Recently I was out for a work dinner with Eric and the girls, a museum director, and an artist. The meal was great. Eric and I bounced between parenting (how many times can you take children to the bathroom in one meal?!) to adult conversation. It was a good night, one where the girls were on their best behavior and made us look good (this is not always the case). We were talking about different projects. We talked about work, about plans. Over the course of the meal the artist learned that I teach in many capacities from university and college level to private lessons and everything in between. She then asked about public school and learned that we are homeschooling. The artist turned to me and asked, "How do you do it all?"
Honestly I am asked this question a lot. Strangely enough Eric is asked this same question with much less frequency, but we are probably the same level of busy. I am a bit annoyed that we live in a world that makes it seem like my husband should just manage his schedule, but that I cannot possibly handle it. Not the fault of the artist, everyone does this to us.
The truth is that we are both totally exhausted and completely overworked. In a given day we start around 6 in the morning and work on jobs,homeschool, art, promotion, kid stuff or household duties nonstop until about 9pm. Now don't get me wrong, this is what it takes to see your goals through to fruition, I am thankful to be able to work so hard. I am thankful for health and work ethic and a support system. I am thankful to be in a position where I can still have and pursue dreams.
That is the thing though, when you are a kid and people tell you that you can be anything you want, they neglect to tell you that it will be an uphill struggle for every inch of ground. I know that sounds like a complaint, but it isn't! I am so happy for this struggle. I am learning that I can always push myself through to a new level, to see a new goal.
Ten years ago if I had been given a glimpse into this life that we are living I would not have even thought it possible. I would not have believed that I could do the things that I am doing, nor done the leg work to get from point A to point B.
With that said, I am giving myself the gift of balance. Something new to me. I take no pride in being a martyr and I do not want to model that behavior for the girls. I want them to see parents who take care of themselves mentally too. Eric has long pushed me to do something for myself, as in for every year we have been together he has urged me to do something for myself. I always have an excuse. Eric is better at doing small things for himself, just a little thing here and there, and I see what good it does him.
I still have a thousand excuses, but later this month, for the first time EVER I will be taking a weekend to myself! I am meeting a dear friend and there will be food and art and leisure and my first ever massage. Will it be easy for me to treat myself? No. I will probably feel a solid combo of guilt and anxiety, but I am determined to let relaxation and enjoyment prevail. I am gifting myself with a break.