Today I received an email announcing that the iPad will be at my local Apple store on Saturday. One friend announced his excitement on Facebook when his pre-ordered one had shipped. And ELLE sent me a reader survey asking me whether I would forgo the print version for the iPad one that they’re launching.
My answer is no. I will not be spending my reading hours basking in the glow of an iPad. I love magazines for a variety of reasons but one of the latest greatest reasons is that they give me a break from the eye fatigue that my computer’s LCD glow gives me. There is nothing better for me than to spend an evening in bed surrounded by kitties and reading a magazine. It gives my brain a break, calms me and prepares me to sleep.
Technology can be good, and who knows, I may have an iPad one day. But I know that I will enjoy my favorite magazines the old school way—printed on paper.
I’m always amazed how periods of great stress can help me see things with such clarity. It isn’t the life altering events such as a death or a divorce that I am talking about, but the everyday grind to seem to crescendo like a great piece of music. The times in our lives when everyone, everything needs to be done. Right. Now.
2010 so far has been one of those periods. (I’m happy it hasn’t included those life altering ones since I’ve been there, done both and lived through them.) Lots of work, lots of baby growing and lots of juggling. I’m not a Master Juggler— one ball always seems to not get the lift it needs.
That ball is usually an important one. And lately, it’s either me, or M., or both. That’s unfortunate because if I can’t give attention to myself and my husband then I’m really not being a good mom and role model to Baby A. So, it’s during these times that I always seem to realize how off my life-work balance is and how it always seems to be off. I seem to be an all-or-nothing type of girl, even though I never used to be. At least, I don’t think I was.
Despite my frazzled disposition, I’m grateful for these times because they make me step back, take a breath, and make long-term changes that hopefully will ease the stress during the next busy period.
Last month when I was in Chicago, M. joined the gym near our apartment. He also signed me up. This isn’t a bad thing; it’s just the opposite. Belonging to a gym and actually going is part of our make up. Besides writing about exercise, I actually like to partake in it. Without it, I am not sure I would have survived my divorce, ran a half marathon on a whim, or lost 50 of the 60 pounds I gained during pregnancy. Since we moved back to California, I haphazardly would take walks or go to the track near our house for a workout. Honestly, life seemed a bit harder because exercise wasn’t a regular occurrence.
I have been a gym member for a month and last night was the first time I stepped through the doors. The proverbial seal was broken. It was great. I felt great. And everything seemed right in the world. Except for the fact that I’m a bit out of shape…but not for long.
M. is traveling this week and I have a confession to make. I can’t wait—not in the I-can’t-stand-to-be-around-him way because I will miss him terribly, but in the this-only-child-really-needs-some-time-to-herself way.
One of the things that I’ve had the most difficulty with since becoming a mom is striking the balance between the needs and wants of my family and the needs and wants of me. (What woman hasn’t?) As Baby A gets older, he seems to need more from me (a mommy who makes the pain go away, a playmate, a teacher) and M, like everyone, needs love and attention. Two things I haven’t been good about providing lately.
It’s because I don’t juggle well. I don’t juggle working, parenting, being a wife and being me well. I have a hard time asking for time alone because I feel guilty asking someone, anyone, to watch A. This includes M. Even though he is the one telling me that I need to speak up, I still feel bad since he works hard all day, all week. Why should I ask him to take his down time to watch A? He’s exhausting. But because I don’t, I won’t, do this; everyone ends up suffering. I know this and I still have a difficult time. So instead, I stress out and allow anxiety to get the best of me until I can re-boot.
There are only a few times that I am able to do that— when there are no major deadlines looming and I can concentrate on being a wife and mom (this doesn’t happen often anymore) and when M. goes away. This may seem strange since all the care-taking then falls on me, but here’s why M.’s traveling schedule gives me a break. Currently, I feel as someone always needs something from me every time I turn around. This may not be the case, but this is how I feel. The times that M. is gone that is one less being who needs me and my choices become less in the do-I-do-this-or-do-that game that I tend to live my life by.
I’ll miss seeing him in the morning and at night. I’ll miss spending the weekend with him. I’ll miss the way he seems to make everything more fun. But for the days that he is away, I hope to choose me.