But now it's been about a month since the girls started school. I am thrilled (and relieved) that they seem to be happy... from the very, very limited amount they share. Amelie tells me basically nothing but skips off happily to the van pick-up point every day so I think she must be happy at school (or else she would be reluctant to leave me). Calliope tells me a little bit about the games she plays at recess. And that they have started knitting, which she loves.
So now I can focus on myself a bit more. As you know I am looking for paid work. That is going slowly. I'm getting a few minutes here or there from the new job. I have a lot of free time but it fills itself up surprisingly easily! I am loving having so much time alone. So far, anyway.
Here are some goals I am working on:
- Meditating every day. I'm using an app called Calm. The meditation only lasts ten minutes but it's surprisingly hard to fit it in, probably because I wait until the last minute. Not because I don't like it, but just because I'm procrastinating on the computer. It is likewise surprsingly hard for my brain to focus on it. My head feels like a hyperactive puppy, hopping around all over the place.
- Spanish practice every day. Mostly this is Duolingo, ten minutes a day. I just started private tutoring once a week at a local coffee shop with a fellow parent at the Waldorf school. It was fun but suprisingly (there's that word again!) exhausting. I have more sympathy for how tired my kids must be after school.
- Exercise. I was exercising at home in Brooklyn, too, but now I am doing a Piloxing (Pilates plus boxing) twice a week. It kicks my butt but I feel SO great afterwards! And now that I am getting a very little bit better at the coordination aspect, it is really fun. The other women are much better at it than I am but I laugh a lot and don't care. My at-home workouts are at least never cut short as they were in NY, due to time constraints in the mornings before work.
- Eating. I've been doing Intuitive Eating forever BUT I have a very bad habit of eating unconsciously at night. I don't eat a ton and I mostly eat healthy but still. I know that eating because I am tired or burned out is counterproductive. So starting on my birthday, October 4th, I have committed to not eating while reading or looking at a screen. It's not easy -- last night, especially, I dearly wanted to snack on Goldfish and read. But because I had made this committment -- and update a friend daily on my progress -- I consciously laid down my phone while I had a snack. I am hoping that as I continue to work on self care, and as the days go by without indulging my habit, it will get easier.
- Sleep. I feel like this is the mother of all self care. Getting enough sleep is critical for just about everything. My doctor at home thought I might have gained weight due to stress and I know a lot of managing stress is just getting enough sleep. So I am aiming to sleep 8-9 hours a night. My kids wake up early, even on weekends, so that means going to bed early. Not easy but now that I am getting more time to myself during the day -- a lot more -- it's a bit easier.
- Blogging. I am trying to blog at least five days a week. Still far short of goal but that's my hope. I feel really good when I write every day. The ideas are always jostling around in my head. I hate for them to die before I put them down on paper. I'd love to write more about the experience of moving to Mexico -- and even have lots of notes -- but today is never the day to catch up on that.
- Parenting. I am trying very, very hard to remain calm and not yell. This is a continual work in progress for me. When my kids don't listen I tend to get very frustrated. And my father was very impatient and I know I have that tendency as a result. And Calliope has an incredible tendency to tune me out... even when she is looking right at me. Sometimes even when she has verbalized understanding. But in my logical brain, I know that she is not doing this on purpose. So I have to keep working on finding ways to engage her cooperation. And one of those ways is making sure we have plenty of quality time to strengthen our relationship. (And we already have a list of morning chores and evening chores in the bathroom, and she lays out her clothes for the next morning each night... but somehow this doesn't work as well as it did in Brooklyn.)
Off to meditate before I pick up Amelie from the van!