Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sorry, so sorry

Dear blog, if there is anyone still out there,

Once again, I apologize for neglecting you. If it helps, I have a plan for regular updates now. You see, I’ve been in a transition period. Since we last talked, my baby has gone off to first grade, and I have come to a new phase in my life.

I’ve been working out a routine, and sort of feeling my way through the days to see what I really want to commit to and what I want to let slide. I know myself—if I don’t commit to certain things and get them into a routine, I won’t do them. And I’m ready to commit to blogging once a week or so. Maybe more—we’ll see.

I’m curious if anyone is even out there anymore. If you are, thank you for your loyalty.

So, this new phase is nice. As I had predicted, I do like it. But some things have surprised me. Here is a list of things that haven’t surprised me about being home alone without kids all day:

1. I didn’t cry when the little pickle went off for his first day. I’m aware that some would think I’m a heartless mom for not being sad at this point. But he was ready, I was ready, what was there to cry about? I did not feel nostalgic or miss him or worry at missed opportunities. We just finished a year of hanging together for most of the day (except for when he was at kindergarten) and we had a good time. I have no regrets.

2. I find plenty to do. (I knew I would.) The trick is fitting it all in! The big thing right now is studying for the GRE. After I take it, I will write a few papers and complete my application. Then I will try to squeeze in another independent study class before May so I can renew my teacher’s license.

And then there are all the little things. Weeding the yard. Pulling up the bathroom linoleum and picking new paint. Choir. Spanish class. Errands. Visiting Teaching. Teaching ESL. Preparing den meetings. And (this is really a last, last priority) maybe even cleaning the house.

3. The days go by too fast. Really.

Things that surprised me:

1. I feel nervous, checking around me regularly—aren’t I supposed to be doing something, checking on someone?

This makes me restless and want to call people to meet me for lunch. I’m not lonely, just a little uncomfortable not checking in with people.

2. It’s hard to get used to. I get out of the shower and have to remind myself several times that I don’t need to rush to get dressed and open the door to stop the fight that has begun while I was unavailable.

3. I still feel guilty taking a nap.

So that’s my life these days. Oooh, one of the side benefits is that I have been finally catching up on some reading. I’ll do a book report sometime soon.


Jennifer B. said...

What a milestone!

I found this especially interesting because my youngest goes to Pre-K in a couple of weeks. He'll be gone from 8-1. What will that be like?

Good luck with your studying!

Christopher Bigelow said...

Geez, I wish I had some positive life change like this that I knew was coming. All I see on the horizon is another 30 years of unrelieved corporate work, if I'm lucky.

Are you all better from your mysterious illness yet?

FoxyJ said...

I'm still reading :) My older one is starting first grade next week and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the idea of how much free time I'll have (granted I still have my 3 year old, but he's a lot more calm and independent). Good luck!

Barbara Bakes said...

I deal with some of the same feelings. Yeah for Spanish class! It's 9:30 - 11 now. See you in September!

Kristi Stevens said...

I'm still here. I still have a few years until I'm home alone all day but it sounds nice. It will be great to hear from you more regularly.


Wm Morris said...

I use an RSS reader and have subscribed to your blog feed. Whenever you post it pops up in Google Reader, and I celebrate another post from Darlene. No impatient checking in on the blog. No thoughts of oh, she's abandoned it. Your posting can ebb and flow with the rest of your life and it's no problem. In terms of commitment to blogging, I've found that it does no good to set goals for myself for frequency of posting. What provokes me to post is engaging in the reading and thinking and conversation that leads to me wanting to express myself via my blog. And that is what this new phase of your life can possibly give you -- more time to read and think and converse and, sometimes, write.

Joey/Denny/Emma said...

I'm still here, too. Always love reading your posts.

Anonymous said...

I'm still here reading (I think that's been painfully obvious.)

Regarding your FB post, back ages ago when I took the GRE, I *think* I managed to get above the 50th percentile in the math part and I was very proud of that.

I also took a practice GRE for the literature one (while we were living in Amman and Dean worked at a center that helped prep Jordanian kids to come to college in the States) and it was demoralizing: it turned out I had memorized very few facts in college. After taking the test, I made a long list of all the books I needed to read and things I needed to learn, but since by then I'd already graduated, it was actually demoralizing and I think it put me *off* reading for several years. I'm now back to reading some (usually if I do read, it's while I'm nursing the baby) by just letting myself read whatever I want to. And I've also consoled myself that although I may not have memorized anything in college, I did acquire (I hope) some writing skills and analytical skills.

Have fun with your new freedom, and thanks for the description of how it might feel--if and when that day ever comes (I'm not sure how much homeschooling is in my future. This year I won't have any of my kids in homeschool, but that could change in the future.)

Louise Plummer said...

I'm aboard.

Tyler said...

Still here. Like Wm., Google Reader's kept me in your loop.

Darlene said...

Thanks, guys, for not forgetting me!

Chris--yes, I'm better. Much better--only very occasional bad days now. I doubt we'll ever know what it was. I'll never take health for granted again. It's changed a lot of things for me--my tolerance for aggresive rides at Lagoon (way down--why would anyone shake up their bodies if they don't have to?), my tolerance for watching violence on TV (why make my stomach all anxious? Is that entertainment?) etc.

And thanks, Jen, FoxyJ, Barbara, Kristy, William, Zina, Tyler and Louise! I feel so loved!

Marj said...

Some days there is so much to do (weeding is a full time job itself) that I think wow, the kids are coming home already? And then other days it is just too quiet. And kind of lonely. Perhaps I will call you to do lunch on those days. But you've got a lot on your plate it sounds like.

Darlene said...

Anytime, Marj. I LOVE to do lunch.