a good day.

This week (an evening rotation week, of course) has been a good one for getting things done and just enjoying life.

On Monday I went to Patient First and actually kind of relished the long wait time because I’m reading a killer book about one of Virginia’s first prominent families, and I got some pills for the yearly bout of poison ivy that’s rearing its ugly head. Then I went to Ashland Berry Farm, loving the scenic drive, picked up some planting stuff and was back in plenty of time for work.

I had a particularly productive day Tuesday. Managed to get myself and my child ready and drop her off at daycare, then work for a couple of hours during a major feature launch, do all the laundry and put it away, pick Morella back up, somehow get in and out of her doctor’s appointment within one hour, take her back to daycare, drop off her medicine and fill out the necessary forms for it, weed the front garden, get this year’s herbs into the ground (dill, mint, basil, oregano, thyme, and sage), mulch the front yard (while catching up on Science Friday), repot four plants for the backyard table and for indoors, move a rose bush, make mac n’ cheese from scratch from the cookbook I got for Christmas (while checking out that new miniseries called Turn and being delighted to see some Virginia locations I recognized), sauté some kale, feed my family, clean my kid off and hand her off to be put to sleep. Then I worked until around 11pm. Phew. I needed a day like this almost as a self-affirmation, because I’ve been having a lot of days that feel full of false starts and don’t seem to actually get anywhere. Also it’s always good to get my hands into the soil and into the kitchen. Those are restorative tasks for me. Tasks that have “a beginning, a middle, and an end,” as a former colleague used to put it.

In general I’m trying to be much more relaxed and not overscheduled, and succeeding. All the social obligations I’ve managed to pare down though, just give way to more and more household tasks. Every time you cut one off, five spring up in its place. But most of the time, a calm and steady path through all these tasks works well. Not everything has to be done right this instant, but procrastination doesn’t help anyone either. Finding balance is always going to be a challenge, but maybe it’s getting a little easier now that I’m older. I don’t have many hectic days like Tuesday anymore, which is why it was noteworthy to me and seemed like something I should blog about. Definitely making a big meal from scratch is not something I do much anymore, even though I love cooking so much. Most days I don’t want my family to have to wait three hours for dinner, making all of us miserable, so we settle for leftovers and frozen things served promptly.

This morning as I was photographing the front garden, this elderly gentleman walked by and was just really confused about what I was doing. I was like “I spent a lot of time on this garden and I want to photograph it before a storm destroys it!” He seemed satisfied with that response.

Today I had a grand time cleaning and rearranging the various storage jars on the master bathroom counter (babies: they require you to take a lot of gummy vitamins, okay?) while catching up on my favorite teen vampire drama. So yeah, that’s my life.

I also did dishes, wrapped some gifts, wrote some thank-you notes, and painted my nails. This was not quite as crazy productive as yesterday, but more relaxed and therefore kind of perfect. I loved dropping a quick little gift and note off across the street before work. When I knocked on my neighbor’s door I heard her bounding toward it, and then she threw it open with gusto and exclaimed “I SAW YOU WEARING PANTS!” Haha. She had seen me gardening yesterday. I picked up her daughter and squeezed her, and we chatted smilingly for a few moments. As I walked away I was thinking, “How nice to just stop by someone’s house and have them be so happy to see you, and have it brighten your day before you have to go bury your face in a computer for a few hours!”

Speaking of work, I’m feeling very challenged by and happy with it right now. A lot is asked of us, it’s true. But it’s also full of perks. We work hard, we play hard, etc. etc. Sometimes I don’t think my job can get any better and then they’re like “Should we refill the kegerator with the locally made cider you like?” and “Hey Tess, here’s your brand new laptop!” and “Now it’s time to go to Havana ’59 to hang with your visiting colleagues from NY and drink mojitos and eat appetizers!” Be still my heart. Nothing beats getting around a table with these clowns and just hanging out. We spent an hour tonight talking about hot sauce: how much is too much, which ones are just too vinegary, etc. Matters of the utmost importance.

 

Even still, I couldn’t wait to get home to my little family. The baby was miraculously already asleep, so I’ll have to wait until she inevitably wakes up in the middle of the night (teething is a beast right now) to hold her, and brush her sweet little curls out of her eyes, and pull the blanket around us tightly while she nurses. As I finish this (very stream-of-consciousness and very wordy, shocker!) post, Dan is sitting downstairs with his friend Paul, who comes over often to work on tube amp projects with him and kind of teach him some of the theory behind how it all works. It would probably be fascinating to me if I could wrap my mind around it even a tiny bit, but alas, it’s not for us laymen. They were drinking beers and doing a worksheet down there last time I checked. Beers and worksheets and learning about something you’re interested in and actively sought out! Education, guys. Science.

Photo by Deanna Miller of Wild Design Photography. More here.

On Sunday night we managed to get a babysitter last-minute and get out to see the new Captain America movie at Cinebistro (the height of luxury for bedraggled parents). It involved beautiful but too-sweet cocktails, a delicious seared tuna salad, holding hands, a plot that kind of blew my mind in terms of conflicted good vs. evil vs. different opinions on what the “greater good” is, and the guy sitting behind us who tried to use a counterfeit bill to pay for his dinner and got (kindly) called out by theater staff. You win some, you lose some.

Blessings counted, words typed. Blog update complete.

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