I love these pictures . . . the colors, all of us together, Blaine's beautiful hair, Truen's sweet face, Jamie and Eliah's little poses, Diego's quickly-disappearing little boy years. My grandma took them with her iPad, so they're a little blurry. But sweet nonetheless.
We were in Wisconsin last weekend to visit my grandparents, see my cousin's new baby, attend Blaine's grandpa's 100th birthday celebration, and spend time with my SIL and the cousins. It was a 4-day weekend and very nice to spend time together away from the onslaught. We definitely enjoyed ourselves. 'Twas good.
My early, early mornings are continuing on track. I am extremely motivated to keep this time of solitude in place and rise anywhere from 4:10 AM, which I've found to be too-too early, to 5:30 AM, which is not time enough. Blaine is awake by 5:45 AM and I join him around six.
I have finally found my quiet time, space to think and plan. It feels amazing. I am centered, better organized, and feel like I have more of a grip on my life.
I am no longer niggled by the frantic feelings and ugly resentment when unable to find any down-time throughout the day. I have my quiet. I hold in my heart throughout the day and look forward to it every night as I go to bed. It feels amazing.
It seems like such an obvious solution that I'm not sure why it took me so long to get here.
[Though I do remember pregnancies, night-time nursing, and more consistent quiet mornings than I've had in the last two years.] [And it is easy to forget that life is a journey.]
I've bumped into the early morning advice many times before, and now that I've made it a part of my life, I see it everywhere in the blogs I read. So
that's how she "does it all". She gets up in the dark hours on the
morning: reading, writing, crafting, exercise, whatever. The day is fresh and the silence gives space. Ah.
Oh my goodness, I don't think I even posted during the month of August.
That is life now. It just is.
After stewing on it for a week or so, I've started getting up at 4:30-ish AM. I didn't think I could do it, but I can and I am loving it.
I have spent my summer fairly miserable, completely burned out, unhappy, wondering what I am even doing. After analyzing it for awhile, I realized that my need for solitude, the inability to gather my thoughts, plan, organize, and just sit quietly was leaving me at the breaking point.
I was honestly, truly unhappy. Grim by midday. Unable to get over feelings of anger and irritation. Mad at my children for the unrelenting needs that burble forth, feeling like I can never, ever catch a break. Feeling like there is no rest, ever. It has been rough.
In addition, it has been a summer of amped up in-fighting amongst my crew. I have taken to saying every morning after chores, "You have X amount of free time, unless it dissolves into fighting, screaming, and crying -- then free time is over and chores begin". Sometimes they don't even make it five minutes, even when they are well aware of the consequences. Misery.
Problems tend to crop up with "everyone but Truen". He is rarely involved, except as a victim, which always results in him running to me in hysterics, screaming and crying. Though . . . he did niggle Jamie last week beyond his ability to handle it . . . so he isn't just an innocent bystander. And he is definitely a willing comrade in the play that amps up to a frenzied pitch.
But by and large, the fighting and inordinately rough play breaks out among the other three: the 10yo, 4yo, and 2yo. Many times a day.
We are at a stage where I am unable to loosen my grip on the day, ever, at all, not even a bit, to keep any semblance of order. If my attention is diverted for any length of time, great or small, from kitchen work to squeezing in a quick email, all hell breaks loose and half-naked boys are stampeding through the house or ripping a room apart in some frenzied battle play. And it is extremely difficult to "get them back" after that. Or piece together the day.
I am not exaggerating. There are days, usually when Diego is intently focused in the Lego Room or outside examining bugs and their habitats, when their play is congenial and cohesive. Otherwise, they are working together in a big boy-hurricane of flailing limbs and wrestle-mania into what I have taken to calling, "a frenzied pitch". There is no other way to describe it.
But I wanted to talk about waking up at the crack of dawn.
This is Day Three. I am not using an alarm (we still all sleep together in the same room), just telling myself every night as I go to sleep that I want to get up very, very early. My goal is 4:30 AM.
I landed on this time with the realization that if I want an entire hour to myself in morning solitude (and I do, so very badly), that I truly need to get up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 AM. Blaine is up by 5:45 AM and leaves for work by 6:30 AM. We use this time to hang out and talk. We work together to get his food ready for the day, relishing the ability to have true conversation without the jilted feelings of constant interruption.
So 4:30 it is. What I've noticed is that I am feeling energized. I am happier, more balanced, able to take on the day, with an ability for greater patience and a good attitude. Getting up before the crack of dawn is not diminishing my abilities, not in the least: my cup is fuller and I feel happier and stronger. It is noticeable in just a few days, which steels me to work toward making it a solid habit.