On not wishing time away

This weekend was good as these things go. The weather was lovely. We opened the pool. The kids went in when the water was 68 degrees on Saturday and then we cranked up the heat for Sunday. Even the baby stuck his toes in with me. Those first days are always exciting. I’m glad to have the pool open because it provides something else to do. Even if each dip is only 15 minutes (because it’s still cold…) that fills time as people get ready and then change afterwards. I also ordered more Lego projects. The 10-year-old and I will be tackling a giant Yoda head over the next few weeks.

I ran 7 miles on Saturday. While this wasn’t the 10 miles I was originally going to run (in the Broad Street race…postponed to fall) this was the longest I’ve run since having the baby in late December. I enjoyed looking at the flowers, running on some trails, crossing a stream. I was also happy that I felt good during the run — and during our family hike afterwards — despite not sleeping well. The baby has been regressing on sleep. Friday and Saturday nights were just tough. Friday in particular was a newborn schedule: up at 1, 4, 6… I know he can sleep through the night so now he just…doesn’t want to. It’s all frustrating. Then last night was better: he did a 7.5 hours stretch from about 8:30 to 4 a.m., and another 2 hours after that.

I spent some time this weekend thinking about time passing. Especially after not sleeping well, I find myself slipping into the mindset of saying “well, we made it to 4:00” or “well, we made it through another day.” I do want all this quarantine matter to be over with and since it will end eventually, each day gets us closer to that. But of course other things can go wrong too in the future, and each day is bringing us closer to those disasters. If nothing else, I know this fabulously fat and cute baby stage is fleeting. Better to try to take each day as we can. I know that wishing time away — when life is ultimately limited — feels like such a miserable bargain.

So I’m trying to notice moments that are reasonable. The baby was fussy and I took him on a stroller walk and he calmed down. A quiet baby, warm (not hot) weather, and the smell of vibernums blooming on the driveway are all good things. A glass of wine on the porch as the sun goes down is nice. Four kids who can swim, and one who can’t move independently means sitting by the pool is reasonably relaxing. In Off the Clock, I talk about consciously thinking the phrase “I am not unhappy now.” Elation may be a bit much to expect, but sometimes noticing the absence of the immediate negative is enough.

In other news: In professional good news, The New Corner Office made Apple’s New and Noteworthy list. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to my new daily podcast about working from home (and flexible work in general) please check it out.

6 thoughts on “On not wishing time away

  1. I love this concept. This was always my mom’s big phrase while I was growing up. Every single time I would say, ” I can’t wait for….” or “I wish it were XX time already…”, she would quickly exclaim, “Don’t wish your life away!!” I can’t hear that phrase now and not think of her. She still says it to me now, as an adult. 🙂

    I’m loving The New Corner Office. I turn it on every morning as I put my contacts in and brush my teeth. I’ve worked from home for 4 years now but it was a big change for me after 10+ years of shift work as a nurse. I still like learning new tips on improving at home efficiency and satisfaction.

    Finally, your porch sounds lovely. Have you ever posted a full photo of it? I feel I have seen glimpses of it in previous posts, but would love to see it again 🙂 I love a good porch!

  2. I’ve been thinking along the same lines lately. In addition to trying to balance having the two-year-old home from daycare with my full-time job (which continues to expect 40 hours a week), I’m starting radiation treatment for cancer soon, and… it’s a lot. But I’ve been trying to take a few minutes at the end of each day to write down some things that made me happy that day, even if it’s just little things like “hummingbirds at our feeder” and “Theo ate leftover Indian takeout for lunch without protest.” It helps.

    1. Rebecca, it might not mean much coming from a random stranger, but I am so sorry to hear you’ll be undergoing radiation treatment for cancer. That’s scary for anyone, and I imagine it must be particularly challenging with a toddler and during a pandemic. Best of luck.

    2. @Rebecca- oh my goodness – I’m just seeing this now. I’m so sorry to hear you are going through this! And yes, on top of being quarantined with a 2-year-old and a full time job I can see how this would feel completely overwhelming. I am wishing you much health and happiness and the mental toughness to get through this.

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