Happy Mid-August! Where has the summer gone? School started back this week and there are hints of color in the leaves here already. I’m not ready for cold weather!!!
It has been a productive week for us. The floor is installed in the laundry room, the dryer is fixed and back in place (no more having to rush out and get the clothes off the clothes line before the afternoon storms) and the washer has moved out of the kitchen to it’s rightful place as well. One more little bathroom to go and the floor will be finished. Of course I have to paint the new cabinet this weekend before I install the flooring. It just never ends.
As life begins to finally settle into a rhythm I am facing a new adjustment. Slowing down. Well that should be easy enough! Yeah, you would think so, but…
Is your To Do list longer than your arm every day? Is every minute scheduled? Do your kids think their names are Hurry Up and We’re Late? I have also been living under that craziness as long as I can remember or since my first kid was born, whichever came first. Work (often two jobs), house, dog, car, yard, two kids in several sports, volunteer work, church involvement, etc. Years and years of hitting the floor running early in the morning and collapsing into bed late at night. Stress, stress, stress.
One of the most insane moments I remember is being at work at our then family business, rushing to pick up both kids at two different schools, coming back to work and supervising their homework, then rushing them out the door at closing time to grab another fast food dinner and drive them both to soccer practice in two different towns. It had been “one of those days” all day and when we pulled out of the fast food drive through my kids decided that their Mom might need to be committed.
Why? First, what I thought was closing time was actually an hour earlier. I had looked at the clock wrong. Then after screaming at them to get their stuff in the car and driving like a maniac to Wendy’s for dinner, I paid for the food in the drive thru window and then proceeded to drive away WITHOUT THE FOOD! It wasn’t until my son gently and tentatively asked me if I was OK that I realized what I had done. I would not chalk that day up as one of my best parenting days.
That was the point where I started dropping some unnecessary obligations and trying to regain some sanity in our lives, but things have still been “go, go, go” even after my kids left home. D. warned me that life up here has a different time frame, but I did not realize how different until this week.
I decided to get a haircut at one of the local hair salons. I got an appointment for 5:00 pm. My hair is very short and it has never taken more than 15-20 minutes for someone to cut it. I arrived 10 minutes early and got to sit for about 15 minutes listening to the local gossip and meeting some of my new neighbors. My haircut started at 5:05. I left at 6:00!
Tuesday we needed some lumber to finish our barn and fix a room in D.’s new business. We arrived at 3:45 with our list. Said hello to the owner who was helping another customer. Sat in his office for another 15 minutes. Then he and D. proceeded to discuss hunting for another 15 minutes. Finally out to load the lumber we went. Then the fork lift stopped working. Another 15 minutes of fork lift discussion until it was decided to use THE OTHER forklift. Another 15 minutes picking out the right pieces. Yep, another hour bites the dust.
I used to start work at 6:30 in the morning. Now that I am down to one job I sometimes just stand in the middle of the room trying to figure out what to do with myself. With the yard, house, dogs, horses, bees, work and an hour drive anytime we go somewhere, there is plenty to do, but there really is a time difference. It’s like a Twilight Zone episode (if you are younger than 45 years old you will have to Google that reference). Honestly, it’s going to take awhile to get used to this. I have a physical reaction when I have unoccupied time on my hands. I get anxious and antsy.
Oh, it is a much better and saner way to live and one that our grandparents had everyday. We have made time into our enemy. Something we have to race again the clock to beat everyday. Time should be our friend. Time to get to know our neighbors. Time to pay attention to what you are cooking and eating. Time to enjoy a walk in the woods. Time to read a book or get lost in a project.
I’m working on it my friends! I’m taking a deep breath when I start feeling the anxiety coming on and sitting down in my lawn chair and watching the butterflies do their thing on my zinnias. I hope you can find some “country time” too.