Imagine being overwhelmed with a zillion tasks, little time on hand, and then pregnancy brain as well.
This has been me this past week, on TURBO.
I had the whole day off today, and I had NO IDEA where to turn to first. You know when you have a chance to finally catch up, but your to-do list is so long that you have no idea what to do first?
I was a bit like that, a chook with no head, going around in circles and circles until I managed to find some purpose.
I feel like I don’t have a clear head. I can’t like, manage things in my head, even though I have it all written down… it’s all in there, random things and jobs and bits and pieces jumping out at me and distracting me big time.
But one of my jobs was to finish decorating the house with Christmas, because ever since I posted last week that I had done the bare bones of the tree, well that was it. It was just the tree, there, bare, for days on end.
It was funny because I ended up inspiring other people around me to do their Christmas tree and decos… and meanwhile I was here, with all my Christmas decos and boxes and bags gathering dust in the corner of the room.
So after some other jobs, I started this job… which wasn’t really a job. It was a task, but it was a really fun one. On went Michael Buble, and I wandered around the house putting this here, that there, on and on until seriously, all I have now are just the outdoor lights left!
And now the house is looking super festive. Also, I found it the perfect activity to calm me down and relax me, even with all of the to-dos on my list… it made me feel present in the moment, and for that I am grateful. 🙏
I don’t know if it’s the pregnancy hormones or what, but I had a very teary day.
Just soooo emotional. Emotional about everything – health stuff, feeling overwhelmed, feeling stuck.
Feeling in the middle of nowhere. Feeling neither here or there.
Was it the weather? Was it the stupid neighbours’ kids beeping their car horn 20 times this morning and waking me from my deserved weekend sleep-in?
Feeling like there’s never enough time. Feeling like there’s never enough time for me. Feeling like I have so much to finally say, bursting at the seams, with no one around to finally listen to it.
I was in a sorry state.
This lasted most of the day. Punctuated by some good moments, but generally this cloud followed me around everywhere.
So much pregnancy confusion. So much life confusion. So much health confusion.
But you should be grateful! Look at what you have!
Conflicting thoughts made it that much harder.
But tonight I walked into baby girl’s room as she got ready for bed, and my gaze just lingered a little on a photo.
A photo of her in a christening frame. Her christening. In it she’s 11 months old, dressed in white, holding her cute little soft shoes on her feet, her short hair with a bit of a fringe, sweeping over her face.
This cherub, just looking so darn sweet and looking back at me.
And that was kinda the reminder I needed. The reason for my being, for accepting things as they were… because something greater, bigger, sweeter, lovelier, was coming.
A little one, just like in the photo. 🥰💖🤰😍
It put EVERYTHING in perspective. Suddenly I was teary, but now for a whole other reason…
She wanted to watch a movie with our afternoon coffee/babycino break… and so she put on Mary Poppins.
I settled in with her. We shared chocolate scotch finger biscuits, drank our respective warm drinks, and I fell into the movie quite easily, considering it was one I had watched repeatedly as a child… and still continue to watch and enjoy in a WHOLE other way now.
But as happens now, as an adult, as a parent…
My mind started wandering.
Far out. I thought I had all this time today. I don’t think I’ll get much done now.
How come each Saturday I think I’ll do heaps, and then I do like, the bare minimum?
Where does the time go?
How do people manage this?
And then, to the background of “chim chiminee”s I stopped judging myself, and started observing.
Well actually… baby girl had swimming this morning.
You had to do a grocery run, and fill up the car with petrol too.
Then you decided (YOU DECIDED) to make baby girl scrambled eggs because you wanted to give her a warm meal because she was sniffly.
Then you decided you too wanted a warm meal, so you whipped up your rice.
Then later, you cleaned up. Simple house chores persisted. Tidying, putting things away.
Baby girl wanted to play chasey. And you obliged. You girls ran and ran and ran and ran circuits around the house ’til you could run no more, and then you tickled each other!
And then ran some more!
My structured to-do list was thrown out the window, as it seems to happen on most Saturdays.
But I realised I had tended to a much more important one.
It was my nurturing, fun and bonding to-do list that I had successfully gone through.
I nurtured our family with healthy home made meals. ✅
I played games and had fun with baby girl ’til we were exhausted and laughing ourselves silly. ✅
I sat and watched a movie with her, in our Mummy-daughter bonding time. ✅
Tick, tick, tick.
Oftentimes, the old-fashioned ‘routine’ list has gotta go on pause.
More important things are waiting to be accomplished.
I’ve been slowly coming to a conclusion for a while now, and when I said it out loud today I realised it had culminated in an awakening of sorts.
We lead busy lives. We want to work and make money, but we want to play. We want to go out, be social, have a life…
But we want to cook healthy, home-cooked meals and eat the good stuff as nature intended.
But then we get tired and bored and want to splurge on takeaway and nights out too.
We want more than what we had for our kids. We want to encourage them at school, work, after-school activities… yet they must have EVERYTHING at home too. All the gadgets, the games, the clothes, the toys. All of it.
No wanting is allowed. Not for them, not for us. We are an instant, wanted-it-yesterday society, and we are spreading ourselves THIN.
How then do we achieve anything, and maintain any kind of work-life-EVERYTHING balance?
The answer is boring, but so simple:
In really, really small achievable steps.
I was having this talk with Hubbie today. There is lots we want to do with our house. Little and big renos, here, there and everywhere. Some we must outsource… others we can do ourselves.
And it was here that I was breaking down how to tackle one such task:
“First we get the sample paint.
Then you sand the window frame. Just a tiny section.
We’ll test it first, take a step back and see how it looks.
Then we’ll paint the whole frame.
Then we’ll paint all the windows, but one at a time… when we feel like it.
When the mood strikes.
When we have TIME.”
Ahh, that all allusive mother f*&^er, time. Yes, we want to do it all, and so our pockets of time aren’t big chunks, rather little itty-bitty pieces that we must work around and adapt to, to make anything work.
My gratitude today is realising how to achieve this.
Not by wishing for grand stretches of time to achieve massive jobs.
But by identifying the little pockets we have, squeezing what we can into then when possible, and following through.
Whether that be a home reno.
Whether that be researching for a new home.
Whether that be getting fitter.
Whether that be writing a book!
We can’t make these things happen overnight.
We have to first accept that
1) it will take time, and
2) we must make it super-duper manageable, and put it into little itty-bitty baby steps.
We went 3 different ways today. Hubbie and I at our respective places of employment, baby girl at school.
Ahh. Grade 2 has begun.
Where has the last 2 years of primary school go? How is this the 3rd year already? How am I becoming a well known feature at the school, watching the oh-so-obvious new kids and parents step tentatively through the gates?
Grade 2 was such a good year for me. I had one of my best teachers then.
Actually, I had her twice. In grade 2 and in grade 5.
I was in room 16. One of my favourite numbers.
I look at baby girl now, and hope her grade 2 year is just as great as mine was, and brings her even more good times and memories.
As I look back at this time of iso, I notice little things that worked out to our advantage, or just happened to be a small light at the end of the tunnel.
Little things. But they make up the whole, right?
At the start of the year, I was NO JOKE, over 100 episodes behind on my Bold and Beautiful eps. I know, serious stuff.
I had way over 100 eps on my planner, and I actually thought there was no way I would catch up… ever.
But then… covid happened. Iso happened.
I was working from home. My morning commute went from a 2 hour 10 drive/train/walk journey, to a get-out-of-bed, trakkies, oh-here-I-am-downstairs-at-the-work-desk journey. In like, 5 minutes.
Suddenly, I didn’t have to be in bed so early…
And slowly but surely, sitting on the couch at the end of the night, I caught up.
Also, covid happened to Bold and the Beautiful too. They suspended production initially, showing only old eps… which I still watched.
Still, I caught up on them ALL.
But lately, it has been more than soap operas occupying my TV viewing.
7 days a week I am occupied with one thing or another.
From Monday night to Friday night, I’ve got it on channel 119 on Foxtel, and The Golden Girls and Cheers are playing out to me in the lounge room.
And if you’re shaking your head and laughing, then obviously you’ve never watched them! The Golden Girls are not just old ladies… they are actually quite rude, which makes them all the more hilarious!
And Cheers, well this one surprisingly, I haven’t watched in years… oddly for my age at the time, I remember watching this casually when I was in my pre-teens, about 12, and getting hooked on the Sam and Rebecca storyline… and now like 25 years later I am re-watching HOW they got together.
So that’s my Mon-Fri. I switch on the TV after everyone’s asleep. I sit on the couch with my laptop. Check my phone, write, pay bills, look things up, etc, etc… all while 4 golden girls get into all kinds of crazy scenarios, and then this woman-mad bartender gets into random escapades with his bar colleagues and local regulars there to support and ‘cheer’ him on.
The nights are fun:)
But that’s not all. These eps don’t play on the weekend, and just as well as I’ve found something else to fill in my time there too…
On the sci-fi channel… cue music:
For this show, I was like 16, and still remember tuning into the first premiering eps on TV… I came for David Boreanaz, enjoying my perve at him, but stayed ultimately for the incredible stories and world-building. It was so emotionally engaging, that I had to stop watching for a season and a half after becoming absolutely furious at the show’s sudden direction!
It remains one of my all-time favourite shows to this day. And honestly, it if weren’t for iso, I wouldn’t be watching much at the end of the night, weeknight or weekend.
But now, I get to remember. I get to reminisce. I would tell you to watch Angel, but that show is like a commitment. Because I tell everyone to first watch the first 3 seasons of Buffy before they watch Angel… but still, it’s a beautiful and rewarding commitment, an incredible journey that will make you cry more than laugh, but mostly will make you feel (then cry like a baby again).
So watch Angel. Watch Cheers too, it’s a fun show. Watch Golden Girls if you want some fluff to laugh at. They’re good fun.
Or just watch your own shows. Hell, we have time now, don’t we? Revisit something you used to LOVE. Or, still do. 💖