Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One Other Thing

I can't remember who it was that told us. No, yes I do. It was my brother-in-law Quinn, who has more balls in the air at any given time than I can count. When Ed graduated and started his career, Quinn told him something that a mentor had told him once. It was that, when you have a demanding job (like consulting, investment banking, law, etc.), you can do just one other thing. You can work and spend time with your family. OR you can work and go fishing. OR you can work and serve in the Church. OR you can work and sleep.

We believed him but didn't want to. Sure enough, that first year in New York, Ed worked and served in the Church. No family, no sleep. DEFINITELY no hobbies. The second year, too. After Ginger was born I told him we had to be his one other thing, so he asked to be released from his calling. We had him around a tiny bit more - I narrowly escaped a nervous breakdown, and he even slept a few hours about every other week.

My job's harder than his was or is now. Ask anyone, especially mothers. It is the ultimate challenge. And I'm finding too that I can be a mom and do just one other thing on the side...if that. I can be a mom and read a book. OR I can be a mom and blog. OR I can be a mom and follow a TV show. I dream of joining a book club but doubt I can keep the commitment. I can barely get my visiting teaching done, and I definitely can't keep on top of the laundry.

This is on my mind this week because I've had a shift. Blogging has been my thing for so long it's like second nature, and I have dozens of posts half-composed floating in my head at all times. Then 2 weeks ago, I got remotivated to get back on Weight Watchers track, including going to the gym as often as possible. So last week and this week exercising has been my other thing, with a near absence from blogging. The slow cooker posts don't count because I had pre-written those and scheduled them ahead of time to post each day. I miss it; hence this post. I see the end of October creeping up and wonder when I will get my Good Stuff piece done - maybe not in time. What about my Halloween post, and writing about my friends the Tanners coming to visit 2 weeks ago, and Dave coming to visit this week, and all the cute stuff Hazel is doing at preschool?

I don't know. Today gives me hope - I went to the gym AND wrote a post. Maybe there will be many bulleted list style posts in the future offering points without prose.

Maybe, just maybe, only because I am a superstar...maybe I can have two other things.

7 comments:

C said...

I struggle with this also. I often only have one other thing on the side after being a Mom, but I have found that some days (especially after I get into a routine with exercising, for example) I can shift what my side-thing is. One day I'm a Mom and I post a blog. The next day I'm a Mom and I get to read a small fraction of a book, or work on a craft, or something else that catchs MY attention. Some days I'm a Mom and I get to take a shower (that's not today, but I'm reading your blog). Some days I'm a Mom. The most important thing is to find a balance that works for you. I know you know that. ;) It's just comforting to know we're not in this alone-I'm sure most Moms have similar feelings.

Lindsay said...

I've also been trying to find the balance. There's a lot I want to do, and I only have time (and energy) to do so much. So I've done a lot of prioritizing lately. I still manage to be a mom and blog about 5 days a week, but that's partly because I consider blogging not only an outlet for my love of writing, but also a means of socializing (geeky, yes, but sometimes it's all I can do, and I crave interactions of some sort). It leaves less time to read the books I want to (which are many) and devote myself to other non-household projects, but they'll all get done, if slowly.

GR82BAMOM said...

I can totally relate, too. Finding a balance between all the roles that I currently fulfill is definitely not easy. I can only imagine it will get easier with time, but who knows? My life feels a bit more organized when I make the effort to prioritize. I just have to do the best that I can and make the best use of my time. I start to feel inadequate when I plan too many things all at once and fall short. I can’t spread myself too thin otherwise I neglect the most important aspects of my life, and that is when things in my life start going wrong. Some things just have to take a back seat momentarily while I tend to more pressing matters. Life happens. I have only just recently started reading blogs, and I am quite happy, as it inspires me in countless ways. I enjoy your blog as well as Lindsay's (and Emily's, Rachel's, Patricia's and Cherry's -did I leave anyone out?) and I do appreciate all the hard work. Do keep blogging, you guys, you’re my favorites.

Just Katy said...

I always find myself wishing I could have five things and feeling frustrated and scattered when I attempt it. What's really intimidating is I feel totally out of time now, with my work being so demanding, and I'm about to have a kid. I'm afraid kid+job is going to make me totally insane and even more of a hermit. But I don't want to let go of anything I do now.

By the way, my family is on a weight watchers kick. My mom has lost +20 lbs. my sister +15 and my dad +50. They swear by the point system.

Mo said...

I feel your pain - and the strain on your focus and time. I have found that when I am in full writing mode, my church callings, social life, and reading time suffer. Conversely, when any of the other demands on my time come up (from church responsibilities to sick kids to Dave's trips for work) my dissertation suffers. Even getting the family ready for a vacation sucks my capacity to do other things to virtual non-existence. (Thus the embarrassing month lapse on my own blog!) In short, I will gleefully read any and all posts you find time to share. And cheer you on from afar when life takes you away from your computer for a time. It sounds as though any respite from blogging will be for a fabulous cause!

Maren said...

Yes, you are a super-star. You can have two things, sometimes.

Many times each day I hear Michael Stipe singing in my head, "I am, I am, I am Superman, and I can do anything." It's usually when I am carrying two people up the stairs or leaving the house with 4 kids ON TIME for something, etc. Some days I don't get to those "other" things. It's okay. The quilts I want to make will still be there when I'm older. The dust will wait until I'm ready to wipe it away. The books will still be good when I get around to reading them. I'm still Superman.

MiaKatia said...

Sometimes I am a super star too and can do two other things, but sometimes I struggle with just the one basic thing of being a wife/mother. That is where I am right now, mostly because of the pregnancy. But I can't wait to get back to having a one other thing and I really can't wait for those super star days when I can manage two!

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