Sunday, May 11

who has time for hope?

Trapped in the mundane, I ask myself how I can possibly hope for things to change dramatically enough. Today I attempted to explain to my three-year-old why polycarbonate bottles are bad. It did not go as well as I may have hoped, but I think that's okay.

It made me think, though, about being a parent. The awesome responsibility of it all - our necessary dedication to the well-being of these strange little people. And all the work that entails. I've been researching alternatives to public school (much to my mother's dismay - I do see her point, but wonder if a system so broken is worth getting behind). I know I have sometime, I also know that time behaves differently once you have kids. Over coffee the other evening, my friend Diane said of life with a family: "The days are long, but the years are short."

She's right. In the blink of an eye I went from young, carefree member of a young, carefree couple to one of a family of four, with a responsibility to three other humans. Striking some kind of balance when tending to the needs of four people is tough, I am making a go of it, though.

In four years I have learned so much about myself. I have truly amazed myself with my range of capabilities and I've discovered some surprising aptitudes. I am also beginning to see that the balance I seek may be an illusion. Not that balance is an illusion, but balance without sacrifice and compromise is. There are only so many hours in one day, only so many things any one of us can do.

But that's not all it is, is it? We repeat that mantra all the time, the one about there not being enough, but then we sit in front of our screens and zone out. We spend hours dreaming and dreading, we spend scarce minutes actually working. Well, some of us do. Others of us work and work and work in order to avoid thinking and dreaming (and dreading). And then even more of us swing between both patterns. Some people, rare people, just do. Yeah, weird, eh?

Actually, I want to be a doer. I do. I think I do. But it is so easy to write off the things I want to do and try as being too difficult, "especially given [my] current situation." i.e. Having two kids under the age of four. And I don't discount the idea that my days are very full of the mundane, leaving little time for other pursuits, especially if there's much planning needed. And sometimes I even appreciate having a pretty valid reason for being a flake, but then at times it becomes an excuse for me to get my lazy on.

Once it's an excuse the guilt starts pouring in. I pride myself on being a person who doesn't usually succumb to unnecessary guilt, but sometimes it is a good indicator. It tells me that maybe I'm not trying. At least, I think that's what it is trying to tell me. Recently it has taken to yelling at me and I have lost a bit of it's message.

I have lists (of course I do) and I am in that place where just consolidating my lists and getting a feel for where I am seems too daunting. I've made some headway, nibbled at a few edges, given myself enough peace to get a little sleep, but if I am to be completely honest with myself, I've been wandering around, doing a half-assed job of looking busy.

Part of me just wants to sleep, but I have been sleeping and I have not been feeling much better for it. I'm getting exercise, eating pretty well, taking my meds... and still... not feeling much better. I think I need an overhaul, but this time not of my stuff but of my back burner. Get it all out, sorted and re-filed. And scratching a few choice items off my list.

Today I did get some of the cleaning bits off my list. My friend Deanna came over and lent a hand - for which she was well-fed - it was a really lovely day filled with laughter and productivity. Most weekends I send Andrew and Sebastian off so I can clean up, after which I feel resentment because they had fun and I worked my ass off. Today I feel none of it - plus I have a clean car, food in the freezer, clean dishes, clean laundry, and delicious fruit crumble.

Tomorrow, I think I will send the boys off - let them have some fun (after washing diapers at the laundromat) while I do my little de-clutter. Not that I know where to start... I just know that there are bits of me that aren't being realised. There are things I know I could be doing more efficiently, and I KNOW we need to sort out some kind of routine. So perhaps we start there and see what happens.

Oh and hope - well, I just hope that the world holds itself together long enough for us to get a few details figured out. We've been talking more about places we might like to live that aren't the city. I like that talk, talk of a future that is bigger than we are now.

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