I miss the sound of the bell echoing across the classrooms, the telltale prelude of static over the intercom. I miss the square of paper stuck inside my locker with sticky-tac, outlining every 40 minutes of my day. I miss the routine, knowing exactly when I had to get out of bed and where I had to be at any given time.
I miss the direction.
Lately, I’ve been feeling very lost. I feel like I am wandering through my days, barely accomplishing more than the basics: eat, sleep, bathe, teach dance, keep the bugz alive. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. When I lay my head down each night, I can’t recall anything that I’ve really done that day.
We ate. We washed. I worked.
I usually know this much: I didn’t clean. Laundry didn’t get done. I probably didn’t get any kind of workout in. I didn’t do anything with my kids, except maybe scold them or tell them what to do. We probably snuggled on the couch for an hour in the afternoon while I caught a much-needed nap. 9 hours of sleep a night, and I am still tired in the afternoons. Even if I don’t fall asleep, I need to close my eyes and rest.
I sent a text to my beloved Sku, who is also a life coach down in Calgary. I asked her how on earth to manage myself. I have all the time in the world, and none of the motivation. My house is a mess, my kids are unattended, and my office is in shambles. My organization is at an all-time low. I’ve had some dance parents remind me three weeks in a row to bring new tights for their child! Not cool, Magz. Not cool.
I told her all the things I need to do in a day, versus what’s actually getting done. She quite simply asked me: What are your priorities?
From that moment, I’ve been sitting here wondering. What are my priorities?? Obviously, basic needs are being met. We’re clothed and fed and bathed, and I haven’t blown up my house by accident. But all this other stuff:
- Work administration
- Teaching dance
- Lesson plans
- Meal plans
- Grocery shopping
- Having dinner mostly ready/cooked by 3:45pm, three days a week
- Physio appointments
- 5 workouts a week, anywhere from 40 minutes to over an hour
- Driving, driving, driving
- Swimming lessons
- General tidying
- Never-ending laundry
- Actual cleaning
- Banking, personal admin work
- Spending time with the bugz
- Spending time with Leith
- Spending time with just ME
- Other random errands
How do I prioritize that list?
I mean, obviously teaching dance is a priority since it’s my job. And with that, I have to dedicate hours in the week to the administrative role. All in all though, it’s not much more than 25 hours a week, including driving. But with that, I have to make my workouts and physio a priority, because I need to be physically able to keep up with the demands of my job. I also need to take care of my health in general, since I’m not getting any younger or skinnier
So there’s that.
With the job comes the prep work: meal planning, grocery shopping, and having enough time each afternoon (Tuesday through Thursday) to prep and mostly-cook dinner for our sitter to give the bugz. It also means remembering to buy/pack food for myself to eat while I’m teaching.
The whole reason I left the “real job” world was to spend my days with my bugz before they head off to school next fall. Truly, I feel like I am failing in this area even more than I am failing at the housework. I spend little to no time with them outside our morning snuggles and afternoon psuedo-nap. I can’t remember the last time I sat down and coloured with them, or sat on the couch and read stories in the middle of the day. I can’t remember the last time I even suggested making a craft, let alone actually made one with them. They drift in and out of my field of vision all day long, mostly just asking for food or hugs. I oblige both. I kiss them goodnight when I get home, and I always tuck them in when I’m not teaching. Most nights, I end up sleeping with one or both of them, trying to suck more hours out of the day.
Soon they’ll be out of my house from 7:30am until 4pm every weekday, and I’ll regret that they weren’t a priority.
And then there is the housework. The easy stuff, like tidying and emptying the dishwasher. The harder stuff, like washing floors and bathrooms. And the never. ending. pile. of. laundry.
By the time I’m done feeling guilty about all the other stuff I haven’t done, I have zero desire to even look at my house.
So here I am: knowing why certain things are on the list of priorities, but having no idea which should be more important than the others. Should a workout that supports my health and my job come before making paper chains with my bugz for Christmas? Or should colouring wait until the dishes have been put away?
Is there time for all of it in the day?
Don’t answer that. I know the answer. My struggle is in finding the desire to make it all happen, and how.
And that is an answer I am still searching for.