I run a decently tight ship. I love when people ask, "Where do you find the time to do THAT?" By THAT they could be referring to the matter I handled at work, or the fabulously crafted baby announcement I made, or the business I started, or the kickass pictures I took, or winning my fantasy football league four years out of five, or renovations I physically made to our home, or the resume I revamped for you, or the beautiful jewelry I designed, or the rockin' party I threw, OR MY BLOG ... you get the idea.
B.L. (before Leighton)I could absolutely pull off these feats while still finding time to cook, clean and help the people I love in my life when they need me.
I knew that Leighton's arrival would slow me down. And, it did. However, I had four months of maternity leave where work was not part of the equation (even though I kept one foot in the game but whatever) to figure out how to make it all work.
I initially went through the whole life as I knew it is so over and it sucks panic. Going back to work was a new brand of tough, but I enjoyed it (much more than I enjoyed the client meetings I attended ten days after giving birth just to prove my hard cored-ness). I need to work. I would evaporate if I weren't busy earning a living. Plus, I would need to curb the shopping, subsequently losing my self-proclaimed Superconsumer status and be forced to change my tagline. NOT HAPPENING.
Leighton is now seven months old and I feel great about the progress we've made as a family. Ryan cooks. YES. EVERY DAY. Lue's teeth are getting brushed again and the days where we almost completely forget to feed her are few and far between. Not only do I shower every day, but I also get dressed ... even on days where I don't ave any client meetings. Plus, I think today I may actually let the cleaning lady go. NO WAY.
SIDEBAR: I vow to fire the cleaning lady every week. She is a fine woman, but I have some issues. Among other things, she doesn't come at a consistent time (um, I work in my home), she can't remember to put anything back the way she found it after dusting, and she uses chemicals when I am not looking. Diluted bleach and alcohol are fine with me. Anything from Mrs. Meyers also passes muster. Still, she loves to grease and suds my house up with chemicals of which I just don't approve. It always looks great when she leaves, but Lei is getting around the house now and I mentally picture her ingesting pounds of chemicals over time - kind of like how they say the average person eats eight spiders a year or sleeps 25% of her life away. Which brings me to the realization that I'm only sleeping 10% of my life away these days and having to clean my own home from top to bottom will only increase that deficit. So, maybe she stays one more week.
Anyhoo, much of the panic I felt early on has subsided and I can say with full honesty and a straight face that I prefer this life to the one I had before Leighton. OH YES. There were a few pangs of regret, fear and doubt along the way. THERE. I SAID IT. I have come to grips with the perpetual optimization that comes with striving for greater efficiency every day.
I have a rolling "To Do" list and it never seems to dwindle. I have home, business, baby, marriage, travel, financial and other obligations swirling around me. Throw in buying gifts, sending cards, talking on the phone, expense reports, entertaining family, attending weddings and funerals, paying bills, sending our file to the accountant and getting gas and I am OUTTA TIME. I see now why people give money instead of time to charity.
SIDEBAR: Martha Stewart is detrimental to my health. She makes leading an impeccable life seem possible. As much as it hurts me to say it ... FUCK HER. I am always just a little bit disappointed in my daily achievements, plagued by the feeling that I could do more and do it better. Blaming Martha makes me feel better.
In the spirit of optimization I have passed the cooking responsibility to Ryan, am in last place in my fantasy football leagues, blog a few times each week rather than daily, put MEET THE FUSS on hold and have stopped beating myself up over not clearing the "To Do" list on a daily basis. I even have a bed time. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. Someday, I will do my expense reports. SIGH.
And, if I've promised to do something for you recently, please let this serve as a blanket (or lazy, half-ass) apology. I swear I will get to it, or return your email, or send your wedding present, or do whatever "it" is as soon as I possibly can.
Facing my sad little words of self-loathing spilled on the screen before me, I vow to clean out the regret and practice the fine art of letting go in yet another way. I will continue to eliminate things and plans I don't need to keep. I will continue to help others, but I must do it at my own pace. I will be kinder to myself along the way, which will allow me to enjoy my family that much more.
Please don't misunderstand; I love my life and savor every bit of craziness and overscheduling I throw at myself, but the pursuit of perfection is futile. Sometimes I just need to remind myself of the simple and lovely truth that my life is already as perfect as I could ever want it to be.
Is anyone out there feeling me? Please share. I love to feel enlightened by your experiences and more normal at the same time.