It Is Time.

Back in May, I was swamped with PTA work, preschool work, and wedding planning assistance. We were totally overbooked with extra curricular activities and I had reached the limit of lunch-making enthusiasm. I remember thinking, if I can just get through to the end of the school year, then our schedule will be lighter and I can finally relax.

But then the end of June rolled around and I realized that the Little Miss had a birthday coming up, and I still had a ton of stuff to do for Blog Out Loud. Plus I had another wedding-related party I was planning, and the preschool packages – custom made for each of 50+ students – had to be mailed out. So I thought, if I can just get through to the end of July, I’ll be golden.

And in August, my sister came to visit for a week and we sat for their kids, and we went on many day trips and a couple of overnight trips. I had a wedding shower to plan and the kids had to get ready to go back to school and I knew that if I could just make it through to when school started, I’d have so much more time to myself.

Then September came and I had another birthday party to plan. Everyone needed something to wear to the wedding and I had some signage to make. There was gardening and weeding and so many little errands I had been putting off until the kids were back in school. And I thought, I just need to make it past the wedding into October, and then the schedule will settle down.

But now I’m looking at fall on our calendar, and I see Thanksgiving, which I have done no planning for, and then Halloween, which requires three costumes. And after that there’s my Month Of Turning 40, involving three separate parties that I’m planning. And after that we’re into December, which means Christmas decorations, and Christmas baking, and Christmas shopping, and our annual advent calendar of Daily Christmas Family Activities.

So when are things going to slow down, exactly?

Now I know this all sounds like complaining, but I’m really not. I know I do too much and should learn to say no a little more often. But the truth is that I really LOVE all this stuff, it’s all just a crapload of fun, and I would hate to have to say no to any of it. It’s busy and sometimes even frantic but it’s all just been wonderful. Every single one of these events is 100% worth it.

But I am starting to realize that there will always be something on the horizon, the Next Big Thing, that keeps me from focusing on some bigger projects I’ve had in mind. It’s all the usual stuff that mommybloggers dream about — writing, photography, baking, design — nothing unique, nothing fancy, nothing that is likely to make me a famous millionaire. But you never know, until you find some time to try.

Little Miss Sunshine started going to preschool three mornings a week this September, and next year she’ll be in JK. It is time for me to start thinking about what I want to do when I grow up. I am loving being a party planner, a run-around mom, a live-in nursemaid, a math tutor and a cook. But I feel like now is the time to decide if I want more than that. Something for myself, something that leaves a mark of “me” on the world.

And if I’m not careful, if I keep waiting for that One Last Thing to be over and done with…it’s never going to happen.

I need to find a way to balance all the stuff I do around here for this household with stuff I want to do for me. I have no idea how to do it, but recognizing that the need is there is the first step, don’t you think?

10 thoughts on “It Is Time.

  1. CapnPlanet

    I hear ya. Since we “upgraded” from a family of three to one of four, it feels like time is just zooming by, and there is always so, so much to do.

    This kind of post always makes me ponder about a fundamental dichotomy about achieving happiness, which I’ve never really resolved. Should your happiness be measured based on
    – achieving all or most of the things on some list, or
    – always being busy doing something you really enjoy doing.

    I really can’t decide which is better. But parenthood almost seems to require the second, i.e. living in the moment. I’m gradually coming to accept that there are some grand plans I’m just not going to get to, ever.

    1. Very insightful…this is exactly how I am feeling. I think I’m not ready to let go of the life list just yet, though, which is my problem. I want it all! I’m going to take this year and see if I can make something happen.

  2. MyFriendJen

    That’s it, Lynn! Grab the bull by the.. er, uh.. um, horns (yeah, that’s it) and never let go! Make those dreams come true!

  3. i don’t know how you do it. i can barely get the laundry done with one child and no extra activities. but the lazy ass that i am pretty much explains that.

    the first step is totally the recognition that you would like to do something for yourself a little more. and with a little more time to yourself this year, maybe you’ll be able to think about what that “me” thing is going to be. baby steps. but steps in the right direction none the less.

  4. It’s hard…even when I do think I’ve managed to create a bit of extra time for myself I never seem to accomplish as many things as I think I should.

    Earlier today I was letting that get to me a bit. I was all grumpy about the things we didn’t manage to do today, even though we were busy, busy, busy all day long. Then Hana came over to me with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and said she wanted to read me a book to cheer me up. That snapped me out of my grumpiness. So we didn’t managed to get through today’s ridiculously long to-do list. Oh well. At least I get to enjoy some quality reading time with my kid.

  5. I’m a big believer in 10 minutes a day – because most of us can find 10 minutes, no matter how busy the day is. Maybe you could make a point of spending 10 minutes a day doing something towards the next big thing – whether it’s looking into classes you could take, listing options, or talking to people who are doing things you’d like to try (OK, you might need to string 3 days worth of minutes together for that).

    1. I really like the idea of setting aside just a few minutes each day to work on your bigger goal. I’m going to try it. And it’s also a great suggestion to find some mentors to offer advice. I’m going to look into it, thanks Colette!

    1. Thanks Tudor, this was great! My favourite tip was the one about rewarding yourself. I think I spend too much time thinking about how there is no point in trying because any results are going to suck. I need to feel good about the trying part first!

  6. As a to-do-list addict, I totally relate! All I can offer in terms what has consistently worked for me over the years is: 1) writing in my journal, at least once a week, to spill out what’s really on my mind, explore what I might want to do for myself and also to write out my accomplishments for the week. 2) to recharge by taking even very brief time-outs for myself every day. I used to stay up after the 4am feeding, just to have some alone time – walk in the garden, breathe quietly while indulging in a cup of coffee. Sometimes I realize I’m exactly where I want to be!

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