Monday, August 16, 2004

overcoming inertia

Ever since we got home from our vacation, I've been vaguely unsettled, dispirited, amotivated. I didn't want to do anything other than what I absolutely had to, and so, I didn't. The necessities got done, but little else.

Today was looking to be just like that, too: hours spent reading in the blogosphere and elsewhere online, with breaks for feeding the kids and ferrying them home from school, etc etc etc. I know very well that nose-to-monitor is a symptom of minor depression for me, but I also know that I'm a few feet from the edge of that pit, not about to fall in. It could go either way, depending on a lot of things, only some of which I control, like sleep.

So, today: have been home for weeks and hardly cleaned at all. I'm obsessively good at clutter patrol, but actual cleaning? Not so much. Days like today it's a blessing when a chatty girlfriend or two calls, giving me an excuse to putter around the house doing actual cleaning while I'm on the phone. So, stuff got done today. Amazing, inconsequential stuff, like clearing off the junk from the dining room table, which should've been done weeks ago. Ah, that's better!

Then, having cleaned the bathrooms and dusted the furniture and various other random tasks, I actually played some computer games with DS2 for nearly an hour, and gave DD a piano lesson, too. [Oh, the horro of that piano! It needs tuning, or perhaps euthanasia. It will have to do, for now.] I also sat (not nearly patiently enough) with DS1 while he was doing his math homework, and quizzed him on his spelling words (piece o' cake), and then told him he had to earn his computer-game time by doing his reading. That was a stroke of genius, because he did 48 minutes of reading.

By the end of the day, I had spent "quality time" with all three kids, and the difference in demeanor was noticeable. DS2 has been whiney and oppositional lately, but this evening he was a cheerful little guy. And DD, who normally goes into full scale diva mode when told it's bedtime, was cuddly and affectionate.

This isn't rocket science here. I know my kids are much happier when I give them more of me, just lately I haven't felt like there's enough of me for even, well, me. Today was a day when I just shelved that feeling and made the effort to be with them, and it really paid off.

Later, my dear sister called and made me feel a bit better about being so far away from the beach: the weather has been really cold there, no beach weather at all. So even if I were still there, I wouldn't be able to hit the beach anyway. It helps. It sounds really silly, but reality checks are necessary when your brain keeps insisting it wants a fantasy existence.

I think I've made whipped cream to have with/for dessert every day for the last week. It's very cool having cream puffs in the freezer. I just pop them in the toaster oven for a few minutes and they defrost and crisp right up. Simply amazing. I love being able to make DS1 so happy, too. I love treating all my kids, which is why I get so annoyed when they act up in public (as DD did in Border's on Friday) or are just plain mean. How can I do nice things for them if they don't appreciate or even acknowledge that these are special things, things they wouldn't necessarily get to have or do? I see elements of being spoiled in my kids, but overall they're pretty well-grounded.

I just noticed the brightness of this monitor makes it impossible to actually see the keyboard (which is black with skinny white labels on the keys) if I ever need to look at it (I was trying to find the hypen key, since I decided well-grounded needed a hypen after I typed it). Fortunately I've been touch-typing for eons now. Yes, eons, so it doesn't often happen that I need to look at the keyboard, it's just odd having to wait that extra second or two for my pupils to expand a bit so I can see the labels on the keys. I imagine I've tiny pinpoint pupils now, staring at this huge glowing white box a mere foot-and-a-half away from my face.

No response from the freelance job boss yet. Sigh.
I opted in for another month of MILC over at LCL. I'm struggling with that decision, too, even though it has already been made. I should be working for pay. I should be spending my writing hours earning those big freelance bucks. But with the freelance job up in the air, I don't know what's going on. If the freelance gig is over, then I'll quit LCL and get to work on MILC in earnest; if the freelance job is going to continue at all, I can keep nursing MILC along at LCL until I can focus on it exclusively.

Big plans, no motivation, too much inertia.

Honestly, being less hard on myself: now is not the time to be making a huge to-do list for between now and the end of the year. School has barely started, DS2 won't start until Sept 1. I need to wait until they are settled to see what kind of time I have to devote to my own projects. I can wait a few more weeks before deciding anything, especially since my goals are my own and there isn't anyone who's going to assign me a failing grade or even give me a disgusted look if I don't make them.

It felt good today getting things done and doing things with the kids. I need to remember that good feeling and let it carry me, let it persuade me to make this an everyday occurrance, not the anomaly that today was. Typing that, I realized that the kids always know when I'm even slightly depressed. They don't push me for too much, then. But whenever I offer any part of myself, they are always there, eager for it. That makes me sad. I wish I could do better. I can resolve to do better but I always seem to slide back into some minor abyss.

Maybe, as DH would likely say, my thyroid meds need adjusting again. *sigh*

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