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