Ok… where do I even begin? This year has been insane. I’m still in denial that we’re already well into February; I can’t even remember what the hell happened in January. Ok, that’s not true. I remember. I think I’d just rather forget.
I started the year off all rosy and hopeful (read: ignorant), believing that this was the Year of Awesome. Instead it’s just become the Year of No Sleep, Early Wake Ups, Working Back Late, Working From Home, Feeling Suffocated and Swamped, Workmates Resigning.
Argghhhh… it’s Friday evening and I’m on the train home and it feels like my brain is going to explode.
You know what? I can totally deal with this. There are about ten million little to-dos flying around my head and things I have to sort out and tackle… but I can totally do this. Right? RIGHT?! Yes. Right. I will start by getting the ten million things down. On paper this screen. Then that stuff will morph into a list. If I can write things down and get it into a list – a long, categorised (probably colour-coded) list – I won’t feel so bad. My life won’t be an overwhelming mess. Instead it’ll just be an overwhelming… list. Then once I’ve got the list down, I’ll turn it into a plan. Yes… that’s what I’ll do. I will turn the “crazy” into a list of crazies plan. A plan that I can look at and cry work through systematically.
- My child is growing. Really fast. And I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with him (or me). He is getting smarter, stronger and more adventurous – all of which are good things. But sometimes I look at him and am baffled by his cleverness and the way he can now demand his way. He’s an active, adventurous little tike. And by adventurous I mean he likes to throw himself at me with glee, completely ignorant of all the laws of physics, gravity, or my inability to appropriately catch/lift 12kg of solid baby fat. He also likes to demonstrate his strength with relentless kicks and/or head butts, and I fear his careless “tossing aside” of toys will soon lead to a broken window, shelf… or face. He has learnt how to kiss and cuddle though, and that, I’ve got to say, is one of my favourite things to do. Now that I’m writing this it’s easy to forget what all this growing and changing actually entails. In brief it means lots of clothes to wash and sort, daycare paperwork to fill out and pay, finding decent resources for managing and disciplining a toddler, redeveloping his lunchbox and dinner menus with food he will actually consume (as opposed to throw), and booking in First Aid refresher course (I’m kidding about the last one… although it probably couldn’t hurt).
- With all this demanding motherhood business to sort through, I’ve come to realise… I’m a pretty horrible wife. Thanks to the early starts and late nights in the office my husband is often left to pick up/feed/bathe our Little Growing Person while I log on to my iMac and churn out another dozen emails and a handful of documents. And if I’m not working, my brain is so fried and I’m zoned out and useless. I owe my husband a debt of gratitude for the way he has picked up his game and taken the lead and been there for me and our son, especially when I can’t. When it comes to our relationship, I’ve been lazy, and I know Valentines Day is around the corner… so I should probably lift my game.
- That said, I’m still eager to learn how to balance running a household with “full-time” work. The term “full-time” is a bit of a farce, but I’ll just have to deal with it. It’s just… working out when to do washing, plan meals, buy groceries, iron clothes, change bedsheets, vacuum and mop the floors, pay rent (btw to add insult to injury we just got a letter saying they’re increasing rent by $30/week. F***!) ,and read my goddam email inbox is haaarrrdddd…. Working it out is necessary, I know. Sometimes – when I actually get around to doing some of this – it’s even fun. But man it’s hard.
- My house is pretty dirty. I won’t say “messy” because it’s pretty tidy (I did a really big clean out of my book shelves and Ukulele Baby’s toy boxes in early January), but if you look past the neatness you’ll probably notice a lovely layer of filth. Case in point: there is so much of my hair on our bedroom carpet that my son has noticed, will pick some up and bring it to me, carrying it in his chubby little fingers like a sacrifice to the gods. On the plus side if I say, “Oh that’s lovely! Can you please put it in the bin for mummy?” He totally obeys me. What a legend. So… yeah… this weekend: vacuum.
- The fridge has a weird collection of left-overs in it. There’s meat that I was defrosting so I could actually cook dinner, but that hasn’t happened in over a week. Chances are we’ll have to throw it out, along with the veggies that are still sitting in the crisper compartment after three weeks. I don’t know why this is so important that it deserves it’s own dot-point on this list… guess I’m just illustrating how unorganised I’ve been lately?
- I don’t know if it’s a great idea to start listing the things I need to do at work; we’ll be here a while. I started working a 5-day week on 13 January… but I don’t think I’ve actually worked just five days since then. Boy, did I hit the ground running. I was apprehensive about full-time work to say the least; it turns out I had every right to be. On the up side I’ve started work on a few really exciting and challenging projects. On the down side those projects were in addition to my day job, and I’ve come to realise that while taking on such projects can be professionally and personally rewarding, there are a swarm of risks and potential negatives too. Like not getting sleep. Or being constantly high-strung. Or sometimes feeling like you’re being dumped again and again by relentless waves.
- We had a new starter join the team late last year. He’s young and this is his first 9-5 office job, so I’ve had to don my “people manager” hat and remind myself what it’s like to train someone who doesn’t have a clue how to behave in a professional environment. I really hate it when I come across bad people managers who spend all their time delegating tasks and reprimanding bad behaviour and none of their time leading, coaching or taking care of their people, and I don’t want to become one of them. Needless to say, this aspect of my job has been mentally and emotionally challenging, not to mention time consuming. I’m seeing improvement in our new starter though… which I’m hoping is real and not imagined (or at least not temporary) because the last thing I want to have to do is have “The Termination Conversation” with this kid.
- One my best buddies at work resigned last week. She’s been my partner in crime for the last 3 years and she finally announced her resignation, and gave 6 weeks notice. I’m proud of her for having the courage to leave; she owes herself the opportunity to explore the world (or at least London, which is where she’s going) and challenge herself with new experiences and a job in the commercial sector. We’d been discussing this for months so it’s not a surprise… but the reality of the situation is starting to hit me. I’m trying not to think about the workload that’s about to fall into my lap (on top of the “awesome” projects and the day-job I’m already struggling to do), and the fact I’m not going to have a comrade sitting next to me to talk shopping/relationships/weekend adventures with, or – perhaps more importantly – no one will validate my random ideas or opinions, or listen to quite as understandingly as she does when my patience wears thin and I need to rant. She’ll be the third of my friends choosing to move overseas indefinitely (hmmmm… now that I write that, I’m wondering if they’re all trying to escape me?). I’m sad because I’ll be losing a really good friend at work. She’s one of the few people who can pick me up when things go awry (and, given all that is on my plate in the immediate months head, I imagine things will go awry… a lot). Yet I’m happy because I’ll have yet another dot on the globe to visit one day.
- Speaking of overseas friends, (on top of being a horrible wife) I’ve been a horrible friend. I haven’t organised a catch up with any of my long-distance buddies in aaages. And God, I really miss them. This is one of the first things I will remedy this week.
Jeeezzzz… The train is about to pull in to my station, and I’m looking back at this post and, even without going into a lot of detail, there’s a lot going on here. Bleh. I need a drink.