The day started with the expiration of our hamster, Rhino.
This morning, he wasn't.
I waited until the kids were home from school to tell them. Lots of tears ensued, followed by the Circle of Life talk.
"Wino (I love that Finn calls him that because he can't say his "Rs" correctly) is in heaven, wight?"
He thinks for a moment. "So he's playing wif Coalie? And Yellowy? And Taily-Tail? And Harry I, II, II and IV??" (our kitty, favorite chicken, leopard gecko and a series of Betta fish, respectively).
I grimace. "Yes, they are all together now."
Greta took Rhino's passing in stride, for the most part. She cried for a while, then wiped her tears away and said, "even though it makes me sad when they die, I'm glad we have pets."
My days are jam packed. My business is busy, and the kids' schedules are hectic. I hit the ground running at 7am every morning, and usually don't get to bed until after 11pm each night.
Every inch of today was full. With both kids in school until 2pm, I spent the morning delivering local orders, catching up on work emails and going to several stores to buy materials and office supplies. Finn got home first, and I forced myself to carve out some time and play a game or two. Greta came home at 3:30pm and found me where I usually am at that time: scrambling to finish orders and get to the post office by 5pm.
Every day feels just like the last one. There is often some unexpected hurdle (like the death of a hamster), but for the most part every day unfolds just like the one before. And there is never enough time.
I keep waiting for the panic monkey to strike. Last year at this time I was a wreck; I felt like I wasn't measuring up on any front. I almost shut down the business. I almost stopped blogging. Everything was so dramatic.
This year feels different, and I've been trying to figure out why. Part of it, I think, is that I adjusted my expectations.
I go easy on myself about things like laundry and housework. I'm asking for help from family, friends and babysitters instead of resentfully doing it all myself. When doubt and shame creep in and whisper to me that I'm not spending enough time with my kids or the house looks like a tornado hit, I tell myself that I simply don't have time to listen. I know I'm doing the best I can, dammit, and I'm too busy to feel badly about any of it. So there.
I have my moments, to be sure. There are times I feel like my head is going to explode: when I'm trying to get orders done and I have to get up every three minutes to break up a fight, adjust a channel, find a lost toy or fetch a snack, I can get resentful. But it doesn't last long.
I haven't posted since last Thursday - haven't even thought of posting - and that's a long time for me. I told myself I wasn't going to post just for the sake of posting, but I need to decompress, think things through. I need to stop, once in a while, and writing a few words on my little acre of the internet helps me do just that.
Thank you for listening. I'm grateful for this space where I can just ramble, unwind, decompress. Eventually I'll get back into writing; I'm not worried about it.
Everything works itself out, I'm learning, if I can just be patient enough to let it.