Panic sets in whenever I have a blog topic assigned to me. Today’s Five for Five topic is Change.
The parent in me wants to talk about how children change: how each day with a newborn is completely different, how infants can be the same for a week and then pivot in a new direction, how older children change in little ways every day but you really notice new words, new skills, new moods…
But the human in me wants bigger change. I’m tired of talking about children. I’m tired of thinking about only them. I want to change my focus. I want an evolution for myself and my writing. There are so many tactical things I need to change: the way I eat, the way I treat myself, the way I handle my day, the way I react to flashpoint moments with my children, the way I bill clients, the way I spend time on the Internet.
I’ve done a lot of work to become more mindful in my work, both writing work and parenting work. New Year’s Resolutions have become ongoing projects that I evaluate weekly and change as needed. I’m trying to balance priorities and passions, align my needs with the few minutes a day I have to myself.
The process of change, then, is changing, too.
I want my day to change so I can focus on the things that are important to me. Reading. Editing. Writing. Friends. Good food. Joy. Exercise. Sunshine. Blueberries. There has to be a way to blink in the 13 hours of full-time, unceasing child-rearing so I can get some of these. Sunshine and blueberries should be easy. Reading and exercise sure aren’t.
One of the things nobody can really tell you about becoming a parent is how the day’s rhythms, timing, and flow are completely and totally out of your control once a child comes into your life. The timing of when my body goes, stops, eats, and thinks, is in the hands of someone else. Someone whose very important job is being entirely selfish and not caring what I want or need.
Part of me thinks I need to change my expectations. Another part suggests I need to work harder to eliminate the time waste and focus on what’s important. Another part says enough already with the organic food and the “eat your protein” and the “I can’t I have to work because they’re asleep”: we need to play hooky in this family and watch movies and eat popcorn all day. Organic cheese popcorn, of course. It has more protein.
Maybe the change I need is to slow down and hope things don’t change. Because as tight as the moments are, I do stay present to focus on each moment. I do try to be and do my best. I do try to just love and live and learn.
Why the hell would I change that?