Sunday, April 25, 2010

bursts of creativity

A few days ago I was overwhelmed with ideas, constantly jotting words, thoughts, paragraphs in the little notebook I carry with me everywhere, on buses, in yoga class, on staircases, stopping in the middle of crowded sidewalks to scribble and make sure I didn't lose anything. 

Today? I'm sitting in my very messy living room, overwhelmed at how 4 people can let things get so out of control, knowing I'm the one who's going to have to fix it all. If there's any creativity inside me it's trapped under piles of dirty dishes that need to take the place of clean ones in the dishwasher, the boxes of sewing supplies that have taken over the dining room table, the furniture that's been moved so Jack could ripstick comfortably around the apartment. 

It's really hard to maintain creativity when real life is far more immediate.

I need space, time alone, a break. And things, for the most part, have been ok lately. But, we're entering into our 2 months of chaos and I'm not ready. Summer is looming and we have to figure out camp options for people who don't want to go to camp. Living in the city means there are some amazing things to do. At this point we're looking at puppet theater that culminates in creating a tv show, sewing classes, maybe robotics. A week here, 2 weeks there. For a person who loves the sameness of schedules, it will be a challenge. Every time we get used to a new routine, it'll shift. My days will be hiking, in city heat, to different places, dealing with new people, new subways/buses, kids who would rather stay home. 

To kick off May we've got a bar mitzvah next weekend that has to be sandwiched between baseball games and practice plus getting Iz to a sleepover birthday party that starts and ends in Chinatown. Jack's birthday is in 12 days and he's now having a party in 2 parts because his birthday weekend has so many other things going on we don't have time to host it. Mother's day is in 13 days. Jon's birthday is in 19. And then Father's Day, my birthday and Iz's are all in June. That's parties to arrange, cakes to bake, presents to get, celebrations to organize. 

I've got an entire package to write and produce for middle school orientation at the end of June. A class art project for Jack's 3rd grade group.

We're still working on vacations. We're figuring out how to go to Vermont for a few days, even though I thought I made it clear that since we go to Vermont all winter, summer was off limits. But, no, we're going. All of us. I had thought that I'd get a reprieve, have a few days at home, alone. Nope. This way Jon and I will have some time alone together while the kids stay at his mom's. That's a lovely thing that never happens, the time alone part. But, honestly, I want time by myself. I did the single parent thing twice this spring—when he went skiing out west and then taking the kids to Florida which he had to pass up because he went skiing out west. 

When do I get my break? To live in a space that stays the way I leave it, piles of clothes not magically appearing in the middle of the floor, cabinets closed, things remaining put away? To not have the constant drone of: what can I do, I'm bored, she started it, he's doing it on purpose, Lis can't you control anything? Apparently not this summer. I'm already looking forward to September, when our schedules click into a steady pattern again.

I've got to go empty the dishwasher and make my bed before taking a shower and heading to yoga. And I know, when I get back the cranks and whines about my being away will smack me as soon as I walk through the door.

1 comment:

Doreen McGettigan said...

sounds like you need a weekend retreat..but honestly savor the craziness now; kids grow up and go away..and that was sad for me..until they brought home 10 3/4 grand kids..the grand kids are growing up faster than my own kids did and life is chaos once again!