So Long, Sweet Summer

 

Bye, bye summertime.  You'll be missed.  The sunshine and the saltwater really helped our family grow over the past couple of months.  Jack, especially.  He is now in the 94th percentile for height and is 27 lbs (my arms are actually more toned: thanks heavy baby; thanks walk-up apartment).  Rosie learned to swim!  As for me, I left a difficult job for a happier one and my world has shifted back into focus.  Here's what happened: the stress of a dysfunctional work environment got the best of me.   I felt like 10% of the person I had always been.  I didn't have the focus or the energy to cook a meal or read a book.  I could barely get dressed and I didn't see my friends.  I never slept and I cried enough tears to fix the drought in California.  Thank god for Pete and Jack - two syllables and a whole world between 'em.

That's over now, and at the perfect time.  Because fall is the season for getting into the swing of things, and making changes in our lives that carry us until the sun comes out next summer and we throw everything to the wind all over again.  I'm proud of myself for how patiently and graciously I've been treating myself.  This Spring taught me that I have limits as a person: that I can't work until midnight, sleep train a baby, look respectable, grocery shop, make breakfast, lunch and dinner for three people, stay current on the news, work on five side projects and get to the gym.  I can only do a few of those things.  And if I want to have the chance to do more, and do them well, I need to really consider the way I spend my day so that I enable my own happiness and success.

Coconut/Bubby/Big Belly/My Sweet

Here are some of the changes I've been making that have me feeling like my whole self again. 

1. I threw out most of my closet, again.  Now I only have out the nicest things I own.  It's easier and faster to get dressed in the morning and it's easier to keep everything stored well.

2. I embraced the early wake-up call.  Pete and I struck a deal: he handles any overnight issues, and I wake up with Jack at 6.  I'm able to get up and spend some special time with Jack, cook breakfast for the two of us, get him dressed, read a book and giggle.  Giving Pete more space in the morning helps him get out of bed quicker, too.  And lately we've had enough extra time to enjoy a daily family walk around the neighborhood for coffee before the nanny arrives and we go into work mode.

3. I signed up for Blue Apron.  The meals are ok and I wish the quality of the ingredients was better.  But it enables our family to have three meals a week together at a reliable time, with minimum prep work and without the stress of meal planning or grocery shopping.  This is huge for me because it means I just need to grocery shop for baby staples and breakfast/lunch foods (grocery shopping is a huge pain when you're out of the city on the weekends).

4. I arranged for a weekly nighttime babysitter so that we can reconnect with the people we love.

5. I carved out the time to get to the next step on a couple of pet projects that mean a lot to me, which makes me feel inspired and fulfilled. 

Just when you think that you're going to get a glass of wine!

Not quite ready to tackle working out.  But I'm thinking about it!  And I'm thinking a lot about our family patterns: when are we happiest and when are we the most tense?  How can I bring out the best in my boys and in myself?  Lots of big questions that seem to have simple answers like: take a shower at night so there's less confusion in the morning.  Who knew!

I'm ready for cold weather and sweaters and the smell of fireplaces in the evening.  Red wine, hot coffee and stew. 

x.

All photos in this post are by the magnificent Richard Jopson, our friend, the patron saint of photography.