My feeling of calm and peace after organizing all of our homeschooling stuff lasted only a moment. I made the mistake of signing up for a homeschooling yahoo group whose activity takes up half of my e-mail inbox. Though the conversations have been interesting (one of them relevant to me -- how to teach math to a creative, right-brained child), the rest seem to come from frantic parents desperate to resolve whatever problems their child has. I'm glad there is a forum for that, but all that online frenzy doesn't seem to help my already manic mental state.
Manic mental state. Partly due to sleep deprivation, partly due to information overload. So, I've removed myself from that frenetic yahoo group, and I'm also going to stop my subscription to the Sunday New York Times. I enjoy the NY Times a lot, esp. the arts and leisure section, but most of the newspaper I end up ignoring -- seems to be a waste of money to me. Plus, whenever I get the paper, I feel more pressure than pleasure. Pressure to read it all by the time the next issue comes out...and frankly, I don't have time to read! I have very few moments of complete quiet and calm to just TAKE MY TIME reading. When I have ten minutes to read, I am skimming, skipping...it really takes the joy out of reading. It seems I'm going to actually have to schedule private reading time into my schedule as well.
I'm going to also have to stop putting books on hold at the library (or at least limit myself to one request at a time). First, I thought it was the greatest blessing in the world to be able to request any book I desired and have it ready and waiting for me on a designated shelf at the library (such a gift when most of the time I spend in the library involves chasing my son through the stacks). And it's just fine when I can pick up one book at a time, but when three or more are available simultaneously, I freak out from the pressure to get all that reading done by the due date (even with renewals).
The jazz dance class I'll take in forty-five minutes takes me away completely from my crazy monkey mind. An hour and a half of complete focus in the moment.
I also started rehearsals with a Baroque choir that are utter bliss for me for three hours. This choir is a bit of an experiment for me (month-long, for now) after telling myself I was going to focus on mainly my writing and dancing. I thought I could live without music-making on a regular basis, but I think I'm addicted to singing Baroque music. I'm kind of returning to my roots in early music. Early music (medieval to Renaissance to Baroque mainly) was why I went back to school after getting an economics degree at Cal. I was suffering at a nightmare job and asked myself, "What would make me really happy?" My answer was, "To be an early music singer." My plans were to get a bachelor's degree in voice locally and then get a master's degree in voice (with an early music emphasis) at Indiana University. I changed my plans when I met my husband. That's the way life often goes, right? I have no regrets. John is great, and I wouldn't trade my job as mom to my wonderful kids with anyone.
Now, I do feel a little tug to return to my old dream of becoming an early music performer. That would be fun and a lot of work and stress (I don't think I can handle that kind of work stress anymore), but it seems totally unrealistic since my goals for the kind of family life that I want is not conducive to a performer's lifestyle. I think some things may always remain fantasy, and it's nice to settle into fantasy for moments at a time as long as I don't have to live it. It's a bit ironic, since now I am the closest I've ever been technically (with my voice) to make a singing career happen.
[I am sitting in my regular Sunday morning cafe and am totally distracted my someone's cell phone conversation. Something about wanting to chop off part of her toe, which is longer than her big toe. Typically, I'm not ready to hear about self-mutilation before Sunday noon.]
Okay, it's time to go. Time to torture my hamstrings. Have a wonderful day!