My rhythm in the last week and a half has changed, and my mind is strained. I’m forgetting things, mis-speaking and generally feeling like I’m losing it. Especially when my 2 1/2 year old says: “Mama, you mean dishwasher, not washing machine.”
I started part-time work again for NPR from my kitchen table in the desert. Every week-day morning. I’m doing what I did for four years (and change), but it was two years ago. (Here is a glimpse of my fancy office.)
And I’m currently not getting much sleep. CP still wakes two-three times a night, and CM moved into his homemade bunk-bed — and new bedroom — Sunday. He’s thrilled, but has been getting up in the middle of the night searching for me: “Mama? Mama?”
So it feels hard. Really hard.
A. asked me what I thought would give once I started working again. Here’s what I’ve noticed so far: baking (probably better there isn’t a stash of cookies and muffins in the house anyway), phone calls with friends and family (they were few and far between anyway), exercise (though this is a priority, so the past two mornings I got up at 6 a.m. to run), blogging (rectifying that now) and playdates.
But those are just activities.
What I forgot was how much energy it takes to think. How, if my mind is focused on editing, I forget to return a library book. (We currently owe 50 cents.) How I couldn’t remember today if I’d signed CM out when I picked him up from school. How I forgot to put my wedding ring back on after pottery on Sunday. And I took both sets of car keys with me to the studio, leaving A. stranded with both boys when our swamp cooler stopped working in 110 degree weather. Yeah, that happened.
I didn’t suspect my mind would give.
At the end of the day, I collapse into bed because that kind of thinking — editing and writing headlines — saps me. It requires conditioning, like anything else, and I’m out of shape.
But I know I’m lucky to work part-time from home. It’s ideal, really. And the work is getting easier each day. My friend and co-worker said it’s like riding a bike, and it is. I am thrilled to be working again for an organization (and people) I love, and A. and I agree that I couldn’t say “no” (and I didn’t want to). I’m settling into a new rhythm, and I know — I know — I’ll get there. But man, I hope I get more sleep soon.