Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Time Suck

The Plug
I started this post in the beginning of January, along with the 6 0r 7 others to which I keep alluding.  A meme of sorts posted by a friend of mine last night has inspired me to finally finish it.  Since the post itself promises to be rather long (no surprise there), I'm going to invite you all to join the meme on the front half.
Recently the aforementioned friend, who also happens to be a MarineLawyerMommy started a blog in preparations for writing a book.  The blog, so far, rocks.  And completely puts mine to shame.  When you go follow her blog (because you will), don't think less of me.  You'll see exactly what I mean when you get over there.
The book she is writing, from what I gather, is about the struggles of women in our society to be all.  Or, more accurately, our failures to do so.  How all these extremely successful women go about their days feeling like they have failed at every other thing, from blowing their diets to not wanting to get down on the floor and play dolls.  It's called The Modern Failure, and I am COMPLETELY addicted to it.  And Chanelle, who writes it (I actually have another post about her in the works . . .), is always looking for input, which is super easy given how amazingly thought provoking her every post is proving to be; further putting my mundane "this is what I did today" blog to shame.  And if all that hasn't been enough to get you over there to check her out, maybe this will do it:  She will send HOMEMADE COOKIES (we all know how I love me some cookies) to the first 30 people who plug The Modern Failure.  While that is FAR from the reason I'm plugging it, I am nonetheless very excited about my cookies.
The input she is looking for today is from this post.  I think we all have nights where we look around, the day is gone, and we find ourselves wondering where the hell it went.  Or at least I do.  6 -7 times a week.  Chanelle wants to know where your time goes.   Here is what happens to mine (near as I can tell):
The Post
I have been talking a lot recently to two good friends of mine from OCS – women who knew me when I was just Marine.  Before Mommy.  Lawyer.  And Wife.  Over the last 6 years or so since OCS, all of our lives have changed a lot.  Michelangelo (we are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; I'm Donatello) got out of the Marine Corps, became a vagabond in South America, and climbed Machu Picchu.  I was extremely jealous.  Leodardo was sent to Joint Command in the middle of nowhere where she has been able to get a Master's degree and a black belt.  Again, jealous.  Then she joined Roller Derby.  Cue intense jealousy.  I have had a longstanding star-crossed love relationship with Derby since my sorority president introduced me to it oh so many years ago.  I have had fleeting associations with many teams, but I move a lot.  My life changes a lot.  And now, I find myself in a place where I know I'll be stable for at least a couple years, where I could actually join a team – and stay on it – and there is just no way.  I am just too busy. 
And I found myself thinking about how I am almost too busy for my own life these days.  Every single day there is at least one thing I find myself wanting to do that just won't fit, whether it's Roller Derby or just putting in the new garden.
Somewhere between 04:30 and 06:00, Flintstone wakes up to eat.  I prefer it closer to 04:30 because then I can go back to sleep for a little while.  If it's not until 06, when my get-your-lazy-a$$-out-of-bed-NOW alarm goes off, it throws my whole morning off.  From 06 (or whenever Flintstone is sated) until 7, I run around in the dark (I don't even turn on the lights in the kitchen because that will just make it harder to see when I go back in the bedroom) getting my uniform together and on, PT clothes gathered up so I can work out since I've inevitably forgotten to stock my office closet at the beginning of the week again, sanitizing bottles and breast pump paraphernalia, putting my hair up, making myself a lunch, getting everything together and labeled for Flintstone to go to daycare, making a lunch for Punky on the rare occasions that I have time, changing Flintstone and getting him packed into his car seat, letting the dogs out, packing up the diaper bag and my work bag, and getting on the road.  If Flintstone is awake for all of this (which he has been most mornings for the last 2 weeks), this all slows down.  My last minute alarm may have to move back to 05:45 soon.  And this doesn't even take into account days when I'm supposed to be at morning PT. 
I also make a cup of tea during that time window, but more often than not, it's still sitting exactly where I made it when it's time to go.  If I'm lucky, I remember to put it in a travel mug.
I have to be on the road by 07 if I want to be on time.  Punky and usually MacGyver are still asleep when I walk out the door.  I drop Flintstone off at about 7:15, jam my heart back down my throat, and head to work.  I scoot into my office at 7:25.
7:25 – 10:50 I battle the vicious mountains of cases trying to envelop my desk. I pump in the middle of that time.   At 10:50 I change into PT clothes and go work out for an hour or so.  I no longer shower after PT because there just isn't time.  I change back into my uniform and go pick up Flintstone from daycare shortly after noon and take him home to spend the afternoon with MacGyver.  On good days, or days I don't have PT at lunch time, I have lunch with MacGyver and feed Flintstone.
I'm back to the battle by 13:00 (1 o'clock) at the latest.  The battle continues.  I will often have a cup of tea, or even coffee at some point.  I also have to pump again around 3 – joy of joys.  The workday ends at 4:30.  On paper.  In real life I almost never leave the office before 5.  When I was in a trial billet, I could easily stay in the office until 8 before a trial.  I'm glad I'm Review – for now.  I'm told I'm going back to Trial in a few months.
I get home around 5:30.  From 5:30 – 8 there is making dinner, which often requires shopping, dishes, laundry, Punky's homework, feeding Flintstone, eating dinner, and cleanup.  I do not do all of these tasks, if MacGyver is cooking, I'm doing dishes; if he's helping Punky, I'm cooking dinner, and so on.  On nights when everything falls into place and there aren't 75 other things that need to be taken care of, we have time to sit down for a ½ hour and watch something on the projector (got rid of the TV months ago – thank heavens!), or play a game.  But it's usually the former.  A ½ hour of screen time a couple nights a week is not that bad.  Bite me. 
At 8 the getting ready for bed rigmarole begins, which is followed by story time.  Lately, we've been reading the Percy Jackson books, though we just finished the forth one and need to go buy the next.  Shortly before 9, Punky's tucking in is complete.  Flintstone should also be asleep by this point, but I'm usually still holding him as I hate missing story time.  And I suck at putting him down without waking him up.  I am well aware that I should be putting him down sleepy but still a little awake so he gets used to falling asleep on his own.  Whatever.
At some point, whether it's dinner time or after story, I pour myself a glass of wine.  I often remember to drink it.
Once Flintstone is out, MacGyver and I take a shower.  It isn't unusual for MacGyver to have to wake me up for this because I'm usually ready to pass out by the end of dinner.  But after tuck in time is when all the fun grown-up parts of my life take place (ok, maybe at lunch time, too), so I'm usually able to rouse myself enough to spend some quality time with MacGyver.  I like to be asleep by 11.  Well, I'd like to be asleep by 8, but that really isn't an option ;-)
Obviously, every day is different, but that's a "typical" day.  It doesn't count Punky's extracurriculars (can you say girl scout cookies?),  Farmer's Market, and whatever else that eats up my time.
The Roller Derby team I have been courting since before Flintstone was born practices three evenings a week an hour away.  Obviously not an option.  BUT I will be spending a week doing Derby things with the team in May AND they've invited me to participate in other ways.  I might be a ref, a jeerleader, or possibly a volunteer.
But even fitting that stuff in is going to be a challenge.  Because it's not like my schedule is about to open up any time soon.  A friend of ours at church, whose children are grown, commented on Sunday "Oh, you are right in the middle of the best part, careers, young kids, you're young – it's also the hardest, most stressful part – you must not have time for anything."  Ha, to say the least!
So that's my daily time suck.  What's yours?  Head on over to The Modern Failure and let her know!

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