A summer day in the life

IMG_0990Yesterday was one of the longest days of the year, just past the solstice. It was a long day for me, too, but for the most part a good one.

I woke at 5:30 A.M. with the baby (my husband was out of town). On my time-log I said I had gone to sleep around 10:30 P.M. the night before, but I know I tossed and turned more than usual. In any case, I have learned over the past few months that while I prefer to get at least 7 hours of sleep (my average for my time diary year was 7.4 hours/day), I can function all right on 6.5 for a few days in a row.

The baby watched Blue’s Clues, which was on live at that hour. I read and drank my coffee as he did. I remember looking up at one point and seeing that Blue got a letter from They Might Be Giants, who did a brief clap-your-hands number in the middle of the episode. I found this so hilarious — a Blue’s Clues sop to the poor Gen X parents up with their kids at 5:30 A.M. He watched an episode of Thomas the Train as well, while I continued to read. We had breakfast at some point in here. We played and read stories, and then the other kids got up and had breakfast. Our sub sitter (nanny is off for a few days) came a bit after 8 and I did some work before helping getting everyone dressed and sunscreen-ed and the big three off to Vacation Bible School.

I spent the morning writing a quick blog post, writing 1000 words of fiction, and writing a Fast Company post on people who have quit the snooze button. Looking at this now, I realize it was more than 2500 words in about 2 hours. Phew! I took off at 11:15 to go to the iHeartMedia studios that are 15 minutes from my house. I recorded a radio show (tied in to the PA Conference for Women, where I will be speaking in October — please come join me if you live anywhere near Philly!). Then I stopped by a shopping center to pick up a salad, and made it to church by 12:30 to get the kids.

We came home, I got lunch for everyone, and then one of my 6-year-old’s friends came over for a playdate at 1:00 P.M. I worked for an hour while people played (under sitter supervision) and then we all went in the pool from 2:00-3:00. It was a great day for it. The friend was picked up at 3:15, I got myself ready and did some email checking, and then got in the car at 4:00 P.M. to drive out to West Chester to do a dinner talk with a women’s group associated with the West Chester Chamber of Commerce.

IMG_1003Traffic was not as bad as it could have been, and I arrived a bit before 5:00 at the Faunbrook Bed and Breakfast. In my mind, chamber of commerce events tend to involve soulless hotel banquet rooms, so imagine my happiness when I looked up the location to get directions and saw it was this historic gem of an inn. I walked around taking pictures. In my novel I’m writing, Juliet’s School for the Domestic Arts, the heroine grew up in a bed and breakfast type place that her mother ran until some unfortunate events ended that era of her life. As far as I am now concerned, that place looked like the Faunbrook Bed and Breakfast. We ate outside. The weather was perfect. The late evening summer sun glinted off the wine glasses. I talked time and how we spend it. It was a good conversation.

Before leaving at 8:15, I texted my husband (who had taken over from the sitter) that I wanted the baby in bed by the time I got home. After 12 years of marriage I have learned to communicate my desires. The good news is that when I pulled into the garage at 9:00 P.M., the baby was asleep! None of the other kids were, however, so I spent 9-9:30 getting bedtime snacks and showering the 6-year-old and 4-year-old, who had not bathed the previous night. I put the camp shirts in the washing machine, got myself a glass of wine, and started reading Yuval Levin’s The Fractured Republic. I made it to just shy of 10:30 when I felt incredibly sleepy. So I cashed it in. Since this was my husband’s night to deal with the baby, I put in my ear plugs and slept until they came to find me at 7:00 A.M. While I may be OK with 6.5 hours of sleep, I will happily take 8.5 when I can get it!


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