I have a pretty good life. If I try to tell you differently, don't believe me.
Sunday, we took the girls to our favorite beach on Mission Bay. It is over on the side of the bay nearest to the ocean so the water is fresh, if a little cold. Sometimes there are gentle waves- big ripples, really- but it is mostly a calm and protected beach. Pumpkin can splash in the ankle deep water while I play with Petunia in the wet sand.
We had a great time at the beach. Petunia wasn't too interested in the water this time, but she had fun running between me and my sister, giving us hugs. Hubby got a wonderful movie of that. There is one frame in particular that I like. Pumpkin is digging happily in the sand near us, and Petunia is coming towards me. I have a big smile on my face and my arms open wide, ready to accept her hug. My sister is off to the side, smiling. Really, we look like an advertisement for San Diego.
And Sunday's weather was perfect. In one of the brief moments during which I was sitting on our beach blanket without a child demanding my full attention, I had a flashback to our time on the beach in Thailand. I think it was a combination of the warm air, sun, gentle breeze, and sounds of the water. But then Pumpkin wanted me to come see the "cake" she was making out of wet sand (chocolate) and dry sand (vanilla), and the flashback was over.
So, yes, I have a great life.
But there is one thing that is driving me nuts right now: the imbalance between the time I have to think and the time I have to do. By nature, I'm a doer. I make lists, I get things done. Right now, though, I am stalled out on my to do lists (at least at home- at work I'm making excellent progress). The reason? I can't put together solid chunks of time to get things done.
After my last post, someone I know if real life asked me how I find the time to think about such complex issues. I told her that I have lots of time to think these days- I have the 10-15 minutes that I spend rocking Petunia before she goes to sleep every other night (Hubby and I take turns). I have the duration of the four songs that I listen to with Pumpkin every night before she goes to sleep. I have my afternoon commute- Pumpkin wants to listen to her music and inching along in traffic doesn't take too many brain cells. I have the time I spend doing dishes when it is my night to do them- that's something else that doesn't take too many brain cells.
So I have time to think about complex issues, and dream big dreams about my career aspirations. I have time to write umpteen blog posts in my head and mentally review the items on my "at home" to do list. But I am struggling right now to grab a solid 30 minutes to make any progress on that list, or write those blog posts, or take any steps towards making my career dreams a reality.
The problem is two-fold: work and kids. I have a big deadline coming up at work in a couple of weeks, so I am spending a lot of the time during which I am "typing in the guest room for a lot of minutes" (per Pumpkin's parting instructions to me at bedtime) on work. This has been exacerbated by the fact that Petunia has had a lot of doctor's appointments recently, as we continue to work to figure out what is causing her recurring fevers and persistent congestion. Hubby and I trade off on those, but the time away from work has only added to the time working after the kids' bedtime.
And then there are the kids. Petunia is in an extremely mommy-centric phase right now. It is at its worst in the middle of the night, which unfortunately, we're seeing a lot more of due to her persistent congestion. Hubby is happy to take his turn holding her, but she objects. Strongly. And loudly enough to wake up her big sister. I don't see the point in having four tired and grumpy people the next day, so I've been sucking it up and doing most of the middle of the night work. This means that most nights, I want to go to bed as soon as I can, not work on my to do list.
Even during the day, Petunia wants me if I'm in her sight. I've been sneaking off to the back room to do some work or just get some space- but she's figured this out, and now comes toddling down the hall to stand outside the closed office door, crying. This interferes a bit with my concentration, so mostly I've just given in and spend my time playing ring around the rosie or building block towers, instead.
I know from past experience that this clingy phase will end, and I'll get a little more space. I am hopeful that we'll figure out what's going on with Petunia's health soon, and maybe then her sleep will improve- she is actually a pretty good sleeper when she's healthy. I'm still new on my job, and I know that it will settle down, or I will find a way to prioritize things so that I don't have to work nights and weekends.
So I know that I'll get time to do things again soon. And then I'll complain about how I never get anytime to think.