I'm Sorry!! I Thought I Could Do It!! | December 2020

September, October, November, December. I'm sorry...I really wanted to post every month!

But, here we are. It feels like such a long time but also not at all. If the months passed slowly, then why didn't I have time to mark the moments here? Well, that's a good question. Time is not the only factor. Marking moments involves creativity and emotional energy. Do we rally to get out for a walk together? Do I remember to snap a photo? Are we cheerful enough to smile? (Or jump over rolling snowballs... :)

Do I have a minute or two to reflect on a Sunday? Yes, finally, on December 20, 2020, I have a minute to think!! I finally have enough creativity to put a sentence or two together that isn't on Google Classroom for fifth grade students. 

I don't know what we'll think when we look back on this year. In some ways, we've hardly experienced the pandemic at all. Not like the nurses in ICU. Not like the restaurant owners. Not like those who lost their jobs and income. Yes, we had to teach and learn online, but the long-term implications are slight, if even detectable. I've learned strategies and efficiencies and kids everywhere appreciate the school building and their teachers more, I think. 

But we have felt things over these last nine months that we didn't feel as strongly before and that has been hard. We've been really lonely sometimes. We've felt isolated and bored. Motivation has been low. We've chosen to numb with TV and games instead of more creative options. And somewhere in the last sixteen weeks, I decided I just couldn't work quite so much. I don't know how burn-out is diagnosed, but I've definitely lost the desire to go above and beyond at too much expense. So maybe the pandemic has been a gift that will help me develop a healthier relationship with my workaholic tendencies.

I really want to be focusing on healthy relationships with the dear kiddos that will only be home for another 6-8 years. 

Please tell me I'm not the only one that suffers from less ability to do hard things when I'm emotionally drained? Is that just me? Can you pick yourself up off the couch and get groceries to make a full-on meal for your family after a long day of trying to be heard through a mask and inspire also-tired-of-masks-and-multiplication-facts kids? No, we're ordering pizza and I'll make a salad! 

Sundays are for laundry and picking up the trashed house and loading up Google Classroom with engaging content for the next week [averaging 8.5 hours each weekend over the past 15 weeks]. Sundays could be for sewing quilts and blogging and _______? But actually maybe just sitting on the couch. It's that so-tired-I-can't-get-up-and-do-anything feeling. Is that burn-out? 

But of course, exhaustion or couch-sitting doesn't make for great photos, so sometimes I just take the kids to get gelato. We did something. We got a photo. Win?  

So here are some getting-out-and-doing-something photos that represent the pieces of life that count. The ones that are worth remembering and give me the spark that keeps me blogging and determining to do more things that matter. Even if the kids don't look like they agree with me...

We have gone hiking on slippery, snowy trails the past three weekends...just to get out of the house and see people in a socially distanced way. Peter hates hiking slightly less than Ezra, because he likes having daddy's full attention. They talk about electronics and whatever projects Peter is currently involved in [he's been really great at keeping his hobbies alive through life's ups and downs].

These pictures are not in order -- here we are earlier in the fall enjoying a sunny, colorful Sunday afternoon! 

As both boys increase proximity to the middle of teenage crazy town, it's sweet to see short moments of love and affection [even if it's one-sided]. They play fight a LOT and things often disintegrate into real fighting and someone getting hurt. The older brother TEASES like his father and the younger brother OVERREACTS like his mother. Don't we love how genetic distribution works out??

And since I failed to mark time here for FOUR months [shame, shame], here are some photos from earlier in the fall, when things were still warm and wonderful!! Well, at least warm...

So, here we are. Two weeks of vacation = a chance to breath deep. My greatest wish is that I will be able to rekindle hobbies and find ways to pass time that fill me with joy [ditto for Buzz]. My second greatest wish is that I will somehow start the new year with even greater efficiency at work and more solid strategies to prioritize what matters most. And a double serving of emotional energy for everyone. Can we wrap that and put it under the tree? 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and cheers to a blog post. May there be many more!! 

Goals for Vacation: 
Sew a quilt [Laura]
Maybe crochet something [Laura] 
Origami projects [Ezra]
Build an ATtiny85 computer [Peter]
Anything else?