Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hydrangea Happy

It's summer, and I should be frolicking in a pool or carting my kids to the library or weeding the garden or running on the trail.  I'm a writer and a teacher, so why wouldn't I be doing these things?  The school year is over (thank you, God), and I don't have any pressing deadlines at the moment.  So why can't I get in the groove of relaxation and just embrace summer ennui?  

As I write this, I am sitting at my computer, twisting my mouth from side to side and seriously wondering what the answer to this question might be.  But the truth is I don't know the answer.  I don't know why I'm wired to be perpetually wired.   

On the first day of summer vacation, I was up at 5:15 and at my computer by 5:30.  I wrote three chapters of a brand new book I'm working on.  After that, I did some research and cleaned house and scaled an Everest-sized pile of laundry.  Later that afternoon, I went for a long run with my oldest daughter, then I made dinner and cleaned the kitchen.  I fell into bed…ah, you thought I was going to say I fell into bed exhausted and slept like a baby, didn't you?  But, sadly, I was not exhausted.  Oh, the body was tired, but the mind WOULD NOT SHUT UP.  Plus, I had a Mumford and Sons song stuck in my head.  It was a tossy-turny kind of night, all to the tune of Roll Away the Stone.  

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in a similar fashion, and this morning I awoke at 3:30 with a feeling of sheer panic.  Here's a list of the things I was worried about.

1.  New job I'll be starting in the fall.
2.  What people will think about the fact that I got said job.
3.  How well (or, heaven forbid, poorly) I will perform at new job.
4.  How I will write, teach, manage children, scale Everest-sized mountains of laundry, water the garden that is my marriage, blog, pay bills, clean house, feed dogs, exercise, color my hair, read, grade papers, serve on the vestry at church, cart kids to lessons and sporting events, sort through the madness of school binders and folders, respond to emails, get groceries, return phone calls, COOK DINNER, and grocery shop all while doing said new job.  

Once again, I do not know how I will manage all these things and more.  How does any woman manage it all?  I suspect that smart women discover quickly what to cross off that mental list.  What people will think seems like a good place to start.  Next is the worry over how I will perform.  I will perform the best that I can given the circumstances, and for the record, the circumstances ain't pretty.  

Children, husband, writing, church, exercise, dogs, and hair color automatically move to the top of the list, not necessarily in that order.  I reserve the right to put hair color at the top of the list every 3-4 weeks for approximately one hour.  And I will never apologize for this.  

As for the rest of it, I'll say a prayer, ask for help, or just accept the fact that I will never accomplish "it all."  Even if I could go days on end without sleep, there will never be enough time for the almighty It All.

Right now, I am going to step away from my computer, slowly, with my hands raised high above my head.  I'm going to take middle daughter to the orthodontist.  When I return I'll have a snack.  Maybe I'll pay a few bills.  Or, maybe I'll forget the list and head out here.  

  Cut a few of these to add a little hydrangea happy to my day.

Hang out with this little girl.  She doesn't have the slightest reservation about relaxation.

And then there are these not-so-little people.  How many summers will I have with them?  Like this?

Far too few, I know.


  1. I remember similar days and concerns like yours. As I lead a more relaxed but still full and busy life I have no answers for you. I still get up early and make long lists in my head too. People who are slightly hypomanic get things done I have always thought. You cannot be all things to all people and you will have to let go of caring what others think eventually. I did that when I turned forty and today I turned fifty and these last ten years have been my happiest. Your hedge of hydrangeas are splendid and enjoying them is a fabulous plan. I have been layering some and growing baby ones. hugs, olive

  2. I know how hard it is to try to do EVERYTHING and be there for EVERYONE. It keeps you up at night for sure! I get less done actually, it's quite polarizing. I agree with Olive (and happy birthday Olive!) I turned 50 and declared it the year of ME!!! I figured I had spent the first half of my life (because I am obvee going to live to be 100) doing for others now it was MY turn! I do a little or I do a LOT but it's all my choice. The dinner thing is the worst tho...why do they want it EVERY night??? Enjoy your summer with those precious girls!!!
    XO Cindy

  3. Oh- I hear you- I am one of those DO ALL gals, too. I make lists and work from them but I am trying to learn to relax more and be better to myself. Blogging is my treat to ME. Good luck with everything you have going on- xo Diana

  4. I SO know how you feel!! Enjoy the summer with your family and put all that other stuff on the back burner! Your cut hydrangeas look so pretty!

  5. Can you afford a cleaning lady 1x week to help with light cleaning and laundry? Otherwise a family divide & conquer is in order. Garden-- sprinklers and timer. The kids can earn an allowance to feed and walk the dogs. Read while you are on the treadmill/ stationary bike, Grocery shopping by making it a family outing (this also counts as exercise). And crockpot for meals.

    Is there another mom/ dad (or several) where you can take turns dropping off kids for lessons and sports?

    I would color my hair at home then sit in the bathroom waiting to rinse and check emails.

    I have a monthly planner with pockets that I tuck all the bills in as they arrive via mail. All the electronic ones are grouped in a file on the computer. Bill paying is every Friday(late evening) after the hubbs is in bed. The house is quiet and I can concentrate.

    You can do it all--just not by yourself!

  6. I have no idea how women can work FT and manage everything else, especially when children are involved! Hubby and the kids will probably have no choice but to help out with housework and meals. And like Tonya said above, perhaps you can trade off carpooling duties with another parent.

    Your hydrangeas are gorgeous - I love that they're blue! Did you know the color of these flowers depends on your soil type?

  7. Very busy schedule and lots to do. having your lists is great...little by little, things will get done. I am your newest follower. Drop by for a visit.

  8. Hi Daffodil,
    I love this sweet, thoughtful, intelligent post! Such is the condition of woman. It sounds like you have your priorities in the proper order, though. Everything else will fall into place, and miraculously, every necessary thing will be done.
    You are SO right about not having too many summers like this left with your girls. My youngest is now 21, and sometimes I miss her. I LOVE the young woman she is now, but I miss the girl she was in junior high or elementary school. I'd love to have her back for just a day...
    Following you back, with much anticipation!


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