This might surprise you. It sort of surprised me, because it must be months now since I woke up later than eight. Seven thirty is considered luxurious around here. No, I don’t know how this happened. I used to be a late night person. Then the kids went to school and I found I couldn’t function in the morning unless I’d had an hour to myself first to read my newspapers (we used to take three.) So I started getting up at six thirty to have tea and read papers. Then I found I couldn’t get much done after the kids got home (there was all the de-programming to do, and real teaching to do) so I started getting up at four thirty to five thirty and going to be at nine.
Since the kids have started to go by themselves, without winding up — i.e. getting up on time, bathing themselves and grabbing breakfast (the last is always doubtful, so I do get up early if I can and slip an omelet in front of them on their way through the kitchen, because they often have classes till mid afternoon and food at campus is crazy expensive or from vending machines and bad for them.) my schedule has slipped back some. I usually get up between six and seven.
I normally don’t go past six thirty unless I’m ill or truly exhausted, neither of which apply — to my knowledge at least. Yesterday to celebrate a minor family landmark we took three hours off and went to the zoo, but only walked about two miles there, and at a very leisurely pace. I did my normal laundry carrying, up two flights of stairs, but nothing massive (I brought two baskets up and down, not twenty) and the same for the other housework. It is something you learn, again, when you have small kids, to carry stuff and fetch stuff, and clean as you go, because you might not have time to clean. The kids are grown now, but I still do it — a trip for a cup of coffee to the kitchen translates into unloading the dishwasher or wiping down the stove, or running the mop on the floor while the coffee brews. (BTW this was one of the mysteries of life to me when I was very young “how does mom remember everything that needs to be done? How come we always have food, meals are on time and the house always mostly clean?” It was more of a mystery after she left me in charge of the house when I was 12. It was just my brother and I, but the week about killed me. Laundry accumulated, food was late or overdone through waiting, I forgot to put out the bread bag in the morning, so the baker left no rolls — just on and on. And I was on vacation, while mom had a job. So I was astonished at her efficiency. Now I know the reason: training and practice, like for almost everything else.)
Anyway, yesterday was nothing special. I spent the day in utterly boring but necessary work, formatting and prettifying my reverted works, among other things to replace the Shakespeare books that are up, now I have Atlantis to make them work right and I’ve redone the covers (there is a typo on one of the covers. The program I was working with made it hard to read small type, and I was copying reviews, and there it went. Also, I know how to do covers better now — yes, it was only three months (I think) Shut up.) Also trying to put stuff in other services, and reading a lot of rules and things. I need to and wanted to write, but yesterday continued the “catching up with cr*p” meme until three thirty when we went off to the zoo. Then I came back to more work and had a mini conference with some friends on pm FB on stuff we want and need to do to “take back the culture.” (There’s a lot of us doing uncoordinated stuff — it has occurred to us maybe we should coordinate. NOT Jornolist style. For one, none of us will trade in his conscience for a mess of influence — for another… you know, herding cats and all that. But it occurs to us making others aware of what each is doing, letting the others know what themes we’ll be hitting, and, yes, warning each other of free-lance opportunities might be a good thing. So, we had a micro discussion on this, and will continue it sporadically for months, probably, and maybe something will even result. Cats. Herding. Remember?)
Anyway, normal day, right. I’m still late on my columns for PJM, I’ve still not put the books up. Oh, and the eternal laundry needs to be done.
So why did I wake up just short of nine am?
I don’t know and you don’t either. But it’s already weird — a balloon went by so close to our house we could see people in the basket.
Oh, on going to the zoo… It’s like this. If I had one perfect day I could re-live for eternity as “heaven” it would be the labor day when Marsh was three. We found the money to go to Denver for two nights with the boys, with the general idea of “mom doesn’t have to cook or clean and gets to read” but we found the natural history museum (we KNEW it was there, we just hadn’t gone there, yet) and the amusement park at Lakeside, and the boys had a blast, and we ended up having dinner at midnight at the only restaurant we found open (this was so far back we hadn’t found Pete’s kitchen.) And the kids enjoyed themselves SO much. Then Marshall fell asleep against me on the way to the hotel, all sticky and heavy like kids get when they’re tired.
And the other thing is — maybe I’m wrong. I hope to All I’m wrong — but I feel like we’re living through the last few days of the perfect summer. Like England enjoyed before WWI.
I hope I’m wrong, or maybe it’s just personal. If I’m wrong, it won’t hurt you to take a couple of days out now and then, and enjoy what and whom you love. And if I’m not wrong, then store up memories to strengthen you through the dark ahead.
Also, as my sleeping late seems to indicate, perhaps it’s possible to labor too hard. (Never thought of it. I subscribe to the Heinlein theory of work: I do it because I like it. So…) That is if I’m not getting sick again, and I hope I’m not.
So cease from your labors today and go out and have some fun.