I suspect that part of my problem with feeling so overwhelmed and out of control some of (most of?) the time stems from my complete and total inability to just sit. I have become this oft-crazed person that cannot manage to relax. OK, so the crazed thing is nothing new. But I used to be able to manage to watch TV from time to time. Now, as my boys will be the first to tell you, I rarely do, and even then I feel compelled to multi-task and do something else at the same time. I wondered last week why the kitten never falls asleep on my lap as she does with the other members of the family. I realized that she is rarely presented with my lap.
And please don't form the mental image that all this busy-ness somehow results in a house that is neat as a pin, kids that are getting quality time every minute of the day, and beautifully home-cooked and artistically-presented food at every meal. Quite the contrary. My house is a wreck, my kids are starved for shreds of attention, and they ate soup out of a can tonight a few hours after I left for work. (I used the crock pot to heat it up to foster the illusion that I had taken a little more care.) My basic life plan these days seems to be running around like a chicken without a head, and occasionally getting done what absolutely needs to be accomplished. Everything else is neglected, or at least it seems that way.
But today I actually had a little downtime forced upon me, and it was absolutely lovely. I was waiting for a tutoring student at the local mega-chain bookstore, and I bought a cup of tea and cranberry scone because I had, once again, neglected to eat breakfast. I was a little early, so I sipped my tea while I looked over a book that I have heard a lot of good things about.* It wasn't a long amount of time -- no more than 15 minutes -- before I realized that the student wasn't coming and I needed to get on with the rest of my day. But those 15 minutes were so darn sweet. It was quiet, it was peaceful, and I had no agenda or sense of urgency. Plus hot tea!
It made such a difference in the tone for the rest of the day that I have decided that I need to schedule 15 minutes of such activity into every day. Just kidding! (When do I manage to schedule ANYTHING?) But I do have a kitten that is demanding my attention right now.
* The book was A Fine Fleece by Lisa Lloyd, and it lived up to all the positive reviews. It is a great resource for anyone who wants to make something with all those skeins of handspun yarn they have lying around. The patterns are lovely and classic, and she very cleverly included not only suggestions but also actual garments knit up from comparable commercial yarns.