Friday, February 17, 2012

The Morass

It has not been an easy start to 2012. I feel I owe a blanket apology to just about everyone in my life. I've been forgetful, distracted, neglectful and flakey. And if you've been (un)lucky enough to actually get my attention, I've been exhausted, downtrodden and just generally a drag to be around.

For the last six weeks or so, I've been in the middle of India. Figuratively.

There was a point mid-trip--in the middle of our five weeks in India and about midway through our entire seven-month adventure--when I had a crisis of conscience. Everything felt hard. Nothing was fun. It was not what I expected. I began to question not so much what we were doing, but what I was doing within our context--decisions, choices, attitudes, goals.

And maybe that's where I am today, though frankly I'm too overcommitted and overtired for much rumination. Don't get me wrong. I love being a wife. I love being a mother. I love my professional life. I'm fine with not having all the time for all the things I'd like in my life right now. But I've been too out of whack for awhile. I'm stealing "wife" time to be a "mom" and giving short shrift to my "mom" time to juggle my obligations for work. No one's really getting my full attention, and everything, including me, is suffering a bit for it.

But I'm working on it. I feel more hopeful today that I can get off the hamster wheel long enough over the next few days or week to try and slough some things off so I can try and divide my attention over fewer things more effectively.

It's funny, because almost as soon as we left India, I became obsessed with going back. To this day, it's probably one of the places that burns brightest in my memory and that I'm most anxious to take Otto and Stella to. (How old do you think kids have to be to go to India, anyway? Actually, the better question is probably how old do kids have to be to handle the long flight....)

I have faith that the same will be true of this time. That I will stop feeling slightly poisonous thoughts about those who say they "loved every minute" of life with their kids and will mostly remember that, truly, Stella and Otto are really awesome (except for those occasional times when they are not), and that it's a blessing to have an amazing husband and an inspiring, creative job and that I live in a time when I can have all of those things as part of my life.

So, please, bear with me. If you have suggestions for juggling or prioritizing, please let me know.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's Official--Otto's a Mover!

Time to start babyproofing...

And notice my little mini-me?

I checked, and this is almost exactly the same timing as when Stella started to commando crawl, right around 7 months. Go Otto! Now just to get onto hands and knees....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 13th

I just spent almost two hours going through my work inbox. Rather than accomplishing much, it mostly reminded me of another dozen things I need to do that I'd almost forgotten about. Otto is managing to still wake up 3+ times a night and decide that 5AM is the right time to start the day. Our remodel is *still* underway. We're paying for two kids in child care. To say this is not the easiest time of life would be an understatement.

On the plus side, I get to do it all with Tyler. I know, it's a cliche. It's near Valentine's Day, and I'm blogging about loving my husband. But, whatever. I do.

And with all the other craziness going on, I'm excited that tomorrow night we get to get dressed up, get a sitter, and sit across a table from one another and have uninterrupted conversation. No answering "how many bites, mommy?" No picking up Otto's spoon and bowl off the floor uncountable times. We just get to sit and enjoy each other's company. Yes, you read that right. Tomorrow the 13th, not the 14th.

Our February 13th date started in 2005, our second Valentine's together. I had a work trip to Alaska and left on Valentine's Day, so we went out the night before. Looking around us at the quiet restaurant, we realized it was great--everyone else was home waiting until the 14th. Once we got married, it elegantly also became our half-year anniversary, meaning we could celebrate it with a sense of personal meaning rather than feel we were totally catering to a somewhat manufactured holiday. It even was our first date night away from Stella after she was born, as a tradition to good to pass by even as new parents.

These days, these moments together are too far and few between and all the more necessary and precious. It's too easy to be distracted, get disconnected, go days without having substantive conversation that's not about managing our house/kids/life. And as I'm so easily reminded when we do get those times away from each other, I love Tyler's company. I know him deeply, yet he still regularly impresses me with his generous spirit. He's patiently dealing with too often being too far down my immediate list of priorities because, as an adult, he can tolerate some wait. He's too often the give point, and these date nights--our February 13th nights--are just a small way to try and rectify that and make up for the lost moments we can't always steal in the course of the day.

So tomorrow we'll get a bit of time with each other, a good drink, and hopefully fantastic food. That's going to do a lot to give us the strength and the partnership to make the upcoming weeks, which don't necessarily promise to be any easier than the last, that much more bearable.

As always, I love you Tyler. Happy half-year anniversary!

Yes, we're younger and better-rested in this photo than we truly are these days, but it's a favorite. And we hardly get photos together these days....