Sorry for the absence. The past three weeks were the most labor intensive in my pre-internship training and my ever-wavering ability to balance work, life, and everything else shifted a little off-kilter, which is not uncommon with me for the last year, I know. Eventually things will get back to normal. I think!
Recent news events had me pondering this week at what point would stress and a hectic life push me over the edge. I work a regular fourty hour workweek, but my travel time is an hour each way due to traffic, not mileage, so I am gone from my house and children from 7 am until 6 pm each day. As soon as I get home (my mom picks up the girls from daycare), we start cooking dinner and are typically finished around 7:15. The girls take baths/showers and sit down at 7:45 to read or finish homework. I try to tuck them into bed by 8:30 at the latest. Depending on the state of the house, I pick up the living room and try to wash a load of clothes for the next thirty minutes and then sit down to watch a movie. That is a slow night. Wednesday nights Maddie has dance and we don’t make it home until 7:30 pm. If I have a large assignment, I sit down and work on it as soon as the kids are in bed. Overall though, I try to finish whatever I am working on by 9 at night.
What I do between 9 pm and bedtime each night is what I truly believe keeps me from being overwhelmed. I either read a book (while watching a movie – no time to split the two up) or I crochet or knit. I may only be able to work on a project for five or ten minutes, but, I have worked on it. I sit in my oversized chair, under my afghan, and I crochet. By the time I head to bed, I am relaxed. And happy.
I feel relaxed, but my sleep and eating habits show me that everything is not okay, even though I feel the opposite. I fall asleep at a regular time, but I sleep fitfully. I wake up every few hours and by the time my alarm goes off, I’m exhausted. I don’t want to resort to sleeping pills because even the newer ones make me groggy for the next twenty-four hours.
I eat out a lot – for breakfast if I leave for work on time, for lunch because I want out of my office for that hour, and for dinner because I’m too worn out to cook. I’ve gained twenty pounds in two years, mostly because I cannot find time to exercise. I could wake up earlier or stay up later, but I’m already exhausted each day. I can’t leave the house to exercise because there isn’t anyone else at home to watch the girls and I’m already limited to two hours a night with them. I will not intrude any further on their time with me in order to exercise. I can’t save up any money to buy exercise equipment for my house because we’re maintaining two households right now with Andy in Dallas.
Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to escape. To drive north instead of south when I leave work. Head west or east – anywhere except home. I want to disappear for weeks and think of nothing but myself. I want to turn off my phone and I don’t care if someone is looking for me. I feel this way because I want someone other than myself to bear the bulk of the responsiblity of raising a family. Husbands do not feel the same sense of responsibility that wives carry around with them. I make my decisions based upon first considering the needs of my children. I truly believe, at least in Andy’s case, that men make decisions based upon considering their needs first. Everyone elses needs are not less important, they are just not the most important. Considering all of that – would I ever make that wrong turn and disappear? Would I make a decision that would adversely affect my life and that of my loved ones? I don’t believe I would or could ever do that to my family. BUT, I think of it often. And I don’t believe that I’m the only one out there who does.