The Whirlwind

The Whirlwind

Clearly my dream of daily posting died pretty quickly. Defeated by Epiphany cooking and baking and present wrapping. I stayed up too late wrapping presents and I’m still catching up on the sleep deficit.

It was a good weekend, though. The boys went camping with their scout troop. I made a fancy king cake. On Sunday Dom retrieved the campers early, then we went to Mass and came back, had king cake, opened presents, then spent the day reading new books and playing with new toys. Epiphany is second Christmas around here and more laid back that original Christmas. Oh and I made lasagna, too. And then stayed up too late again recording a podcast and then making a checklist for Bella’s school on Monday.

And suddenly it’s Thursday. Last night I stayed up too late finishing my novel. I’ll write more about what I’ve been reading later. Today I’ve been thinking about how every day is a whirlwind of thoughts. Books read, discussions had. My mind going in so many directions. No wonder I have such a hard time getting anything down on paper.

Today I started off reading What If 2 and This Country of Ours with Anthony. Then No 1 Car Spotter with Ben. Lucy was reading Anne of Green Gables. And Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. With Sophie it’s Krakatoa, Pride and Prejudice, and The Screwtape Letters.

At lunch I checked in on Facebook. My current book of poetry is David’s Crown by Malcolm Guite– I’m trying to read a poem a day. And then I’m also reading bits of Atomic Habits and Prisoners of Geography. Plus whatever library books I happen to have checked out.

Our afternoon story time books are: Jenny and the Cat Club, The Golden Fleece, The World’s Story, Book of Discovery, The World of Captain John Smith, The Outermost House, Microbe Hunters, The You Cat Catechism for Kids, Brother Andre.

No wonder I feel kind of crazy some days. Sure we don’t do every single book every day, but in general I’m flitting from one thing to the next with hardly time to catch my breath. And pausing to write in the middle of the day at lunch is sometimes possible. But what I always forget is that focusing on adding a new habit requires a trade-off and mostly my resolutions are unsustainable because I’m trying to juggle too many things. I can’t prioritize them all. If I sit to write, I probably won’t go for a walk. If I walk I won’t have time to bake. If I want to be consistent, I’m going to have to give up something that I might not want to give up that will come crowding to the fore as soon as I start to feel comfortable. I want to be too many people, doing too many things.

I was reading about commonplace books today and I think keeping a book of favorite quotations sounds like a lovely and worthwhile endeavor. But I simply don’t have time. I don’t have time to draw every day or to write a poem a day or any of the lovely and worthwhile endeavors I’d love to be consistent at. Because taking care of my family is the big boulder that will always come first and everything else slips into the cracks and the order of precedence is different every day. I love the idea of challenges, but I think many of them will just have to sit on the back burner and wait their turn.

A friend was talking about her five year plan today and I thought: my great plan is to keep my kids alive and hopefully instill some knowledge and teach them some things before they spread their wings and fly. Right now I’m snatching bits and pieces for myself, but in five years Lucy will be 15, Anthony almost 17, Ben almost 18, Sophie 19, Bella almost 21. That’s a lot of stuff in the next five years: high school for five kids, learning to drive, planning their lives. My plan is to help them launch. My own goals… I’ll have time figure those out when I no longer have five kids at home. There will be time and there will be time and I don’t have to do it all today. My life today looks so different from five years ago and I can only imagine what the next five years are going to bring. I am one hundred percent sure it won’t be boring.

And now it’s late and I need sleep. My thoughts are spinning to a stop, I think.

The rain is pattering on the roof and windows. The Christmas lights are twinkling. Everyone is in bed and I should be too. But it’s nice to at least try to catch a few things with words. Even if they don’t happen to be the most important things.

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