Thursday, September 26, 2013

At a Las Vegas buffet, holding a tiny plate.

A few weeks ago, I told my friend that life felt like a Las Vegas buffet and I was holding a tiny plate.  And that all this Cool Stuff I was piling on it -- job I adore, grad school, loved ones, the occasional few hours of sleep -- were great a la carte, but still overflowing all over the floor.

I have still not figured out the Perfect Answer.  I don't want to take off the cookie...the brownie...or the piece of cake.  I'm in love with every element of my life.  Except the "overflowing all over the floor" part.

Which leads me to today...
  • My alarm went off at 4am. I opted out of a shower to sleep 20 minutes longer.  
  • Got ready for work and did my hour-long commute to work.  Started at 6am.
  • Took a 20-minute nap (and showered) at a friend's house on my lunch break.  
  • Adored nearly every second of a work project I'm doing, about library sources for mission command papers (blah blah blah).  Seriously, I loved it.  My job speaks to my heart on a daily basis (and yes, I know that's cheesy).
  • Left work at 4pm to go to my graduate class -- which also speaks to my heart.
  • Graded papers in the 15 minutes I waited for class to start.  
  • Told my professor I needed to leave 10 minutes early to see my son's karate belt ceremony.  I wondered what he'd think (especially since he's writing my rec letter for the program), but he got a soft smile and nodded approvingly.  I've noticed people who are later in the family-rearing phase (50-60s) *always always always* understand that family comes first.  So he sped the entire class through explaining the Case Study assignment, because "Sarahbeth has a pressing family appointment."  Not even a trace of sarcasm. 
  • 10 minutes before class was officially out, I walked out of the classroom...and then, out of view from classmates, I took off RUNNING through the campus, back to the parking ramp.  Literally running.  I half-expected an officer to stop me, thinking I was running from a rapist.  And how to explain that I was sweaty and out of breath because I didn't want to be late to my son's karate ceremony?
  • Hit traffic.  Swore a lot.  
  • Came in 5 minutes late to the ceremony, but I MADE IT.  Andrew turned around and saw me, and smiled nonchalantly. Previously, I'd told him I was going to *try* to be there, but I had class that night and wasn't sure.  I expected him to be overtly happy or surprised or something when he saw me, but he just gave a small grin. I told myself maybe that's better -- that it's a non-issue for him that I'm present -- never-mind the 4am alarms and running through campus (Later, snuggling him to sleep, he said: "I was impressed when I saw you at my ceremony, Mom, but I was trying to be focused."  Omigod, I love him).
It is now 9:45, the kids and Victoria are in bed, and Steve is working crazy-late for their auditing deadlines and won't be home until 1 or 2 in the morning. He came to Andrew's ceremony and then had to go back.  I put in laundry, dishes, and put on my pajamas. And decided to blog for the first time in an embarrassingly long period of time.  

Big buffet.  Tiny plate.  If anyone has suggestions on how to Do It All and Still Sleep (other than cat-naps at a friend's apartment during lunch), please tell me.  Someone wiser than me would look in on my life and say it's time to edit.  And I know they're right.  I just have to figure out where to edit.  Because the current places, sleep and downtime, doesn't seem sustainable.