Friday, November 8, 2019

take a deep breath

People say to breathe all the time right?

So we always travel to NYC for thanksgiving with my parents.  I cook the goyishe Christmas meal. This is how we've traditionally managed the separate families who live states away.

Except this morning I received a text from Viking.  "Hey, I may stick around for thanksgiving to be with my dad."

There was a piece of me that was bracing for this. First thanksgiving for my FIL without his wife of 40 years. They traditionally spent it with my brother in law and his wife, but those two are wildcards.

Breathe. Don't type back. Just breathe.

I will not drive the girls myself. No gonna happen, my car is already in poor condition and I can't manage the two screaming kids in the back on a roadtrip by myself. Nope nope nope.

So it's the train or my girls don't see her grandparents. Ok. Get on and look at the fares.

Jesus. This will cost a fortune and I'm currently carrying a $6000 balance on my credit card that I can't pay down fast enough. Ok, cheapest 6am train it is, I can do this. I can pack up the baby and her sister, a large stroller and one large suitcase. I can do this. My parents would like irritate my husband beyond repair anyways this year.

It will be ok.

Except the fraying is there. This weekend marks my 12 year anniversary - 12 years married, 17 together. A lifetime.  When I first got that text message I was indescribably angry. I'm exhausted. The brunt of household chores fall on me. I'm offered the option of working out after I get the baby down at 7pm, which I've got to say is the worst time in the world to work out because you're tired and then your heartrate jacks up and it's damn hard to fall asleep. And at 7pm I have to first clean the living room up to make space to work out anyways. It's not a great deal.

My nanny informed me that from her daily morning parenting podcast she learned that single mothers have less housework than married ones.  Read that again. Based on the cleaning I do I can totally say this true.

I don't want a marriage frayed from the years of resentment brought on by exhaustion. He's exhausted too. He gets up at 5 to commute 90 minutes to a job he doesn't particularly enjoy. He lost his mom. He's worried about his dad. He shares the responsibility of getting Niblet to her dance classes, to Hebrew school if I'm gone. He cooks some meals and does grocery shopping, (though honestly not as efficiently as I do because he still doesn't know how to meal plan. But he makes his own breakfasts and lunches and that's something).


Monday, November 4, 2019

It's time to dance

The last few weekends I was sent out to knock on doors for politicans running for local offices in Virginia. It's technically volunteer work, but really I call it "voluntold" work because there's unwritten language with my employer that I must participate in these weekends.  

This weekend I was out of the house on Saturday from around 8am to 5pm, and then Sunday from around 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. I raced home each night as fast as I could to get to S, mainly to snuggle and squeeze her.  Last night after I put her down I let Nibble French braid my hair (her new obsession) and just reveled in a little coziness.

I know 2020 is going to be exhausting, especially after the primaries (though at this rate they feel like they're 20 years away). No matter what your political persuasion you KNOW it will be exhausting. 

So I've already decided I'm checking out. I need to muster the skills to talk to voters at their homes next year, and I'll do my job as always.  I do healthcare policy for a living (I've even drafted a few state bills on the topic thank you) and I am well versed in the many opportunities and many challenges of expanding Medicare. 

But as I start to hunker down mentally for the holidays I realize that I need to do some key things for the coming year, long before resolutions are even uttered...

1. For one I need to commit to unplugging from social media. Phones get turned off at 10pm. No exceptions. I've already mulled eliminating Facebook (which is difficult because it's my primary way of communicating for my Zumba classes). Which gets me to...

2. I'm also committing to choreographing a new series of Zumba classes for my colleagues at work and my daughter's school community. This is easier said than done because I use a lot of bandwidth of time getting Nibble to and from her own dance classes.  But I feel like the time I putter away on FB, IG and Twitter could be used towards REAL community.

I feel like I write this all  the time, more dancing less social media, because I do write it all the time. Now I need to hold myself to it.

Things have fallen off the cliff in my house just from two weekends of not being home. Like, don't look at my floors or my bathtub. seriously, it's more a warning than anything else. Also I haven't cooked as much as I need to keep our budget in line. Like, I am deeply in credit card debt right now and need my own braces which aren't covered by insurance despite not being for cosmetic reasons and I can't afford to buy you that lunch at Chipotle Nibble, no, I really don't have that $10 right now. And I have to budget for a nanny tax bill and an extra week's pay for C for Christmas, like now, so I'll have the money.

The other truth is that my Zumba classes (which are donation only) will be my free way of exercising and standing in place of the destressing massages I can no longer afford.