Last Wednesday, everything felt perfect, but by Friday, it was all crap.
Wednesday started out with an ordinary conversation...
Husband: Why is there a bloody knife in the bathroom? It wasn't there when I went to bed.
Minger: The kids have been waiting for a bloody nose so that they can wipe it on a knife and create death scenes. Someone must have gotten a bloody nose and set props in the middle of the night.
At nine that night, I was standing in crap using the last of our clean towels to wipe up an overflowing toilet while thinking, "Wow, I really like my life. Things are so stable and great."
That's actually what I was thinking. In the past, if the toilet was overflowing, there were ten other chaotic things happening at the same time... someone was painting with poop or punching somebody else or escaping out the front door naked or I was pregnant or someone was losing a job. Now, it's just a blissful amount of water gushing from a toilet... We've reached a milestone. The kids are all over five which is much easier than when they were all under five, and we haven't changed jobs, bred, or moved for two years and four months, and that is the calmest things have ever been with us in the last ten years.
My over bounding happiness was completely gone by Friday morning at which time I couldn't finish a sentence without crying. Two cloudy days and a little PMS will do that to me, and just to make sure everything felt horrible, I did everything wrong last week.
I know the little things that I need to do so that we feel sane, and I neglected most of them last week.
Leaving the house... I've found that in order to be happy, I need to take the boys out for sustained physical activity at least three times per week, and that usually works out to be a quick hike on Tuesday, park day with homeschoolers on Wednesday, archery lessons and swimming on Thursday, and possibly a hike with our hiking group on Friday. If we skip those things, my life starts to feel like I'm locked in a dirty two bedroom apartment with a lot of boy energy. (I tried to go for a metaphor, but it just came out as a statement of fact.)
Meeting social needs... I'm an extrovert so if I don't get to stand around talking with other parents for several hours on Wednesday, I get all water logged with my own thoughts. Due to work and hunting trips, my husband hadn't had a day home in over two weeks so I was starting to get all head-racy lonely psycho feeling, and I really shouldn't have ignored all of my social needs.
Meal planning... I hate meal planning, and I totally forgot to do it all of last week--by forgot, I mean that I knew I needed to do it and I consciously avoided it.
Working too much... I got a new job that pays daily, and it is easy to ignore the kids all day at the prospect of having cash in hand the next morning so I worked way too much last week which is a problem because... A) If I'm out-earning my husband, I'm bitchy to him about it so that was happening. B) I end up ignoring things like cooking so end up spending money on fast food which isn't filling and makes us all crabby. An hour cooking is a better investment of my resources than an hour working followed by spending all that money on fast food. C) Three unruly boys left to their own devices while I click on the computer turns this place into a disaster so I end up yelling and yelling at everyone because the mess overwhelms me.
So, this week has a clean slate. Meals are planned--breakfast, lunch, and dinner for five days--all of our regularly planned activities will be attended, and I won't overwork and get bitchy about it--well, maybe just a little.
It's a matter of balancing everything... of not working for twelve hours and then trying to cook three meals at the same time to make up for not eating for two days. I know that with a little planning, things just feel better and flow better. I'm not one of those people who naturally seems to fall into positive rhythms so I need to nudge myself a little to make life work for us.
I just can't forget to nudge myself.