Thursday, April 24, 2008

Less is more

Yesterday we had too much of a good thing - I booked TOO many good activities.

The morning was nice and slow; I did some chores, Tessa hung out, I drank coffee. Nice. But then the afternoon got crazy.

Tessa and I showed up at Alki early (11am) to pick up Zoe from preschool, and the two of us walked around and viewed the cafeteria, the classrooms, the halls, the gym, etc. (We couldn't go to the library because the WASL was taking place.) Tessa was excited to see "her" school, and to dream of next year's adventures. Then, we picked up sweet Zoe, came home in the car, and walked to the bus stop. We caught the 54 to Seattle, and met Ryan at his office, and the two girls were in fabulous moods and oh-so-sweet and I think Ryan enjoyed showing them off. Next, walking together to the Seattle Art Museum, where we had lunch. The four of us had a nice lunch, and then Ryan headed back to his office and Tessa, Zoe and I headed to the Romans exhibit. (This is one instance where advertising DIDN'T drive me crazy: Tessa kept hearing the exhibit ads on the radio, and she wanted to go, and I was happy to oblige.) Since we have passes to the museum, it wasn't difficult to commit to this. We spent time walking around looking at the Roman art, learning about Roman people, looking at their clothes, mosaics, statues, jewelry, dishware, fountains, and other beautiful objects. The girls asked great questions, and learned a ton - I was so proud of them.

This is where it should have been perfect, but I kept cramming stuff in. I looked at my watch and said, "HURRY! We have to get back!" and the girls and I went back to the bus stop, rushed home to West Seattle, and dropped Zoe off amidst protests that they wanted to play now. Then I rushed with Tessa to Abby's house so Abby & I could chat about the environment, lifestyles, etc. and the kids could play (Gabe is Tessa's age, and they played together really well). An hour and a half later, the kids were having fun, Abby and I were having fabulous conversations...but RUSH! Gotta go!

Home. Scramble to make dinner for the family (a shrimp and broccoli dish from Cooking Light). Ryan came in. Smooch - here's the rest of the dinner instructions (I prepped but he had to stirfry) - and I'm out the door to take the bus to Elliot Bay Book Store to meet Erik.

Erik and I had a great talk about being a stay at home parent, consumerism, and all kinds of stuff. Fabulous.

And I got home at ten, exhausted.

What I need to learn to do is to do all of these things, but spread out over more days. I wouldn't drop a single item on this list, but it would have been mcuh better to break it up and spend more relaxed time on each item, rather than looking at my watch and running half the day.

I am convinced that less is more. I'm convinced that multi-tasking is ruinous. I am convinced that I can not be as compassionate if I'm overbooked.

I want Tessa's childhood to be filled will free time to think, dream, draw, read, run, scamper, play. Not to hear "hurry up!" quite so much.

Okay, so I'm working on it. It was a great day, adn the old me would have thought that a day like that was a day fully lived, but the new me thinks that slowing down would be a better idea.


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