; when I knit a scarf while clearing off our DVR and eventually reorganize the playroom (ugh).  When The Oracle is not so demanding and we have empty spaces in our future, open to anything... whatever that may be.

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