Monday, January 18, 2010

Joy is hard when insanely busy

It's a three-day weekend, so I have some "extra" time.


Since I began working full-time a little more than a year ago I have struggled more with the issue of time than ever. Mostly because of the "time lost" with my girls.

And yet I spend every second with them -- when I'm not working.

When I was home all the time, I felt no guilt leaving a few hours on the weekends or missing a bedtime here and there.

Now. Oh, now. Is it guilt? Is it missing? Is it an emptiness? I have yet to put a finger on what it is that keeps me tethered to them even when I know I should leave, that it would be best for me to leave them.

This Washington Post article impressed me today. I don't know how. Or why. Just that it did. Perhaps knowing that my insane schedule isn't just my inability to plan or organize well enough. I've known for about three months that, if I'm lucky, I get a half hour of quiet time in the morning before the girls wake at 5:55 a.m. And, I "get" another half hour to an hour at night -- after they are asleep -- before I zonk out of pure exhaustion. And, sometimes, all I want to do is sleep with my "spare" time so I'm often found going to bed at 8:30 p.m.


I have been meditating. And I owe HER for this. I can't give her the credit, though. I have started this on my own, when the time was ripe, when I was ready to just surrender to stillness. I understand, therefore I can.

I have found that it is truly my only real time for me. Not shopping. Not meal planning. Not even the thought of yoga or walking. Just being with myself.

I can't do anything well or right. I sometimes can't do anything at all. But sitting, being quiet, ah ... that I can handle. I can do it in pitch dark first thing in the morning, or at night when the stars are bright. It requires nothing but me and the floor. And, well, a little commitment on my part.

Do the thoughts of the to-do list badger me? Oh yes! Yes! Just this morning, after some sun salutations, my meditation included lots of things that need to get done today -- our last day together before the work-week begins again.

I want to bake with the girls, exercise, unpack a couple mysterious boxes, write out the meals for the week, and tackle two easy art projects -- painting a chalkboard in the kitchen and painting a stool for the girls' newly decorated bedroom.

It's a full life. There is so little time. But, it's all mine and that's why I've chosen to make JOY my word for the year. I have to keep it going. Joy can hardly be found when you're up with a vomiting child in the middle of the night -- such was the case Saturday night.

And yet, here, I am writing this morning. Something's gone right.

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