Hey, all. So, over here in Wonderland, such as it is, I'm still obsessing about schedules and summer and living life differently.
I like to have very little going on. Oh, I didn't say I HAVE very little going on. Ha! I wish. I mean I do BETTER when I have very little going on. I don't like tons of classes and activities and lessons for my children; I don't like evening commitments for myself; I don't like every single weekend booked with social plans (even when I adore all the friends with whom we make plans). I'm an introvert. I like my quiet time. Being too busy stresses me out. It also makes me a worse parent. I honestly think I am happiest, and enjoy my life the most, when I've got almost nothing going on besides the day-to-day work of raising a family. And that's because, of course, the day-to-day work of raising a family--particularly when both your children are under five years old--is MORE THAN ENOUGH GOING ON, ALL BY ITSELF.
This summer, my poor husband will resume (we think) his second, part-time job. (This is a boon for our budget, but a bummer for him.) But I am working hard at seeing what I can cut OUT of my own list of obligations. My volunteer job will be over. (Forgive me for saying this, but: THANK GOD.) My girls are doing two things this summer: one session (four mornings) of preschool "summer school" for Julia, and toddler swim for both. If I felt that one of those was optional, I'd do less than even that, but for various reasons I really feel that those two activities are necessary. Grandparents will be visiting here and there, and we may make a short visit up north in August, but I'm studiously avoiding any week-long travel plans this summer. Julia and Genevieve will both have birthdays during the summer months, but I'll continue my tradition of keeping those celebrations simple. I'll be writing my columns for PriorityMe.com, but I might purposely take a break from any other writing efforts (except, maybe, that long-held dream of the book proposal....). I was recently contacted about some potential summer-only psychological consulting/practice work, but I'm not sure it will work out and even if it did, I might give it a pass.
In short, I'm doing all I can to make the upcoming summer a period of leisure (ha!), unscheduled time, and a break from stress--particuarly after this difficult past year. When I envision the upcoming summer, more than anything on earth I want to feel happy in my soul, and what that means to me is the luxury of focusing on backyard play, cooking with organic produce from our farm-share box, walks and bike-rides, spontaneous playdates with friends, and lots of time at the park--all without the pressure of a list of all the OTHER things I need to be doing.
So if you're a friend of mine, please don't take it personally if I turn down some invitations this summer, or avoid any summer-long commitments to regular playgroups or classes. It's not you. It's my stressed-out, over-tired psyche, and my need to make some changes. I hope, later on, to be able to update you all and say, Summer's going great. I'm raising my girls, playing in the sun, cooking from scratch, running, and doing the very least paid work I possibly can.
Life is short! Not to mention summer.