Striking a balance

The blogosphere seems quiet these days. Or is it just me?

This is my third day with some time to myself. The kids have school but my district is off. I have so much on my to-do list and three days is not nearly enough, especially not with the packing that needs to happen for us to be ready for the snow tomorrow.

I’ve been struggling with striking a balance between crossing things off my to-do list and doing something I’d really enjoy. It’s hard because, while they aren’t that satisfying while I’m doing them, purging at home or getting caught up at work offer more rewarding results. It’s tedious work to sort through my husband’s crap (why must he keep literally hundreds of CDs that he NEVER listens to?!) so that our room doesn’t look like a junk pile, but walking into our now pristine bedroom is very satisfying. And while I hate spending a beautiful day cooped up in my classroom alone, grading papers and entering grades, I do appreciate the mental weight that is lifted when I’m not stressing about all the papers I still have to grade.

It makes more sense to spend these precious days doing what I need to do, those things that I don’t have the time and energy for at the end of long days of teaching and parenting, but there are ALWAYS more things that I feel like I need to do, and if I dedicate every free moment to those tasks, I will never carve out time that is truly for me.

I’m not trying to complain–I know how incredibly fortunate I am to have these random days in the middle of February to get things done–but it’s hard for me to strike a balance. I’m trying to take little moments here and there to do something for me. Tuesday I met my mom and a friend for brunch at a local favorite that will be closing soon. Yesterday I met my husband downtown for lunch, and delighted in the most delicious fried chicken sandwich, and I let myself lie on the bed with a book for thirty minutes before I picked up the kids from school. Today I am watching The Expanse on my computer while I grade papers, and will run in the sun on my way home from work. And while I’m a tad bit disappointed that I can’t spend a whole day luxuriating in some time just for myself, I appreciate all the work I got done at my house and feeling a bit more caught up at school.

What do you do with a rare moment to yourself?

6 Comments

  1. SO glad you did some balancing things during this week.
    I was away from computer for a few days so:
    Totally put yourself on the waiting list for The Notorious RBG. Good reminder of the progress women have made since the early 60’s. Yes a Fan Book but that is ok because it also shows her thought process on the subject of gender equality and how to make change happen in this country with our system of courts. Also relevant as we now have an opening on the court. EASY reading really, quite blogish in some ways but also does outline and show you her thinking process.
    Minimalism is always a process not an end place and what you are doing today is terrific and what you did last year was part of a life project and ABSOLUTELY you are not supposed to declutter for another person IF they are old enough to have a semi-rational approach to reality. It varies by child. Some children will notice and be upset by the removal of one small object, others will not notice 14 garbage bags disappearing… except for one thing that cannot be identified in advance. It does help to teach sharing, and organizing, and not keeping what doesn’t fit or is worn out…. but no easy solutions. It is also really good to keep talking about needs versus wants regularly and repetitively. You are doing terrifically. Think ongoing not one event.
    The weather was so lovely in SF on Tuesday and Wednesday and the thunder during Wednesday night was fabulous to hear. Cheers and enjoy the snow!!!!

  2. Similar to you… Right now there are 2 holidays I get on days my kids’ daycare is open. I always have these grand plans of how I’ll go to the gym and relax and…. Then I usually end up scheduling a doctors appointment, cleaning the bathroom, etc. and those days seem to go by at 3x regular speed. Like, what, it’s 4 pm? I need to leave soon to get the kids. Whoosh, “day to myself” is over.

    Anyway, like you, while I’d like to enjoy relaxing just for me things, it’s hard to really relax when there are those things on the to-do list that your mind can’t ignore. So ultimately you are more relaxed once you just do them, than if you ignore them and try to do something relaxing.

  3. Yes, like you I find it more “relaxing” f better for my well-being to use free time to restore order to my world. using the entire day to have fun may feel relaxing in the moment, but getting our house in order, purging, attending to long-neglected errands has benefits that will carry over for weeks.
    I literally NEVER have a day off that my kids don’t because we only get 6 days off a year: Christmas day, NY, MLK day, Memorial day, 4th of july, labor day. every other time I have to take a day off–I try to do it once ever 6 months, and I always have a HUGE list of things to get done during those days.

  4. I have been in a blogging rut. I have some big emotions and a fluffy piece seems wrong. But I’m always reading your posts and I don’t always comment because it’s bloody hard on my phone. Xx

  5. I have a moment to myself right now, and I’m in a parking lot reading blogs and commenting. THAT’S what I like to do when I get a moment!!!

    The blogosphere is quiet. I’ve noticed it too, and contributed to it.

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