Monday, October 10, 2016

Forty Two Years

If the kids can get age related posts, then surely I can too.

So I turned forty-two. Which sounds shockingly old. Or at least, shockingly middle aged. At some point in the last few years my age started sounding just completely implausible. I don't quite understand how the number got so high. I realized that it's statistically likely that my life is about half over, maybe even a little more. Of course I hope I have more years left than that.

Crazy, too, to think that maybe all the best things have already happened? I grew up and left home -- well, the growing up part often sucked but leaving home was an unmitigated blessing. I lived in California for a while, then New York. And mainly, of course, I had my two beautiful babies.

So I'm pleased to report that I am enjoying life way more than I did last school year. Thank god. I'm actually pretty damn happy. I'm trying to remember to take a breath and look around and remember that this is it. This is my life. It's about as good now as it will ever be. I don't want to always be rushing to get to the next thing. I want to enjoy right now.

I had my second "Freedom Friday" this past week -- I had a sitter take the kid home and another sitter put both kids to bed. I went to the movies with a new colleague friend and unfortunately the movie we picked was seriously dark and depressing. But then we walked around on lively Smith Street, after dark, and went to a hopping small plates type restaurant and had to shout, just a little bit, to hear each other, which was pretty tiring but also felt a little thrilling. Boring old me, out on a Friday night!

I'm definitely more patient with Calliope than a year ago. I yell a lot less. And I'm appreciating Amelie more -- usually -- than I was a few weeks ago.  Last night I tried a suggestion I read recently, of lying down with Calliope at bedtime, in the dark, and asking if she has any worries. Apparently kids will spill stuff at that time of the day that somehow never comes up at other times. And sure enough, Calliope shared that she was worried about someone stealing her! Poor puss. Thank you teachers for teaching her about Stranger Danger, a mostly invented worry (kids are generally kidnapped by noncustodial family members, NOT by strangers).  She also worries about me leaving her somewhere for a play date without making sure she is comfortable first. I'm hoping that by doing this on a regular basis, we will get in the habit of sharing before the big scary worries start (mean girls, body image issues, drugs, etc).

My apartment is staying tidier than it used to. Which makes me more zen. And I'm still loving my food subscription service, even though I spend more time cooking and washing dishes than when I use my own super simple recipes.

I'm even doing better at work. I don't let myself relax and do my own things until all the work is done. Except for a short break to read the SMC Forum over lunch. Everyone needs a break sometimes. Working out in my office at the end of the school day is mostly going well, also. The times that I've thought -- oh, I'll just scoot home now, when traffic is light, and work out at home -- mostly haven't gone well. It's a lot harder to work out at home with Amelie around. She doesn't seem to appreciate how I'm a better mother after I get my workout in.

I wasn't watching any TV for the month of September and it's amazing how much more sleep I got and how much free time I felt like I had. I started to watch again this month and suddenly I was getting to bed a lot later. I think I've got to make a rule that I only watch on weekends.

The big challenge for me is my nighttime eating. I crave sweets and snacking in general when I'm tired. Some nights I'm just exhausted and I just want that feeling of being filled up. And then I feel guilty and mad at myself in the morning. Not a great way to start the day. I mostly don't snack on really bad things, but even dried fruit is sugar and not good for my PCOS-y body. Also, with both my parents dying in their sixties of cancer despite not having significant risk factors, I worry about longevity. I want to be around for my kids for a very long time. And sugar is the devil, I'm convinced. Trying to figure out the key for this. Mostly it seems like fresh fruit and a dash of heavy cream. And even more than that, getting enough sleep the previous night so I don't reach that point of exhaustion the next day. Simple solutions are definitely not easy!