Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I've been listening to an audio recording of E.B. White reading his "Charlotte's Web" with Knox and my nanny kids, so the Goose's manner of speaking is rubbing off on me: Oh, how quickly ickly ickly my days slip away from me! They just slip slip slip away from me!

My new schedule with Knox in school and me working part-time feels very fragmented. I suddenly have more free hours during the week, but they fill up so quickly with household work and errands, exercise, volunteering, and the occasional meet-up with a friend. There are too many good options! I feel more stress and am more tired than I was when all my days were spoken for with being at work. That seems so silly--extra time? Ohhhh, how stressful! When I'm at work, I crave this extra time and envy those who have it. But I forget that work removes options and imposes limits in a way that can be helpful to the brain. You can't fit anything else into those hours, which allows you to focus on the immediacy of the job. It also assuages guilt and gives you a valid reason (excuse?) for not accomplishing the other things on your list: I worked today. With me and my free time, how do I explain to myself why my house is still messy and I still haven't unpacked the rest of the boxes? All I can say is that I had time but I didn't get to it because I was busy doing other stuff.

I don't like fragmentation, on the job or off. I'm not a proficient multitasker. My days are suddenly so fragmented that I'm experiencing some adjustment pains. I've been falling asleep at 9:30pm, unable to keep my eyes open even for reading or watching something or surfing the 'Net. And I'm desperate to go to the chiropractor to relieve all the tension in my neck, shoulders and back. Man, free time is stressful and exhausting!  ;-)

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