Life has been busy. It was the first complete week of school and surviving this always feels like a bit of a triumph. The kids are settling into a rhythm (I managed to spell it right on my first try, Kae – miraculous); everyone seems reasonably happy, and some of the kinks are getting worked out in terms of logistics and relational hiccups.
notes from last weekend
Friday was packed full. By the time 8:30 pm rolled around I felt ready to collapse; once we got the kids corralled into bed, John and I retreated to the deck with drinks in hand and a beautiful moon view. What a lovely way to end the work week.
Saturday morning started well – coffee outside while our kids played. Little by little a large crowd of kids gathered at our place. I’ve been trying to be outside more to help with some complicated neighbourhood dynamics. But, honestly, being in the fray just stressed. me. out. John saved the day by planning a long hike for the kids at Blomidon. They’ve been begging to go back and when your kids are ASKING to do a ~12 km hike, why say no? I stayed home and tackled work all afternoon. Win, win. I don’t mind working on the weekend when I know I can transfer some of the benefits of this flexibility into the regular work week. When they got home, John and I had a great at-home date night – the food was delicious and we watched the new Thor movie.
Sunday was busy. Abby has officially “aged” up into the middle-school group at church which meets during the second service. It felt odd to reorganize our Sunday morning (we usually go to the early service), but she loved her group! It did make me want to cry, just a little, when I dropped her off in a new room where EVERYONE LOOKS SO TALL and there are no pint-sized chairs. Wasn’t she just crawling around the nursery a week ago?
This meant we got home later than normal and didn’t finish lunch until 1:30ish. John and I needed to join heads on a work project, so we set the kids up with a movie (since we couldn’t supervise outside play) while we tackled that. We went right from this to a neighbourhood block party. Words cannot describe how much I did not want to attend this event. My introverted soul is weary, and I was definitely stuck inside the wrong storybook. But the kids were excited and, in the end, it was a lot of fun. None of the awkward/hard stuff I was envisioning actually happened. There was a know-your-neighbour Bingo where you had to mingle and find: someone who was 6 ft tall, someone who votes in every election, someone who had milked a cow, someone who had more than 2 siblings, someone who shared the same birth month (or year) with you, etc.
We left that mid-way through to go to a birthday celebration. There was ice cream cake and a trampoline for the kids; the adults sat around a fire pit and talked while the kids jumped…it was quite lovely.
By the time we got home it was LATE, but I felt inspired to tackle my inbox and batched that task (this time of year I get a lot of e-mails over the weekend, and my trick is to set messages to go out the next work day at 9 am).
MISC From the week
RUNNING | I was tired after the weekend and couldn’t face a Monday morning run. I felt mildly guilty all day but by supper time I felt more energetic and fit in my fastest run yet! I continued on with run-walk-run intervals and shaved another 14 seconds off my lowest average km pace. My continuous run yesterday (which felt great and fast) was slower than my interval run, which still seems surprising!
SOUP | I made a loose reconstruction of the Creamy Tortellini Soup from Pinch of Yum. I’ve been making it for a few years, but do it differently every time (always with coconut milk instead of heavy cream). It was delicious and I froze some leftovers.
SURGERY | Big news – it looks like my surgery will happen next month. Lots of emotions on this, but mostly excitement and relief. While there is no “convenient” time to have a 6-week recovery, the timing is not half bad. It will come after my 5K, Canadian Thanksgiving, and a slew of major work commitments; things should be back to normal well ahead of the Christmas rush. Pre-op appointments have already started!
WORK | September/October is the most intense period of the year for me. I had a few daunting calls that went SO well. It feels good to work hard and get back into a routine of interacting with adults again.
THE QUEEN | I have been spending an inordinate amount of time this last week on the BBC news site – almost exclusively to read headlines and in-depth profiles of the Queen. It’s hard to believe that she is gone. She was such a constant presence in the world and it seemed like she was always going to be there. It feels odd to reach for my wallet and see her face on every coin and bill and know that we now pledge allegiance to King Charles III. In retrospect, she was a grandmother figure to my generation. The kids now unexpectedly (!!) have Monday off school in honour of her funeral.
EXTRACURRICULARS | Things are changing, friends. Middle school comes with a whole new set of opportunities. Abby has access to school soccer. Next week she starts drama, and there are two youth groups and a youth choir. We have always been an “underscheduled” family with our kids registered for just about…nothing. This is definitely poised to change but I’m mostly feeling excited about it all.
RENOVATIONS | I’ve started having nightmares (or at least dreams about things going catastrophically wrong) about renovations. Gah! I can’t even escape it in my sleep. In reality, things are going just fine. We got our energy re-assessment done and are now crossing our fingers and toes the various promised rebates come through (we upgraded all the windows and doors in our 1970’s house + added a lot of exterior insulation). There are still all sorts of final little decisions – paint colours, vents covers, figuring out how to configure the entryway with some prefab IKEA options (we had to completely rebuild our old entryway because of rot and currently have no closet, shelves or working light fixtures). I don’t want to make another decision about our house – ever?! Hence the nightmares?
DECISION FATIGUE | To that end, I’m feeling very overwhelmed by all the decisions to be made – from big to small. Should I say yes or no to this extracurricular for a child? The painter is coming Friday – yikes, we need to finalize a colour! What clothes should the kids wear for picture day? When should we turn on the furnace to see if that August water leak ruined it (NO, we still haven’t done this yet, mostly because I just don’t want to make expensive furnace decisions. How’s that for classic avoidant behaviour)? How should I respond to a challenging work e-mail? What do I want to eat for lunch?
Oh, and which of the proposed time slots would be most convenient for having a part of my body sectioned out?
I hate decisions at the best of times and can tell I’m stuck in a spiral of wanting to pick the Right decision when there really isn’t a “right” or a “wrong.” I’m following the mental gymnastics of various scenarios: If x, y, and z happen, I should go with Decision 1; If a, b, and c happen, I’d be better off with Decision 2. At the end of the day I have various Perfectly Good options, but I’m getting hung up on finding that elusive Perfectly Perfect option. For the most part, decisions can be changed – extracurriculars can be dropped and bad paint choices can be corrected with a fresh coat of paint. I know this intellectually…but putting it in to practice is tripping me up. And then I add to the chaos by getting frustrated with myself for this response. Like, why can’t I just shrug my shoulders, make a decision (without researching it to death) and move on like a normal adult?
I think that’s a rhetorical question?
PICTURE BOOKS | The clock is winding down on this and it makes me sad. The kids still tolerate picture books, but never ask me to read to them. And now they’re more likely to focus on things like the illustrations or some deeper theme. It’s not “Ahhh, look at that cute chipmunk” it’s a comment like “Look at the detail in the shading on that chipmunk. What a great illustrator!” or interrupting me mid-sentence to ask: “Mama, did you know a group of chipmunks is called a scurry?” Sigh. I know I’m going to have to let go but I really, really don’t feel ready. Last diaper change and final bottle feeding? Mostly just a blip on my radar. But an end to stacks and stacks of picture books flowing through our house legitimately breaks my heart.
But let’s celebrate with some final curtain calls while it lasts, shall we?
The best ones from this week:
JOYFINDING | Oops. I just complained a lot. As always there was so much good. I get to make lots of fun decisions, too. Like:
- Tuna filling in my favourite hand-size nori. Delicious. Also delicious: my favourite oat muffins, snap peas, and an ice-cream sandwich.
- A week delayed, I enjoyed my annual The Kids are Back in School! meetup with a bestie at our favourite coffee shop.
- Visiting the Open House night at school; I got to sit in Levi’s pint-sized seat and left him a little note in his pencil case (he’ll get it today) and we slipped a note in Abby’s locker and left her a bonus message on her whiteboard.
- We are very minimal in terms of Halloween decor and activities, so our kids live vicariously through sightings of holiday gitch at Home Depot.
- The night sky. We got home late one evening and John showed the kids various constellations and snapped more great images of the heavens. Gorgeous.
Kids, work, home…the hours have continued to flow by, thankfully without any major catastrophe. I’ll call that a win.
Happy weekending friends. What are you most looking forward to in the week ahead? Do you ever suffer from decision fatigue where even little choices start to feel…overwhelming? What joyfinding have you done this week?