Thanks to the other woman in my marriage- First I erased the clutter in my closet. Then I erased the clutter in my diet (but more on that soon). Now I need to do something about the disaster that is my calendar. Between work and personal commitments, not to mention the kids’ lives- we’re utterly inundated!
These days, everything moves fast, and we want instant gratification. When we order the bare necessities from Amazon Prime, they arrive on our doorstep 2 days later. When we text our family and friends, there’s almost always an immediate emoji-filled reply. No need to be home when your favorite TV show is on, you can get it on demand whenever and wherever. We should be saving so much time! But we really aren’t, are we?
Between commuting and real work, my job takes up about 55 hours per week. Then there is the necessary client entertainment that goes along with the gig- usually one or two nights per week. On those evenings I do come home, by the time I eat dinner and put the kids to bed, another 2+ hours are gone. And early Bertie that I am- given I leave in the wee hours of dawn, going to bed early is a non-negotiable for me. As you can imagine, not much gets done during the week.
But there are school events. There is homework to check. There are music lessons, sports practice, not to mention double header little league games. There is religious class. The decorator wants to see me about that foyer I never bothered decorating. My old colleague would love to grab a cup of coffee. My high school partner in crime would love to get a drink. Gull has board meetings. And I have a headache thinking about it all.
We try to use the online family calendar– each member has their own color, and each commitment is right there before your eyes on the computer screen. But I open it up and all I see is a rainbow thrown up on a bunch of squares and I can’t seem to piece the puzzle together. The carpools, the meal prep, the planning that goes into getting everyone where they need to be all the time makes me physically ill.
And we haven’t even touched on the weekends. There’s more sports- and every game seems to conflict with another one, and there’s more religious school, and tons and tons of birthday parties that, try as I might, I can’t seem to say no to simply because I like celebrating happy occasions.
We split up, we swap cars, kids, and dirty looks over the course of 48 hours while we try to just get through what is supposed to be our recreational time. Sure, we get out to dinners with friends on Saturday nights, but even that seems like a chore sometimes- coordinating babysitters, making plans with multiple couples at a time without having anyone feel like a buffer. The calendar is simply killing our will to live. Is this even living at all? Or are we zombies, slaves to our own schedules?
I know what you’re going to say. We do this to ourselves. We take on too much. Stop being a martyr. But the alternative is we can sit around on the weekends watching paint dry, schlepping the kids to the diner to see their old decrepit relatives like I did as a kid- with no exercise, no socialization, no outlet. It’s not an option. And the truth is- in the moment, it is actually kinda fun. But the anticipation, the moment you see it all written down, and ask yourself how in the world are we going to tackle this week, how will we ever survive??? You can’t do it without teamwork- I’m living the Amazing Race that never ends (including the temper tantrums, getting lost along the way, and break downs) with the best partner!
I am a self proclaimed over planner. I’m a former lazy procrastinator living the crazy Type A life I never knew growing up. It’s nauseating but exhilarating, and most of the time my calendar is kicking my butt. I may never climb a mountain in real life, and this may be the one part of my life I may never de-clutter (ok there’s also my mind, more on that soon), but the adventure that is the cross training plus boot camp plus cardio workout of stretching my time as far as it can possibly go sure does feel like a feat not many men or women can possibly accomplish. Consider this my flag at the summit.