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Independent Rhythm

We have one more full week of Adam being gone, and then he'll be home. As much as I miss him (and I do miss him, very much) I've never been one to let emotions keep me from functioning, so I settled into a pattern of independence pretty quickly. The show must go on, as there's a Small Person depending on me, and tasks have been piling up.

Weekdays (and Drill weekends) are pretty much the same all the time, whether he's here or not - breakfast for Brooklyn and I, then either running errands or staying home to clean/do laundry/play (that's her contribution), depending on the day's needs. Although, with only needing to feed two people instead of three, we've been able to stay home every other day and only had to make a couple of trips to the grocery store.

Brooklyn takes a nap about 4 hours after she gets up, and I've been using that time to reset all of the things she's gotten out, eat lunch, and write (letters, notes, or blog posts). Since her naps average 2 hours, which is less time than it sounds like once you're actually in it, that's usually about all I can get done. I've been trying some stretching/yoga as soon as she lies down, and I think that's actually helped me focus and center a little better than if I skipped it. That's a routine I've developed over the past week, and it's definitely one that I like.

After-nap we've been playing it by ear. Sometimes Brooklyn wakes up delicate so we spend the time before dinner quietly sitting and reading or contemplating a toy. Most of the time she's more than willing to go pull everything back off the shelves, leaving me to put away the morning's laundry or cook (lately I've been making quiches, and rice in large batches, so we can eat on them for several days with minimal daily preparation).

Even when Adam is home, we rarely eat dinner all together, since I try to at least keep Brooklyn on a consistent schedule. She and I have been having dinner (she eats better if we're eating the same thing at the same time), then I clean up the kitchen for the day. I have finally come to terms with fact that I do not always have time to put dishes away as they're created, so I've been just running water in everything and leaving it in the sink 'til after dinner. By that point it doesn't take long to rinse everything and put it in the dishwasher (and I only have to fight the I know it's the perfect height for you but no you can't sit on the dishwasher door battle once).

And after the toys are put away, the bath is had, the jammies are on, the bedtime story has been read, and Brooklyn is safely tucked in, my relaxedly organized day falls apart if I'm not the only one home. Because the rest of my schedule is contingent on having the evening uninterruptedly to myself - otherwise I only really have the two hours of naptime to get things done and that is entirely not enough. And I don't get anything done when he's here because we see each other so little that it seems like a waste to spend that time doing anything besides directly interacting.

Don't get me wrong - I deeply enjoy spending my evenings with Adam (short as they are). But I have gotten so much accomplished in the past week... I've read two books, finished cleaning up the front bedroom, moved what furniture I could, written 8 letters/notes, done my last bit on The Thing I Can't Tell You About Yet (hopefully soon though!), faithfully and immediately responded to every email and RSVP-needed invitation, knitted, watched a few movies, and gotten my dresser half emptied - with time to take a bath if I'd like one, and still managing to be in bed by ten.

His schedule when he's home is so unpredictable (home from work sometime between 4 and 9pm, working one weekend a month...) that it's impossible to schedule around - because that would require a reasonable sense of When Things Happen. But as sure as I leave tasks 'til after dinner, he comes home early - and if by some abnormal burst of energy and motivation and cooperation from Brooklyn I manage to have everything done, then those are the nights he gets home late and I'm left with no productive way to pass the time (besides knitting. Or reading. But those can both be put down when he gets home, making them less absorbing than the race of trying to get something finished). I've been trying to get everything done that I can before he gets back, so I'll only be left with normal, repetitive, daily tasks (which I'm trying to streamline so that they will be possible in a shorter time frame) and all of the extra things (like getting Sprout's room ready) are out of the way.

Any tips (or just empathy!) for creating order without a predictable schedule?


Kayla said…
Creating order is still in the works for me, too! I'm beginning to cone to grips with adjusting on the fly, but I much prefer a "rhythm" of life... Total spontaneity drives me nuts.

For us, the unpredictable is during the day. I'm used to having evenings to myself for the last 3 years, since A works a night job, but daily tasks have changed with each life season. What currently works for us is a dry erase board with the day's tasks on it. The most pertinent get accomplished first, and the unaccomplished get moved to the top of the next day's to-do list. And if 2 things get accomplished, I try not to sigh too deeply. :)

Sounds like you have had a short season of simple, productive rest. Good! Remember that when your evenings get upended again here shortly. ;) Every season is not the same.

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