…but what is it?
See, I have this list of things I should get done:
- Figure out what to do when my car lease ends
- Sort through my clothes
- Get some new clothes
- Sort out the paperwork on that time that woman hit us in February
- Polish grandma’s silver
- Update my accounts
- Send last year’s holiday cards (they’re postcards, with AJ and my photo on them)
- Finish decorating my office
- Fill in AJ’s baby book
And that list stays virtually the same. Week after week. Month after month. Yes, now, year after year.
It wasn’t always like this. I used to be quite capable of mapping out the projects, getting through them, staying on top of things. There was a period of months when my ex and I did nothing but remodel. 6:00 in the morning to night, every weekend. During graduate school, I maintained straight “A”s while working at a crisis intervention center at least 50 hours a week. I enjoyed that focus, being able to immerse myself in whatever had my attention.
Then, I had a kid.
And lost my mind.
Six weeks after AJ was born, I had a question for my OB. “Can you ask Kerry,” I said, as the receptionist scribbled on her message pad, “When AJ was born…” (more scribbling)”…did my brain come out with the placenta?” We had a good laugh about that. It still felt true.
I have realized since that my brain is still right where it was, in the space between my ears. It just doesn’t work the same.
Things take forever.
Like tonight, when it took me fully three hours to order a couple of things online. In my former strategic planning life, I would have allowed 30 minutes max for this task. These days, though, I know I am not so quick to map out the options and make a decision.
Of course, tonight, I was also doing several loads of laundry, having to repeatedly settle a little guy going through a growth spurt (read, antsy and exhausted at the same time), and watching back seasons of Peep Show on Hulu (no TV since 2005 = fun viewing to catch up on).
There just isn’t time for projects. The little guy gets off to bed and I am spent and a weekend project is not going to happen in a weekend.
Maybe not ever.
I am coming to terms with this. It is freeing. Things that need to get done do, somehow. The rest gets figured out. Or not.
And I am embracing my priorities. Like tonight, when my little squirmy monkey said, “No, mama, stay with me,” and pulled on my arm. I had so much to do but instead let him pull me down next to him and tell me about his plans to wow everyone with his new swimming goggles in the wading pool tomorrow.
Which might seem like procrastination but is really a new kind of focus that is at once expansive and even more single-minded than my former house remodeling, graduate-school acing self.
The silver, the closet, the box of photos and baby memories will all be there tomorrow, next week, in 2020. That story about the goggles, my little boy’s three year old dreams, will not.