Today we ate:
- Breakfast: Blueberry smoothies and oatmeal for Mom and LP (which we enjoyed while Dad got to finally sleep in!)
- Lunch: Leftover pizza and potato leek soup for LP. Grilled cheese (Daiya sale!) and tomato sandwiches and potato leek soup for Mom and Dad.
- Mom had some ice cream and chocolate chips for a snack
- LP had crackers after his nap while he and Dad went on a pre-hurricane trip to the park.
- Dinner: Dan-Dan style linguine from Vegan on the Cheap
Today we went to music class and then to the park. We avoided the crowds at the grocery store (where I hear they are getting cleaned out of bottled water!) No money spent!
I sometimes have difficulty focusing on one thing at time. Before having kids I rarely just sat down and watched TV or a movie. I was usually crocheting, or entering grades, etc. Similarly, I like to listen to NPR while I cook and clean, or do other chores.
However, when it came to what I call “thinking” work (like writing, planning lessons, etc.) I have always worked better if I could sit and focus on that task for an extended period of time. When I worked on my master’s, or on my National Board portfolio, or even when I’m preparing for the start of school, I like to go to a local coffee shop that requires people to pay for internet access (which I don’t do!) Then, I really just sit and focus on my work, often for hours on end. This was the way I always operated for these extended “thinking” projects.
Then I had kids.
I still have to make some time for sit-down, focus work, especially when I’m working on teaching stuff. I’m really lucky to have such a wonderful husband who understands that. However, being home, now with two kids, is really forcing me to deal more with this “split” tasking. Sometimes I draft blog posts in two sentence chunks, in between boiling water for pasta and changing a diaper. Sometimes I work on bits and pieces of my current assessment project in the precious hour of the day when both kids are asleep. Afterwards my desk is a mess, and if I wait to long to return to it I often forget where I left off. I make dinner in pieces during the day, chopping up an onion here, washing some salad there. There are post-its spread all over the place with the thoughts, ideas and insights that used to find a space neatly organized in my writer’s notebook.
This is the nature of my life right now, and I’m getting a little more used to it. I’m having an easier and easier time returning to a task that I left only part-way done an hour (or a day or two) ago. This week I broke down some of my projects into smaller chunks so that I could get through them in little bits. Basically, I can only get things done if they take 15 minutes or less, and all pieces of a project need to be fit into that space. I find that feeling like I can be “done” with part of something in a short period of time allows me to actually enjoy my time with my kids instead of focusing on the next task I have to do. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment about getting silly things done, like writing three e-mails or finally posting a blog entry that has been written in short chunks for a month. So, I’ll keep chugging along on my projects and tasks in between the visits to the train tracks and tummy time. Really, it’s the latter that matters.