For eight glorious Saturdays in the winter, Tony takes N and B to downhill ski lessons in the morning, and then the three of them ski together for a few hours in the afternoon. Since I don’t ski, and I really have no interest in picking it up (I’m a grown-up now; I can make these kinds of decisions), Tony takes them on his own and I get to have approximately seven hours of time all to myself. On a weekend. And it’s quiet. And what? I hardly know what to do with myself. But on Friday night, the mental lists start to formulate, against my will, of all the things that I should accomplish the next day. And then what the hell, it’s like when you get some unexpected money and you have to consider how you will spend it, and then you have mentally spent it ten times over. That’s how it is with free time when you have a full time job and you are the parent of young children. There are an unlimited number of things that could be done with the day and the pressure is on to use that time wisely.
When I talk to other moms about my Saturdays, they invariably comment on all of the cleaning and organizing they could accomplish if they had this kind of time. Well yes. But here is the thing. I have zero desire to clean and organize when I have the house to myself. I immediately want to flip back to the days of when I could sleep in, drink a pot of coffee with the newspaper, and then maybe pick up a book or go for a run without any little voices of protest. This however feels very indulgent. So I often end up feeling unsettled and guilty.
We are two weekends into ski lessons now, so six more to go, and I think I have figured out what my general routine will be: sleep in a bit but not too long so as not to waste the day; drink three cups of coffee (yes three!) and read the newspaper, put on some exercise clothes and either head to the gym or outdoors for a run; home to a long hot shower and lunch; a little reading and writing of blogs; a little piano practice time (that’s a whole other blog post); a little book time, and then voila, the day is done and my little gang comes tumbling through the doorway all fresh and rosy and lovely. The day flies by, but I have accomplished nothing except a little restoration of my soul and well-being, and what better accomplishment is there than that?