day in the life: fantasy edition

April 11, 2013

ideal vs. reality
lately i’ve been feeling really unsatisfied with my weekday routine.  i think the true problem is that i probably want to do more than is realistic, but i thought it would be an interesting thought exercise to write out an ideal version of how i wish things went, and then contrast with reality.

perhaps it will help me to find a happy medium, or just realize that i need to work on accepting what currently is.  [probably a little of both.]

anyway, here goes . . .

a fantasy work day morning
5:00a – wake up feeling refreshed and even energetic after 8 hours of sleep.
5:10a – morning run on the TM.  4 miles @ 7:45/mi [i said this was fantasy!]
5:45a – shower + get dressed.  in one of my many cute and flattering outfits
6:10a – make coffee, eat a quick but peaceful breakfast while reading

i just had to show a breakfast that wasn’t waffles for once!

6:30a – a is up!  no crying, just jubilant morning sounds.  i get her and change her [with zero protest from the muffin, of course].  she enjoys her sippie cup of milk and does not throw it repeatedly on the ground until i give her the milk in a bottle.*  playtime, reading books, practicing walking, and general fun time together.

7:30a – leave for work

reality:  most days i am completely exhausted when the alarm goes off, and i’m up between 5:15 and 6. some days i do manage to sneak in a run before a is up, but on other days, i skip it or run later — which i hate — or i take her with me in the stroller.  she usually gets up at 6, although she often makes threatening noises as early as 5:15 or so.

i don’t usually get such a long block of playtime with her in the AM, and i’m often showering in about 1 stressful minute, either because i can hear that she is already up or because i’ve left her in her [child-proofed] room to play — and she hates being left alone.

i don’t hate my mornings, but they feel rushed to me.

a fantasy day at work
starts at 8, and ends at 5 with 45 minutes totally free for lunch.
and no work to take home!

i won’t get into specifics of the work day, but the fantasy work day has very little clerical work, lots of interesting cases that i am able to figure out, and everyone is super nice and patient.  oh, and everyone gets better!

reality:  i think we’ll just leave this one to the imagination.

a fantasy evening routine
5:15p – arrive at day care to get miss a; drive home
5:35p – beautiful weather — and so we walk to the park [0.5 mi].  a enjoys the swings and the slide for a little while until it’s time to head home for her dinner.

this didn’t really happen on a weeknight, but it was still fun

6:15p – a’s dinner.  a gourmet selection of vegetables, protein, and grains left over from our dinner the night before.

6:45p – josh is home!  he gives a her bath while i start prepping dinner
7:00p – rest of a’s bedtime routine – books, lotion, etc.

7:15p – annabel asleep.  i finish cooking our easy dinner.
7:30p – home-cooked dinner.  with conversation!  and a glass of sauv blanc on the side.  or maybe a riesling . . .
7:50p – clean up.  the entirely apt is cleaned up in 15 minutes.

8:05p – write blog post [like this one!] or study.  perhaps one or the other on alternate days.
8:35p – get ready and settled into bed
8:45p – read for 15 minutes
9:00p – SLEEP so that i can wake up refreshed the next day!

reality:  most days there is no time for anything really after day care, which makes me a little sad.  it feels rushed to go straight from picking annabel up to giving her dinner.  i do enjoy feeding her, but i’ve been relying pretty heavily on frozen vegetables, plain yogurt, eggs, veggie burgers, etc.  cooking has been spotty.  josh is rarely home for any of this now that he’s back on service, so i do a’s bedtime routine myself.  to be honest, it’s kind of lonely.  

tonight — like many nights when i am alone — i just had cereal for dinner because i had no motivation to spend time concocting something ‘real’ for just me.  it did make cleanup very easy, i’ll admit.  i do sometimes blog after dinner or watch a fun tv show, but i tend to waste these precious minutes fairly regularly on facebook, blogs, etc — and somehow i find myself still up at 10.  which explains how the days are beginning lately . . .

* yep, currently happening.  any tips are welcome.

SO.  was this bleak for anyone else?  writing this out does sort of reinforce to me that it really is quite tight.

things i could do to improve things:
go to bed earlier
waste less time in the evening
have very easy things planned to cook

things i can’t control, but that will change:
josh’s hours
annabel’s wakeup/bedtimes
a’s ability to play by herself [although this will take a while and realistically i may have #2 and start the cycle all over again before it happens!]

it’s not that i’m miserable — i’m really not!  i just get this sense every day, like . . . i’m not doing it right.  or that i could be enjoying it MORE.  the days are long, but the years are short?  true, but to me it often feels like the days just aren’t long enough.

and with that, i’m headed to read in bed.  8:42pm!

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