Mondays are my go-hard-at-cleaning days and I enjoy these days. Cleaning feels therapeutic to me. The ordering of my external world allows me to rest peacefully inside my head. This careful orchestration of the world around me allows me to knit later on after dinner. It allows me to read for an hour or so before bed at night. It calms me. I do have to sometimes remind myself, though, that my children won't remember my clean floors in years to come, or if they do, it probably won't be in glowing, fond memory form. They will, however, remember that I took them out to Starbucks for some not-oft-had one-on-one time together, or that I took 20 minutes out of my day to play Uno or Skip-Bo with them. These are the lessons that I learn and then have to relearn over and over again because at times I am so thick.
I run or do an exercise class or even the Wii several times a week, mainly for the joy of it, but also to combat my ever-threatening-to-expand arse. I'm not one of those girls mercifully blessed with a transcendent metabolism, but I've learned a long time ago to stop griping about it. And so I exercise.
I meet a girlfriend for a daytime coffee or something one or two mornings a week, though I can't quite stifle a feeling of growing guilt about it. My brain is hard-wired to task accomplishment. However, I know that healthy people are in relationship with lots of other healthy people and so I continue to prioritize these dates and love them. I've been blessed with some unusually wonderful women in my life, as I think I've mentioned.
I write for an hour or two each weekday. I entertain deeply mixed feelings about the practice. While I enjoy it very much for the most part, there are times when I wonder if I'm wasting my time in a colossal way. Who knows if this book will ever see the light of day? But I press on, because I know if I don't, I'll regret it for the rest of my life. Today I began page 81. I feel in my bones that I'm a writer. I feel fully me when I do it. I feel complete and engaged in an invigorating way. Whether or not I'm to be a published writer is the big question. Sometimes I hate what I've written, sometimes I love what I've written. Sometimes, for the life of me, I can't think of a single thing to write about. Perhaps this is normal, but I guess that isn't the point. And so I press on.
Before I know it, it's time to pick up the kids. When I think of it, I feel a happy anticipation to see them again. Afterschool, they are brimming over with energy. They compete aggressively to share about their respective days. My four little extroverts. Each day we talk about what our day's number score is (A ten is an obviously perfect day. Anabel's and Oliver's days are most often tens. Lucy is usually either a nine or a ten and our Jude - ever working toward being that 'glass half full' kind of guy - is normally at a seven or an eight.). Then we talk about what our High/Low is. This is - it probably goes without saying - the best and the worst thing that happened to us that day. The kids eat their snack and then it's homework and musical instrument practice time (guitar for my pre-teen Adonis and piano for my little ladies). This is my second busiest, but one of the happiest times of my day. Their joy fuels me and gives me courage to try to be my best for them, for they surely deserve that and far more, lovely little noisy people.