I wasn't prepared for the noise. For the constant motion. For the lack of rest. Not necessarily the lack of sleep, but of rest.
I've been going through an amazing self-awareness journey the past couple years and have learned a lot of things about me. Why I act the way I do, what I need to do to maintain some sort of balance and how to relate to others who aren't ever going to (or in some cases ever going to TRY to) understand. Through all this I have been in awe at how I have been created. Best of all, I've learned that I am an introvert and that unless I live my life in a certain way, I'm not going to be the best person I can be for those who need me.
One of these ways is to be sure to carve out "quiet time" for myself. This can take on various forms, but up until recently, it had taken the form of me on my couch watching a couple NCIS episodes, usually with my laptop and a computer game. A couple hours of not thinking and I was good to go. Now that I travel with little ones in my car to and from work, I've learned that I had also carved out my commute as a "quiet time" and didn't even realize it. This is the time that I'm currently mourning the most. I can still sit on my couch after the kids are in bed and get some quiet time on the couch. At this point, and for the foreseeable future, I won't get commute time back any time soon. There will always be little ones in the car on my way to and from work.
Our little ones love the attention and structure they are receiving from us and we love giving them that gift. As my pastor has said, sacrifice is the seed of love, and thus far, the sacrifice has been there. I'm not even talking about missed concerts or after parties, although we have given that up too. Have you ever tried to explain to a 4 year old why you really don't want to sit on the couch and watch a movie because you desperately need some time alone? I'll tell you this, they're not going to listen and if they do, they won't understand. They'll just pout and you'll cave in and watch the movie (even if it is the 500th time you've seen "The Little Mermaid" that week).
Prior to June 12, Bill and I led a pretty quiet existence. We'd go places and do things, but we're just happy to be on opposite ends of the couch watching TV and maybe not even talking. Now it's: "Please leave your sister alone," "Please leave your brother alone," "No you can't use markers on the table," "Please pick up your toys" and so on. I'm starting to forget what quiet is, and I can tell.
I. am. tired.
Not just physically I-could-sleep-all-day tired, but the tired that comes with being unable to recharge in a way that benefits my personality. The tired that makes me sound and act like someone I don't recognize and has me in tears as I'm writing this. More than not being fun, I'm annoying myself with this behavior, because I know it's just not who I am.
Along with quiet time, routine has been a source of care for my personality. While the kids are getting into a pretty solid routine, I'm not. I'm frazzled and standing in my messier than normal house and wondering when and how to get it clean so that I can work on other things that need done. While I don't like cleaning, I can't really be productive if the space I want to work in is a mess. Routine helps the quiet time come easier, as there are fewer distractions and nothing niggling in the back of my mind like, "You really shouldn't be playing games, you should be _________ (insert other "important" thing here)." I'm really hoping that with school starting next week, we can all settle into a better routine that allows me to get some non-home related things caught up and others started.
It will get better, because I refuse to live so drained. To quote a viral video "Ain't nobody got time for that."