Friday, January 27, 2012

State of Wonder

I'm having trouble with motivation.  I'd like to jump out of bed, happy and energetic, and ready to face the day. Ready to load the dishwasher, tackle the laundry, straighten the living room and plan the meals.  Instead I want to pull up the covers and remain sheltered.  Just shy of that I would settle for curling up on the couch and reading the day away.

As a consequence I have been reading a lot (and the dishes and laundry are piled high).  I just finished "The Forgotten Garden" by Kate Morton.   Additionally I read "The Cat's Table" by Michael Ondaatje (of  English Patient fame).  Both books, in one way or another, deal with ships and voyages.  As such I've found myself fantasizing.  At night, at work, tucked into the uncomfortable futon in the windowless office, my body swaying back and forth with specious motion, it's easy to pretend I'm on a cruise; in a windowless cabin deep in the bowels of the beast.  The grumbling HVAC unit only adds to the fantasy as it grunts and groans like an onboard motor.

I lay there and imagine I'll wake up somewhere exotic.  The discomfort.  The swaying.  It'll all the worth it once our destination is reached.  Eventually I do drift off to sleep, tossing and turning and hoping and dreaming.  Alas I wake to find myself firmly ensconced in the bowels of a strip mall and not a cruise ship.  A disappointment to be sure.

And yet there is a sense of contentment, of joy, from the simple act of fantasizing.  There is great beauty in sitting and letting the mind wander.  Something I engaged in daily as a child.  Oh the days when I would lie on the floor basking in a sun spot dreaming of this and that.

I'd love to allot similar time for my children.  We already limit after school activities; dance once a week for the girls and one sport for the boy.  Free time, however, gets filled with mindless television and/or Facebook sessions.  I'll readily admit to not being the best example.

We've started some new rules.  Computers automatically shut down at 9:30 pm.  All hand held devices are, at the same time, supposed to be turned over for parental control.  And yet the rules aren't always enforced.  We parents are tired.  We struggle to do what we know is right.

I'd love to schedule family reading hour and family game night and family dinner (though I also don't mind eating dinner while challenging the kids to Jeopardy).

I tell myself I would do these things if only I didn't have to work.  If only I wasn't so exhausted.  And maybe that's true.  Then again maybe not.  At any rate I do have to work and raise and family and I need to figure how to best do things sooner than later.  And that includes the dishes and laundry.

For now I'm compromising.  I've got a couple of books on tape (or cd or whatever).  I need to pull these out and listen while cleaning.  To get off my duff and get a few things accomplished.

Then I need to sit down and make a plan.  A plan for our family to rely less on a media driven world.  A plan for interaction and harmony.   A plan for fantasy and a plan for contentment.

Here's hoping for a state of wonder.



Liz said...

I think compromise, or a little at a time is often the most successful way forward for plans like this. Maybe you could start with family dinner once a week - or fortnight, or month.

Amy said...

I get it. Believe me, I do. Full-time job, teach piano after school, four kids (10, 7, 5, and almost 1) at home. The mere thought of laying in a sunbeam and reading and dreaming gives me the chills and makes me sad because I can't remember the last time I had a moment like that. I love my life. I do. Just a few moments to curl up and do nothing would be pretty awesome, though!

Anonymous said...

Ahh the best laid plans~
Sunshine, if you do spend time, and do interact with your kids, and you make an effort, shouldn't that be a reward too?
It is with the best intentions that I start most things..
And tender no excuses when they go awry!
( illuminary )
Since google is still being a PILL

Shalet said...

I do believe compromise will be the answer. I'm going to start with one hour every other week and see where that takes us. *fingers crossed*