It’s Sunday night. Tomorrow my 5-year-old starts back to school. This is not a great adjustment because our routine barely changes, aside from my having to make lunches every night. He’s ready, he misses his friends, and I think he needs more stimulation than he’s been getting all summer at our child care provider. So, I expect the transition will flow smoothly with few, if any hiccups.

This is good because I’m pooped—totally and utterly pooped. And this post is a reflection of that. It’s 7:00 p.m. I’ve been trying to get here all day to draft the post I was really ready to write, and now that I finally have a moment I have no mental energy or focus. Nothing. Natta. Just exhaustion. So this is not at all what I meant to write, but I wanted to purge some words, any words, so this is what it will be.

This summer has been a wild ride. The boys are busy and demanding, whiny and hyper, they argue and fuss with each other, and they test all of their limits. They are being exactly as they should be—little boys—but nights like tonight, when they are wound like tops and there hasn’t been a moment of quiet all day, I think they may suck the life right out of me.

These last couple of months have been filled with far too many unscheduled social obligations like neighbourhood BBQ’s and impromptu play dates, and far too few free days spent just the four of us doing nothing.  As fun as it has been, doing nothing is what I crave.

To further complicate matters, work has been tremendously gruelling. I’m on the brink of drowning in a stimulating and invigorating project that is equal parts exciting and overwhelming.

By the time the day is done, I have nothing left for anyone, least of all me. If we have no commitments, or unexpected guests, I’ve generally been flopping onto the couch and watching whatever mindless television I can find.

I feel like I’m popping in and out of here like a jack-in-the-box. My life is winding, winding, winding until my need is greater than I can manage. I blurt a few short words all over the page in an exhale of pent-up emotion and then I tuck myself back in, temporarily sated and ready to keep on, keeping on.

Tonight is no exception. This is all I can muster. I’m tired and I need to curl up in my bed with my book and Diet Coke.

Remarkably, I’m keeping it together. But I feel as though my personal goals are floundering, and as they do my breath gets shorter, more shallow. So this piece, this short and scattered piece is to remind myself by putting it in black in white:  Reign it in, find my centre. Breathe and remember what it takes.



11 thoughts on “Jack-in-the-box

  1. Breathe. Relax. Breathe. Relax. Yoga could help you get there, if you could find time to develop the practice. If not, just breathe. And relax.

  2. harrietglynn says:

    The fall routine will hopefully help. Our summer was similar, and because there was no outside help like I had during the non-summer months, I rarely had time to myself. That said, I try to remind myself that this will all blow by so quickly, and one day, I’ll have too much time to myself. Hang in there.

  3. Christa says:

    I think that posts are, very often, letters to ourselves. At least mine are. And I know what you mean… I can either write in the morning, or get very little, if anything, on the page.

    Life goes on, my friend, it just does.



  4. Sending you wishes of quiet and nothing to do. It’s what I crave, too.

  5. Breathe. That’s the first step. And I hope, soon, the quiet will follow.

  6. denise says:

    Oh friend. I felt the same thing this weekend. Wonderful activities, but just too many of them. Shallow breaths fueling more shallow breaths.

    Good for you for putting it on the page. For writing. For doing what you needed in THAT moment. xo

  7. Amber says:

    I understand your need for quiet and nothingness. To not stare commitments in the face is a breath of fresh air. I also relate to the no energy end of the day routine. Mindless TV is something I have come to really love.

  8. Stacia says:

    Get the words out, whichever ones need to escape. We’ll be here … trying to remember to breathe right along with you!

  9. Lena says:

    Christine, I feel your pain. Some days I would give anything to do nothing! I try to savor the busy times, knowing that they are fleeting but that is little comfort when you are wiped out and my 3 year old just spilled his milk and the 11 month old just banged his head on the floor…

    Love reading your words as always!

  10. Chantal says:

    I know, I just know. Hugs.

  11. I think you will feel less like you’re floundering if you do your morning pages (Julia Cameron style). I find that it really works. I have not been so good about that this week….

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