Up The Down Escalator

I’ve got that running-up-the-down-escalator feeling again.

It’s mainly an issue of priorities, I think, plus a lack of physical activity (again, due to priorities and scheduling conflicts). I feel better when I can get outside and walk, or go to the Fitness Center and take a class, but the past week or so hasn’t been conducive to that. Chiropractor, salon, Weight Watchers open house, standing lunch date…

I also have stuff I want to do at home in the evenings, like process and post the photos from my son’s sixth birthday, and post my regular Dear Connor birthday blog entry (which is currently waiting on photos), and just write to get stuff out of my head, and start some sewing projects, and clean up my home office area, and — and — and.

What actually happens in the evenings, though?

  1. Get home from work. Catch up with husband for about half an hour.
  2. Hubby goes to work. Make dinner while son plays Kindle Fire or Nintendo DS.
  3. Eat dinner with son.
  4. Clean up kitchen while son eats dessert (and sometimes a snack) and watches TV.
  5. I supervise while son takes a bath, brushes teeth, and takes allergy meds.
  6. He puts on jammies, chooses a daily calendar sticker, and we read a book.
  7. Lights out.

After lights out, I stay within earshot for the next half hour until he calls me back upstairs to talk some more and massage his feet. That means no going into the back office to edit photos on my desktop computer or going into the sunroom to sew.

By the time I get back downstairs and I finally have some uninterrupted “me” time, it’s 8:30pm (or later) and I’m mentally done for the day. I’m only good for reading or playing on my phone or watching TV — I don’t have the oomph to create, only consume. I turn into a pumpkin around 9:30pm, but I’ve been much better about going upstairs and getting my own bedtime routine happening, and turning my own lights out between 10pm and 10:30.

During that hour after Connor goes to bed, though, if I’m not totally exhausted, there’s plenty I could do. I’m going to have to just prioritize it somehow: figure out what’s most important and carve out time for it. One task a night, whether I feel “up to it” or not. I’m a grown-ass woman, and I should be able to get up and do the things that need done, even when I’m tired. Even if I tell myself I’ll only do it for ten minutes, and set an alarm; or if I manage to get all the ingredients of the muffins or quickbread or whatever set out before I put my son to bed; or if I go straight across the hall to my bedroom to quietly tidy my closet while I’m waiting for Connor to request his nightly masseuse visit. Shit can get done one way or another.

Small bites of big projects. Baby steps. Specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, timely goals — not vague ideas of Getting Something Done After My Son Goes To Bed.

Yeah, yeah, I can do that.

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