Time Management

I’m taking way less photos: post-365 project, I have to remind myself to pick up the camera. In one sense, I think it’s a good thing. Rather than recording happy moments, I’m simply living them. But in another sense, I want those moments recorded … or at least a few of them.

I’ve been writing less here, and more on the sister site that records my triathlon training. The time spent on that other blog is reflective of the time and energy that is going into the project; and is therefore also not going into other endeavors. I have to pick one project and stick with it, like I did with the 365; and am now doing with the triathlon. There isn’t time for more than one obsessive side-pursuit. But I am continuing to write (fiction) during writing days, and the parenting is omnipresent. As is the cooking. If I’m having a day when it feels like nothing much is getting done, all I have to do is whip up a batch of something–yogurt, pickles, pitas, bread, granola bars, chicken stock–and suddenly the day is productive. That’s all it takes. A couple loaves of banana bread.

I want to describe our past Saturday, for the record. It was a scheduling marvel. And I will need to be as or more marvelous in the Saturdays to follow to continue pulling everything together.

7:30am: Everyone up. The good news is that 7:30 now qualifies as “sleeping in” for me, since I am up three mornings a week at 5:15 (and may add a fourth starting this week, if I can hack it).
8:30: I’m in running gear and off for my planned “long slow run” of the week, only my second, so it’s 12km. That takes me an hour and fifteen minutes. The kids play wii. I think Kevin gets them breakfast. Nothing fancy.
9:45: Apple-Apple leaves with a friend (yay for carpooling!) to go to her Singer’s Theatre rehearsal.
10: Fooey is picked up by a friend to play. I have time to shower and gulp something down, then head out in the truck with grocery bags to load up on the weekly essentials. Done. Turn on radio. Enjoy a few minutes en route to Singer’s Theatre.
11:30: Pick up Apple-Apple and friends and return them home, also picking up Fooey on the way back to our house.
Noon: unload groceries, eat, grab yoga gear.
12:30: Albus walks to friend’s house for playdate.
Same time: On way to yoga, I pick up a birthday gift for a party Fooey’s going to this afternoon.
1:00: Lying on back in hot yoga class. Ahhhh.
2:20: Home again, just missing handing off gift, as Fooey luckily scores a ride to the party with friend. This bums me out more than it should (the missed present-drop-off, I mean). My scheduling precision is off! By a hair! Kevin points out he can drop off gift at end of party, and in any case, Fooey has made a homemade card.
2:30: Rehydrate and snack. Start making giant pot of chicken stock to freeze for later. Start making yogurt. Kevin heads out with Apple-Apple for her 4:00 soccer practice, now apparently a regularly feature of our Saturday afternoons.
5:30: Kevin picks up Fooey and friend from birthday party.
6:00: Chicken stock stored in freezer, yogurt growing bacteria on counter, and children being fed warmed up “mashed potato soup” and bread.
6:30: My mom arrives to babysit. I apply eyeshadow. Rather too much. Wish I could take some off but there’s no time. Decide not to add a necklace to balance it out.
6:45: Kevin and I exit hurriedly, walk uptown, only slightly late for our dinner reservation.
7:00: Debating: should we order a bottle or wine or cocktails? Go with wine. Good choice.
10:30: Home in bed.

He got up the next morning for a 90-minute yoga class. I made waffles and bread and opted for the late afternoon yoga class.

It’s the busyness of all of our lives, and attempting to coordinate the variety of activities and socializing–including that of the parents–that makes my head whirl sometimes. I said to Kevin recently: Just when I think I’ve got this scheduling thing totally under control, a few more variables crop up and I have to take it to a whole different level. I expect to earn my elite gold star in scheduling shortly. After which, the demands will go up to platinum. Because we haven’t even begun to factor CJ’s interests and activities into our lives. He will have to wait til he’s at least five to get interests and activities.

And then someday, before I can blink, our kids will all move out, and I’ll be left with a set of superior organizational skills and a need to apply them somewhere. Look out world.

Book Review by Albus

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