Recently, I posted a Facebook status update about a typical hectic Saturday which included a multiple-mile training run, a Dance Party appearance, and packing up favor bags for mija’s birthday party. A friend commented “So it was a slow day?” I laughed and then probably went back to my multi-tasking.
There was a time in my life, specifically a decade ago, when, because I was a committed girlfriend (aka pendeja) in a long-distance relationship (aka estupidez to the tenth degree), I did not do much. My club kid days/phase had ended; there were no more early Wednesday morning (house music at 2am!) trips to San Francisco or any more Sunday afternoon tea-dances followed by Thai dinners. If my girlfriends were busy, I often spent Friday nights and Saturdays at home, reading or doing housework. Once the relationship fizzled, I spent lots of time blogging. Within five years, my life went from boring to outright loca(there’s a reason I relate to Mariah, Britney, and Demi and it’s not because I’m a pop star diva)and I had to re-evaluate how I lived. Being busy in a positive, productive way saved my sanity.
Time is not my great enemy. My schedule may seem overwhelming to folks. For me, it is purposeful. I make time for family, exercise, learning, and dance. Those are the priorities. They help me regulate my emotions, tolerate distress, and improve my relationships. Then there is work and housework. During all of my activities, I work on mindfulness, on appreciating every moment in all its complexity and simplicity. I hope that my daughter learns that a strong woman can do and be many things. I hope she sees that taking care of myself helps me take care of her, her father, and others in my life.
Let’s get one thing clear. I cannot do it all. I may do my leisure reading while my daughter enjoys ballet and tap lessons. Learning a dance routine for a flash mob means the laundry may not be folded for a few days. The freezer may come to the rescue for a meal or two a week (you best believe I store leftovers and bring out family favorites when I’m too busy to cook.) My mom sometimes scolds me for making too much time for fun and not enough time for household chores. I have been embarrassed when my suegra visits during a particularly busy time and sees a messy house. So I would rather make happy memories than make the bed. I can make a game of putting away laundry or doing the dishes. The whole familia pitches in when the clutter gets too out of control.
Then there are those events which are not on the schedule. Bedtime story time. Family dinner at the kitchen table. Best of all, we have what our daughter calls happy family, sweet little moments when the three of us share a group bear hug. These are the times that truly matter.