Jerky time

A fair warning: there is nothing rocket sciencey about the following statements.
At all. Clearly. I just used the word sciencey.
The relationship between age and experience is a bit of a jerk.
As you get older, you hope you gain more experience. With this experience, you are able to take advantage of more opportunities- for personal and professional growth.
In parallel, as you get older your life becomes more complicated, with responsibilities and relationships placing greater demands on you. Marriages, children, extended families all having more needs as time moves.
So just at that point where you’re in position to really take some big leaps professionally, your personal demands are pulling you in a sometimes conflicting direction.
See- jerk move. And not at all rocket sciencey.
It wouldn’t be growth if it didn’t come with an element of challenge or discomfort or conflict…
But finding a way every day to still push yourself in both realms, while also allowing yourself to say ‘enough; I’m done with pushing today.’
And deciding when you want to compartmentalize the segments of your life vs blending it all up.
I know there are plenty of people advocating for the ‘how could you even imagine separating things in your life? If you love what you do for a job, it is your life, alongside your family and your exercise, and your rest…’ way. And at some points that does make things more efficient, transitioning without fuss or recalibration from one world to the next. At other points I think my circumstances lately have just forced me to separate, because what I feel like I’m being pushed for, both personally and professionally, are challenging and intense and very different from one another right now. It’s refreshing and stimulating and exciting, but just not always lending of itself to a blended life.
So today my day has shifted from my usual early morning work world at home with a jug of coffee…. To an unexpectedly early interruption from cute sleep-face kid #2. Launched into the typical morning-readying scramble. To a short pause (and stop off for a delicious Flat White) to do some emails before heading to cute kid#1’s school for a family walk for some save-the-kids fundraiser ( I should have fit in time to read about it so I knew wtf I was walking for.), then it’ll be a mad dash up to work world. And then a complete arsehole move to go out on the town- the the GD RANGERS game 7. Arse.hole. And so excited.
Then Sunday a departure for meetings next week in a generic (maybe i’ll be surprised?) mid-west town.
And on the cycle goes. Like it does for so many of us. And I’m so grateful that we’re at a time where this is the kind of stuff to be consumed by. Normal day-to-day balancing ¬†stuff.
We’re doing alright.

Now and then

In between…

This week marks the 9 month point of living in NYC … In some ways it feels like we just got here, but more often it feels like we’ve been here longer… We’ve been so fortunate to have embraced this adventure with a (more or less) common attitude of simultaneously ‘taking care of business’, (setting up camp, figuring out the basics, establishing some routines) and of also ‘taking it all in’. (exploring and tasting and hearing and photographing as much as we can just because we can…)
It’s weird though… When we first signed on for this, we committed to 2 years. And having never done this before with our family, we really didn’t break it down any further than that, other than in calculating what toys the kids might actually be interested in upon our return at the end of these 2 years.
We had no idea what to expect in terms of what living ‘in between’ might feel like…. Revelling in the fact that every weekend felt like a holiday, but also getting the chance to feel ‘like a local’ during the week as we schlepped ourselves very manually from one obligation to another ( school to work to school and home. Rinse and repeat.)
Revelling is one way to think of it. But anxiety enters as well…. What’s going to happen after 2 years? When do we start thinking about that? We just GOT here, and are just now starting to feel like the intensity of a move has been replaced with day-to-day living… We really need to start thinking about what’s next already?? When can we just ‘live’ for a bit? When can we change our plans next?
When we’ve had these opportunities for this kind of adventure (or reboot) in the past, it was just us dummies. We didn’t even have a dog the last time something this substantial happened.
We also hadn’t experienced the breadth of highs and lows yet that life tosses your way, the longer you get to stick around this world. We didn’t yet really know the pain of losing someone, nor did we understand the pure joy ( and intense responsibility) in welcoming a baby into the world.
So with this perspective, being in this ‘ in between’ means something, or rather, we actually feel it because of this perspective.
This weekend we had extremely different days.
One of us went fishing with (an inspiringly interesting uncle) in Jamaica  Bay, leaving the apartment by 4:30 am to get on the subway to get to the spot for sunrise. Exactly every part of that statement is completely new to us.
The other one spent the morning at a birthday party for a 2 year old that could easily have been off of a TLC show (not because the company was bad in any way- quite the contrary in that they were extremely welcoming and generous)k. I then headed out to eat Cuban food and go do a dance festival in Tompkins Square Park with the kids. Exactly every part of that statement is also completely new to us.
Who knows where we’ll be in a year. Of course we’ll think about it every day.
And our circumstances are different and a bit more complicated as both the kids and our working visas grow older. But so too has our perspective….
 IMG_0440.JPG  

IMG_0434.JPG

Mother’s Say

Mother Day- in NYC.

This weekend is Mother’s Day here.
Not sure that there is much significance to that fact that I’m in New York for this year’s day, other than that again, any kind of these firsts or milestones  in a new place again make you ( allows you the excuse to) give pause to where you are, and how these new surroundings are affecting you…
I miss my mom every day. Having the chance to reboot so many elements in my life with a move like this ironically makes me even more sentimental and reminiscent, for a chance to share my experiences with her. At least once a day I have a little sparkle where I think of how my mom would have felt about this thing that I saw, or this way that my kid reacted to that, or… She would have been happy. And proud. And encouraging.
She was at a point in her life where it seemed like she was excited to explore her identify, beyond being a mom. She did this throughout her motherhood life, I know, but it was seeming that she was starting to be able to actually actively, intentionally, and excitedly embrace this, guilt-free and maybe even with a sense of duty and responsibility- that it was important and necessary to be doing this.
I know how fortunate I am to have had the previous generations of women establish so much, to allow me the opportunities to even consider being a loud and proud (and tired and stressed and conflicted) working mom… Multi-dimensional, with the many hats hanging out of my work-and-kid-tending-appropriate bag… The office hat probably smeared at times with yogurt raisin mess, and the mom hat stinking a bit like spreadsheets at other times…and then the aspiring-to-create-something-and-be-healthy hat dusty with goldfish at still other times…
I think of how much my Mom did, without seeming to ever acknowledge how many different many hats she was swapping. She just did it. And did so much more than I’ll ever know. There wasn’t the discussion about the struggle. There wasn’t the open debate about where her energies should be going, or about what she was sacrificing in exchange for something else…
A stoic wonder. Without guilt. Without disappointment. Without angst. 
But with dignity. Pride. Responsibility. And love. Ultimately with love and care forever at the core.
Maybe all of those struggles were ultimately at play. I’m sure they were. But we either didn’t have the opportunity yet in our relationship to discuss these, or she chose instead to rationalize or work through these challenges without her kids’ involvement. 
Nothing earth-shattering here. I suppose on this Mother’s Day I am reflecting on the kind of Mom I hope to be… To pay tribute to the kind of Mom I was so lucky and blessed to have had, and to pause and think about what I can be lucky enough to try to impart on my kids. 
Love and care. With my own fashion show as well of forever-swapping hats…

Bratty weekends

My problem is that I’m a morning person. And a night person. And that means that I dont sleep a lot. I ‘do’ a lot. But I don’t sleep a lot.

I’m not unique in this dilemna, and two factors- having young kids, and living in NYC ( both from the activities/ inspiration/ exploration factor, and from the 2 bedroom with 2 loud kids factor)- look like this pattern of minimal sleep will continue…

Another consideration is that our weekend time is predominantly up to us to manage- right or wrong, we don’t have the kids enrolled in a bunch of activities yet, and have instead made a choice for this spring to put that planning of activities on us. They both spend long days away from us right now, and both get a nice exposure to other kids, and through their childcare programs, they’re involved in semi-organized extracurricular activities. (I can taste the guilt and doubt seeping into my words, as hard as I try to be confident in our decision…!)
As a result of these circumstances (I say ‘choice’ maybe a bit too generously as part of this is again a result of us just falling into certain plans because we’re still adjusting to living in this new place, and might not be as proactive as we had been in our previously home), our weekends are here for us (me, as a spaz, I know) to sort out.
And I know how fortunate I am for that luxury. And I f$&$ing love it.
But again, that only means that any stress I might feel in juggling on the weekend is my own fault. What a stupid thing to even think about!!
So- with that, you can either perpetuate the anxiety of needing to ‘make the most make most make the most’ by feeling like you’re never going to be doing or seeing or tasting or hearing enough…. Or, you can actually unselfishly and genuinely ENJOY and appreciate the luxurious position you find yourself in, a wealth of experiences, as big or as small, as new or as old as you like.
Tomorrow will come. And change will happen.
So let’s see what today is all about.