If you’re tracking your time this week, how did Monday go?
Mine was decent. It started too early — 5:30 a.m. up with the baby. This came after a midnight to 1 p.m. scream-fest. So, not a great night. I fed the baby and got him to doze again for a bit, meaning I got 15 more minutes of sleep, but by 6:30 we were up for good. I declared it a night, brought him downstairs and made and drank coffee while he played (and while the 5-year-old, who left his room exactly when allowed to at 7 a.m., watched YouTube videos).
Everyone else started stirring or were nudged up between 7:30 and 8. I got dressed in my running clothes and was out the door at 8 when G (nanny) showed up. I have signed up for the Another Mother Runner’s Many Happy Miles club, and today’s workout was hills. I’m not planning to do all the workouts, but this gave me the idea to run on a trail to a nearby wooded hill and run up and down four times. I was home by 8:40 to make sure the big kids got logged on to virtual school, and to eat my breakfast (eggs, sausage, blueberries).
The morning — 9 a.m. to noon — was mostly work (blogging, sending in my Before Breakfast line-up, writing a Medium column, doing a prep call for an upcoming speech) with one 30 minute block devoted to what I’m calling my daily rituals. This year, I’m reading one chapter of War and Peace per day. I’m also writing 100 words in my “free writing file” per day. And I’m doing *something* related to strength work. All of these take very little time. War and Peace has 361 extremely short chapters. That might take 10 minutes. Writing 100 words can take 5 minutes or less. Same with doing a handful of half-hearted kettle bell swings. But…the point is to just do them, every day. Four days into the year, so far so good!
At noon, I made my lunch (leftover salad with leftover steak) and fixed the big kids mac and cheese. Often, the 11-year-old makes this for his siblings but something happened and I wound up doing it. Oh well.
After lunch, I fed the baby and got him ready to go to his 1-year pediatrician appointment. I had planned to do this (I’m the one who made the appointment) but my husband freed up the time and took him instead. So I unexpectedly had extra time to get ahead on work, which was good, because I found out that I need to take my daughter to an evaluation on Wednesday afternoon. Time is given, time is taketh away. He’s a healthy boy, and still hovering around the 90th percentile for weight.
Around 3, I stopped working and took all the Nerf guns that were in the minivan trunk out and put them into hiding. They’d been there for the 11-year-old’s previous play date, but the 5-year-old kept getting into them. Sneaking them all in was quite the operation. Then I took the 11-year-old to meet a friend at a nearby park (masked, outdoors). We stayed about 40 minutes because…outdoors. Kind of cold. I came home, attempted to sort out something with the home renovation, and signed the 9-year-old onto Zoom for her piano lesson. This was using my laptop, so I scrolled a bit and read People magazine (the annual Half Their Size edition always gets me….) The 11-year-old had his alto sax lesson immediately after, also on Zoom. I helped my daughter get ready and then we drove to her 6:15 p.m. karate class (also all masked, and classes with limited capacity to keep distances).
At this point, I realized I’d made a strategic error. The alto sax lesson was still ongoing, and since it was on my laptop, I couldn’t take the laptop and work during karate. I should have used the iPad for the Zoom lessons. Oh well. In any case, I sat in the car (parents can watch through the windows but again…cold) and listened to a podcast. And scrolled. Sigh. Eventually I braved the cold and watched my daughter learn to use a kali stick. I did not know what this was until I got the note that she needed it today. Fortunately it was in the closet with some of her other karate stuff. While hunting for it, I learned that somebody really needs to clean out the mudroom closet.
She and I drove home at 7 p.m., at which point I heated up my dinner (from a Sunbasket meal kit! The others ate around 6/6:30 while we were gone) and got the 13-year-old signed on to his online tutoring session (Varsity Tutors, another past podcast sponsor). I got about 3 bites in when the baby pretty much melted down. So I took him upstairs, nursed him, rocked him, and put him in his crib, at which point he was down.
(Will he stay down? Who knows! Tonight I get to sleep in the guest room and my husband is on duty.)
I finished eating and then my daughter and I finished bag #2 (of about 6 trillion) in her Lego Friends amusement park set. That took about 8:10-8:45. Then I got the 5-year-old and brought him up for bed and stories. He announced he desperately needed a set of thermal imaging goggles for his upcoming birthday. I thought this sounded like an interesting idea, until I looked online and found out that the entry level versions are like $500. Now I am trying to figure out an alternative.
In any case, it is 9:30 now and I hope to go to bed soon.
I had a few insights today. First, a program that someone else designs can help you think up new ideas. I would not have thought to do my new running route this morning without the instruction to go find a hill, but it was lovely to run in the woods in the cold, misty, slightly wet morning. Since I was a bit groggy from being up at 5:30 a.m., the run was like an extra cup of coffee.
Second, I really need to think through “sideline time” — the time spent at kid activities. There was really no reason to surrender my device for music lessons when we had other devices at home. That said, maybe I wouldn’t have worked anyway. After all, I have books on my kindle app and I certainly could have read during that time I was sitting in the car, but…I didn’t. Sleep deprivation is rough.
I hope you had a wonderful first Monday back from the holidays! If you learned anything from tracking your time, I’d love to hear it.
Photo: The winter woods have their own sort of beauty. More challenging to see than a June rose garden, but beauty nonetheless.