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Family, Life

Grumbles and change

03.10.11 | 2 Comments

This morning sucked. It wasn’t that much different than any other morning, particularly a Tuesday or Thursday morning, but today was extra distressing – first world problem sorts of things. Thursdays Zoe has dance class around 9:30 AM, and Joel has class at 10 AM. It probably doesn’t need saying that we are always late – anyone who knows us knows this. And I hate that. But yes. We are always late. Everywhere. To everything. It sucks. The last time I took Zoe in late to dance, there was a horrible show down, we were that awful disruptive kid and mom, and I ended up returning her to her regular class, missing dance. I vowed never to take her late to dance again. But we’re not quitting. So with the recital coming up, we have to get her there so she doesn’t miss out (let alone all the other reasons why getting somewhere on time is important). I told myself to grab my thatchers and get our act together – this cannot happen again.

Well today there was a series of not-so-comical events impeding our timeliness: the usual lateness, in which we have gotten out of bed at the last possible second yet taken the same amount of time to get ready as when we have nowhere to be; being unable to locate Zoe’s dance bag, deciding after searching that it must be in the car (it wasn’t) or at school (nope); me leaving the car keys on the hook in the apartment; then trying to decide, while en route, whether or not it was even worth trying to make it to dance, painfully coming to the conclusion that it’s worse to be late than not to show up, and instead taking Joel, who actually had a chance to make it on time, to class. Sale on commas today.

All of this and no one ate breakfast, the dog rode with us (no time to take him out before we left), Zoe did miss dance, and I have to take her stick horse (that we forgot) to school for the rodeo parade today (for which we will pick her up early). It’s my spring break, which means I’m splitting my time between attempting to relax and also study really hard for the mock STEP exam next week so I don’t get called in to explain myself if I fail it, so the extra half hour round trip (plus the time it takes to blog) is not in my schedule. WAHWAHWAH.

I realize it’s ridiculous. People are starving and countries are at war. Poor little white girl can’t get somewhere on time with a stick horse.

Dad sent a forward last night about pencils. One of the points (har har) was that “in life, you will undergo painful sharpenings, which will only make you better”. [And yes I’m inconsistent with my quotation marks and punctuation – it’s intentional every time, and I’m struggling between what’s accepted in the U.S. and what I believe to be the more correct usage.] I feel like this is one of those times. I can’t rationalize that it’s hard with a toddler – what is she now? preschooler? pre-K-er? fancy pants mini adult? – or that we’re busy or tired or that we just walk to the beat of our own drum. Especially not with a child we’re trying to raise to be a responsible member of society. I’m thrilled that we have the flexibility in our lives such that we don’t have to get Zoe to her school at 6 AM when it opens. But circle time is at 9:15, and shame on us that we have trouble making that. We were once a military family, for crying out loud. Early is on time, and on time is late. Et cetera.

Anyway. Sharpening. We need to change. What do I want? Pack for the next day the night before. Earlier bedtime. Earlier rise time. A reasonably predictable morning routine. Arrival at school before circle time.

Sound familiar? It’s because I’m a damn broken record.

By the end of the week, we’re usually so embarrassed and frustrated that every Thursday we decide to change to make these things happen. And definitely Friday – definitely no more of this, we say. And every Monday we’re the same as the week before. You’d think we would get tired. And you’d be right. We are exhausted by it. We’ve tried different ways of doing things, and we always fall back into our old ways. I have all the sympathy – empathy, even – for addicts of all kinds. And I feel the same disappointment looking at us the way people feel when they see their loved ones in the grips of something horrible.

Do we every really change? Will I be writing another one of these posts in a few more months when I’ve “had it” again? Are we just doomed to need reawakening at regular intervals?

Habits are hard to break. I think they happen when we stop being present and forget that we’re making decisions. I truly believe that any commitment means making that same decision every day, sometimes every hour. You don’t get married once – you choose that person every day. You choose whether or not to work out every day. You make the decision to have a healthy meal (or not) every feeding time.

I have to have an overriding sense that we will be on time, and then I have to identify and choose the actions that will make that happen. My problem most days is being detached from the decisions I’m making. Mom and I recently discussed my Mammaw’s ability to plan meals and other things well in advance of their actual occurrence; she took a little well-meaning flack for it, but now I feel there is no greater relief than having a plan. If you know what’s coming up, you can be prepared. Zoe’s dance bag should be something we think about Wednesday night, and that stick horse needed to be by the door enough for me to trip over it. Present Blake needs to start helping out Future Blake a little more, and that probably means that Lazy Blake gets her ass kicked.

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