Reposted from something I wrote on the Forum... with some other things I've thought of since.
won't call them Resolutions, just to differentiate These Intentions from January's hopes.
And here in NYC, I think we are the latest in the nation in not going back to school until Thursday, September 9th. And then we have a two day week (half days for PreK and K) and then Monday off for a Muslim holiday. So it's a late, slow start. But I go back to work tomorrow. And while I'm sad about it, I'm very grateful for the summer off. A summer off from my job, anyway, since being home with two small children, especially one Tsunamelie, is not quite a vacation.
Anyway, I've been working hard towards a better school year after last year's nearly broke me. What are your goals for this school year? (Whether or not you have school aged children... as long as you feel that New School Year feeling.) My apologies to those who are already weeks into their school year! And to those that don't want to read this post, which looks a lot like a blog entry. I didn't intend it to me! But seriously? Last year? Sucked. Painfully.
1. Office workouts: I just bought an extra thick yoga mat so I can work out in my office at the end of my work day (which is luckily quite early, since I start early). It sounds crazy to be jumping up and down and doing push ups and squats in the middle of my medical office... but the reward is that I get home and it's DONE. And I didn't have to get up early. Last year I came home, hung out for a bit, prepared Calliope's dinner, then separated myself from the group and worked out while the nanny fed the babies. That was hard, mentally and emotionally. I'm hoping that without tempting reasons to dally (besides work), I will bust through that workout and get home and be PRESENT a whole lot earlier.
2. After school babysitters: Along those lines, I hired babysitters to pick up Calliope from school three days a week, even though we are in the same building. So that I'm not frantically finishing work while listening to her prattle on with half an ear. Or sometimes even having to have her in my office while seeing a patient -- nothing like doing a urine pregnancy test with my four year old next to me. I'm sharing the sitters so the price isn't too high and if necessary (or even desirable), I can probably increase this to five days a week.
3. Freedom Fridays: I'm planning to have the sitter stay late 1-2 Fridays a month so that i can go out after work -- again, very early -- and go out and see a movie. By myself. Or run an errand and take myself to dinner. Freedom and the ability to NOT TALK to anybody for a few hours!
4. Special Time Recommitment: For all those extra days... I'm really trying to commit to at least 10 minutes of Special Time with each kid, most days if not every day. Maybe less time for Amelie -- who has a short attention span -- than for Calliope, who is starting to like mutually enjoyable activities like board games and puzzles. I KNOW that in the long run, if I invest this energy in them, it makes my life SO much easier in the form of increased cooperation. Hard to remember in the moment.
5. Tidiness: I am a person who thrives on tidiness. A cluttered home makes me stressed and unfocused. But it's so hard to stay on top of it. So I did tons of decluttering and purging this summer and I'm hoping hoping hoping this results in a home that is easier to keep tidy. Love my new label maker!
6. Mindfulness: I'm hoping to practice meditation for a couple minutes, several times a day. Just to stop and notice my breath for a minute. The idea of committing to a longer practice makes me instantly stressed but focusing on my breath for my inhale/exhale cycles? I think even I can do that.
And the new things I've decided to add to my list, since I find myself working on them:
7. Don't sit down until the dishes are done! It's so hard to muster up the energy to attack the dishes once the kids are in bed but resting on the couch while knowing the dishes are waiting for me is the worst so... just don't do it. Push through. Getting it all done feels so good. Tonight, admittedly not a work day, the kitchen was done and I was showered and pajamed by 7:15... that felt pretty great.
8. Strive to minimize screen time when I'm with the girls. It's not like I'm sitting around checking Facebook during my time with them, usually, but I find myself responding to text messages way more than I'd like. I'm trying to just put it down, glance at text messages as they come in without actually picking up the phone, and only responding if it's truly urgent. My kids deserve my attention. And if it's truly urgent, I apologize and explain, at least to Calliope, why I'm texting. I'm already looking forward, with dismay, to the day when she is the one that won't put down the phone.
And as an update... I've done two office workouts. The super thick yoga mat is an adjustment, for sure. My workouts are a lot harder with it -- way more energy to jump off that super squishy surface. But it's AWESOME getting home with that already accomplished. Except that I am getting home at 4:30 and then I need to start bedtime an hour later! I need to be disciplined about starting right at 3:05, as soon as the upper school is done for the day. It's rushed, not to mention, no time for Special Time.
And another update...
9. Read books! I've been reading a bunch this summer and it's so delicious. The best feeling in the world. Decadent. I'm reading The Invisible Bridge right now (in Kindle format, on my phone, because I always have my phone with me... all about removing barriers to my goals) and loving it. I also read and loved Station Eleven, The Rosie Project and the Rosie Effect this summer. When I'm reading, I feel whole.
And the don't sit down until the dishes are done goal is awesome. It's challenging, but when the kitchen is clean and I'm able to relax on the couch at 7 pm, I feel like a million bucks.