Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reality Check

I don't know about you but as much as I try for it to be otherwise, winter always makes me feel less productive. It seems like everything you do in winter is a hassle. Just the act of getting the kids out the door takes twice as long with ski pants, boots, jackets, mitts that are often missing or left in the car, hats, neck warmers. This winter thus far has been atypically warm but the hassles still exist.

I lead a complicated life, as most of us do, but a few changes in scheduling this year seemed to have increased the complications. I have my children more days a week. It being swim meet season, this means I also have them irregular weekends while their father is away at meets or coaching in town meets. My kids also are attending two different schools this year because middle school starts at grade 5 in the French Immersion program so that means my daughter is at a different school this year.

On top of it all, at work we are in a transition year. It is the last year for two of the programs I've been working with for the last 9 years and our new Baccalaureate program is in it's second year. This means I teach one of my courses 5 times over the academic year because my course runs this year in all three programs.  Because one of the programs runs on a different term schedule, I am never teaching the same material at the same time to any group. Half the time I don't know what I'm teaching, what stories I've told what group and what worksheets I've completed and what I haven't. I rely on my students to tell me. Presently I am in the classroom with 4 classes this term and am working with approximately, 300 students. I operate week by week on good weeks. Usually it is day by day.

It means I'm finding I have to let go of my Type A need to be everything to everyone, be perfect and show up to everything I want to do. It simply isn't realistic or fair to the kids and my sanity to try any more.

I rely on my parents a lot when it comes to the kids and getting me to work on time and allowing me to full fill my obligations there, and I am thankful they are willing and helpful. But I suffer a lot of guilt over what I feel are my constant requests for assistance. One and a half years to go and I have a 12 year old. I'm already prepping her psychologically to be prepared to be taking the city bus to and from school when the time comes.

And I miss my two hour workouts. A lot. That is one thing that has had to be sacrificed in favour of simplifying my life. I'm exercising like a "normal" person right now. I can rarely get to the gym during work hours these days. I would love to be bike commuting all winter. I've slowly been prepping myself to start doing that for the last 3 years. Two years ago I bought goggles and outdoor pants. Last year I bought the bike mitts. This year I bought the balaclava and a night light. Little by little I get ready. Now if only I could buy the time. Right now I have one day a week I can reasonably commute and this is on Tuesday when I have no classes and the kids are with their father so I don't have to get them to school. 

My winter commute time is about 40 minutes on average -- compared to spring and fall when it is 30 minutes. And that is just the ride time.  That doesn't included the bike storage and the shower and change time pre and post rides which is also significantly longer when all the gear is considered. When I teach class at 10:00 and drop my kids at school at 8:30, there just isn't enough time for a winter commute. 

So I have to be satisfied with half hour workouts, an hour at most, and skating with my kid down the river path has to count as a workout even though I barely break a sweat. And I'm despising the bike trainer beyond measure this winter. I'm ready to throw it in a snowbank -- if there were any snowbanks this winter that is. I have to accept my current state of non-competitiveness. That is what is realistic.

This all means that Actif Epica is not going to happen, as much as I might like it to. I can afford a few hours on the day to volunteer because that is what is realistic. It's not the fitness required for it, even with scaled back workout time, I'm still pretty fit. It is the detail required to organize myself to be prepared. The gear. The packing. The food planning. And the four hour training rides that I just can't do right now because the kids are here a lot on weekends and can't be left alone.

And the Barn race, which is today, couldn't happen either. And it looks very very cool. 

And then there is everything else: President of Tribalistic Triathlon, blog writing as infrequently as it occurs (which is an act of relaxation), the course I am taking has homework, my kids have homework, and getting my novel ready to publish on Kindle which has it's own frustrations. But this stuff is important to me and who I am. And you have no idea how much I would like to be writing something new. 

The latest book publishing frustration being readying the manuscript for upload. Microsoft Word formatting makes me want to punch the computer screen sometimes. It is worse with Microsoft Word for Mac. I can't seem to change the font size of a couple of individually selected words without it changing the entire document. Frustrating. And the Kindlegen program for Mac is a command line tool program. I have so much to learn and don't know who to ask. 

So thus is the state of things right now. Gosh there were two days this week when I couldn't even get to the store to restock the milk. We just did without.  My daughter just walked in and told me the white milk is out again. Such is my life. 


Terri said...

I hear ya...

Keep up the good work. :)

On the bright side, in a year and a half you'll have a 12-yr old. Not that you'll have any more time... But you will have a built-in babysitter.

Kim said...

Yep, that's a big part of the problem. Sitting around doing nothing and can't leave the kids alone. 1.5 years, will go by in a blink of an eye.

mélanie said...

deep breaths....
and a few drinks...

check this out


Kim said...

Yep, that's it and that's great Mel. It is pretty much exactly like that. Thanks for sharing. :-)

Lisa said...

Chin up... I hear ya on the craziness we all call life...

You are strong and resilient and despite the mountain of stuff you have to do this, too, will pass..

Thinking of you..