There must be thousands of other mothers up late at night reveling in the recent playtime with their young child, and wondering why they don't take more time for such carefree one-on-one silly playtime. I loved being my daughter's brief center of attention today as we posed for silly pictures - on our tummies in the snow, her on my back, me steamrolling her, us wiping the cold, dry snow off one-another when the portraits were taken. It was easy, it made us happy, and it's probably the goofy story she'll share with her friends at school after holiday break.
I'm pretty sure I have a doppelganger at nearly every workplace - someone who takes delight in the arrangement of good, clean data - someone who places in the numbers and ideas and wrings out attainable hopes for the organization. A person who sits back and reflects on what may be the "bigger picture," and adjusting standards to best suit immediate and future needs. And I'm sure she has trouble scaling the brain to "standby" as logic pours into her imagination, creating queries and refined exports... without her bidding, it keeps pouring.
What about all those Thanksgiving hostesses with food and entertaining on their minds? The end of November looks like a big, rising hump, with a steep ascent to its peak on Thursday, and slowly tapering off into the next holiday. The groceries are on premises, but there's prepping, timing, placement, and tasting. There's table-setting, plating, polishing, and dusting. There's games to lay out in the family room. The video games need to be hidden away. The cold beverages need refrigeration while the hot beverages need to be prepared and put on warmers. The turkey needs to start early (earlier than Monday's test bird, by far!) and the soup needs to go into the crocks. Bathrooms needs a quick scrub. Beds will need changing. Oh, and let's just hope everyone makes it on Thursday, because if not, we'll probably repeat this all at the next snow-free date when all family can assemble.
There are so many books I want to read. I'm in the middle of the latest Terry Pratchett novel, and I've just begun Freedom for our "book club" (FYI - those are air quotes). I have several Christmas holiday decorating books that beg for a leisure read. Those are pure fantasy for me; I don't have any intention on following up on the actual activities. Oh, I've sewn quilts and made many scrapbooks, but those weren't inspired by magazines - they were inspired by life itself. (Oh, how poetic!) (FYI - poetry is another unlikely craft for me.) So how many times do you hear someone lamenting that there's never enough time to read?
And then there's my job. OK, so I'm not sure "everyone" has my same complaint. Perhaps it's less of a complaint and more of a conundrum. I am grateful to have a good job, at a good place, doing good work that I enjoy. My difficulty is the work-life balance - my part-time status allows me the luxury of being available as a mama when my kiddo is out of school. What's lacking are the freedoms I had pre-job - school volunteerism, menu planning, housework, leisurely grocery shopping, and exercise. I satisfied myself for the last many months with an intent to return to these lesser-paying (OK, NON-paying) options when my project ends at the end of the calendar year. But it looks like it will continue, which is GREAT because I continue to be a valued-and-contributing member of society by measurable standards, GREAT because I will be working in areas of my strength, and GREAT because I'll continue to receive a paycheck and benefits. But, whiny girl that I am, I was really looking forward to starting at the gym... getting a handle on the cooking... making my face familiar at school again.