I Only Have 10 Minutes and I Need To Pee…
This is the story of my life. I’m either hustling through a commute, navigating my workday or rustling up the kids at all times. The truth is, there is never any time left to stop. Never time to think much through, to plan, to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s. Never time to pee. Never time to cross things off my list unless it’s done in haste. And now if you want to hear more, read quick. I only have 10 minutes and I really do need to pee.
I have two littles under the age of five, a husband who is an amazing partner and a hard worker but even he would admit he needs to be parented from time to time. And I work full time, mostly listening to people come to me with problems in a place that has a 24 hour sense of urgency. I sit in an office with no windows, I rarely see the light of day. My doctor prescribed Vitamin D since I don’t see the sun very often. And it takes me an hour to get there and an hour to get home. I can call that “me” time if I want. Sometimes I get to catch up with a friend or listen to some music but in reality it’s loaded with a constant stream of life saving decisions I need to make in order to navigate the freeways in LA. It’s maddening to say the least.
Essentially from 6:30am to 9:30pm I am ON-Duty. I think with all this, it’s a miracle I have any sanity or clear thoughts to be the mom, wife and employee that I somehow need to be.
Working backwards, I am allowed one hour of hopefully mindless television between 9:30pm and 10:30pm before I have to start to put myself down for what can only be considered a long nap. My day takes much more time to roll off of me so I rarely begin actual sleep at a decent hour. There’s never even enough time to prepare for sleep. There’s never any time to read anything for pleasure that isn’t 140 characters or less. I used to get into bed to read a few chapters of the most current novel, twirl around a crossword puzzle for a while, read a few pages in New York Magazine. It was so satisfying. It rounded out the day and I fell blissfully asleep without issue. These days it’s one of two things: Either I am laying in a twin bed with my 4 year old listening to his brilliantly twisted up and illogical stories praying he will drift to sleep before the aforementioned TV time of 9:30pm OR I have earplugs in and I’m “reading” Facebook through an illuminated haze (since I now have the vision of a Texas blind salamander) while trying to drown out the sound of my husband snoring. Neither scenario is ideal, both are fraught with compromise. Nothing is like it was.
Sure, I decided to have kids and live in Los Angeles where we need two incomes so let’s get that out of the way. I don’t bitch about my kids, my husband or my job (well sometimes I bitch about my job) and that is not what this is. None of those things are problems. And if we are going there, this exacerbating life I’m living isn’t anything to complain about either but it is my reality. In between reading about Russian espionage and the horrors of Aleppo, I am living a life with no tragic speed bumps. I am lucky to have that life considering the contents of today’s news, I get that. But this is something else. Something within me. Not about massages and spa days, no no. It’s not even about self-care. I do take care of myself but this is about the idea of getting to do what I want to do even for a millisecond. This is about not ever being able to get bored. The kind of bored that isn’t strewn with layers of guilt for not being productive. This is about the movies. I haven’t been to a movie theater in five fucking years! This is about morning coffee and the news and going to brunch. This is about sleeping in. This is about travel. These are real adult things that for now, are absent. In their place are reminders, play dates, planners, birthday parties, calendars, lunchboxes, doctor appointments, diapers to buy and dinners to be made.
This is the story of motherhood and familyhood right? It’s not news, it’s not special for me. But it needs saying because I was once so independent and even though I wanted this life, I hadn’t considered not being able to read a book, see a show, go for dinner – not without an Amazon delivery, a babysitter and a reservation.
Like right now. I am sitting at my desk, I am dancing in my seat about to burst and I am calculating how much I can write before it becomes an emergency high alert situation here. I’d consider taking a break but I don’t get any breaks these days. I have a meeting in ten minutes.