Every now and then it dawns on me just how incredible (one might even say ridiculous) the pace of my life is. Every weekday is an all-out sprint from 6:00 am right through until about midnight.
I used to say this when I was working on my Ph.D. but now, with divorce and single parenting, it’s back to at least that level of intensity. I manage time incredibly well (which is ironic because back in my primary school days I was one of the worst time managers of all time, something teachers routinely commented on), and somehow each day slots together as a result.
The kids are taken care of, fed, and played with (and/or read to) more or less all day, the school dropoffs and pickups happen, shopping gets done, a full-time management job at a hot technology firm gets done and done well, the bills are paid, the car is maintained, and the home is kept clean and steadily improved (see my last post for reflections on the painting that we’ve been doing). Somewhere in all of that, we also manage the extracurriculars—museum visits, martial arts, library trips, play dates, bowling and mini-golf here and there, and so on.
And I also manage to keep my skills relatively current.
But it’s fair to say that there are no free moments. There is no room in my life for anything else right now. Everything is timed to the minute, and when something takes longer than expected or unplanned events occur, evasive maneuvers are required. In general, these work out pretty well, but it can lead to some nights (like tonight) working until the wee hours of the morning.
It’s a good thing that kids grow up, because I doubt I can keep this up beyond about the age of 50. I’ve been blessed with a pretty rock-solid constitution—I rarely get sick, I’m totally functional when I do, I can operate on very little sleep, my moods lean toward the irrationally stable, and I’m good under pressure. In Timex terms, it’s always been true that “I can take a licking and keep on ticking.”
But sadly, I don’t suppose that can last forever. There will come a time when I have to slow down to a “regular” life pace, like most people have—life cordoned off into work time, family time, personal time, and sleep, rather than all of them happening all the time, at once. The amount of time that is available to me when that inevitable “single-tasking only” day arrives will fall precipitously. Instead of having 48-hour days, I’ll be down to 24-hour days.
It’s a little daunting to think about.