Time For Me to Think and Process Things
Life moves at a break-neck-speed. There is always something to be done or someone to respond to. The only time I get to myself now is when I’m at the grocery store. It’s my safe space, but I’ll get to that in a second.
My normal M-F day job includes long meetings, constant interruptions in my work flow, ever changing priorities and an always growing to do list. I don’t have one official boss to report to, I have four. That can make for a very delicate and time consuming working process. The good news is that it makes the days go by quickly, the bad news is that I often leave the office without having accomplished what I originally wanted to at the start of the day.
The evenings include watching Wesley while Abigail is at dance, working on freelance projects, taking the dog out, laundry, cooking meals and doing the dishes. My weekends generally involve watching Wesley in the mornings so Abigail can get some extra sleep, cleaning the house, spending time with extended family and running errands.
If you’ve ever tried to keep a 1-bedroom apartment with virtually zero closet space organized you’ll agree with me when I say it’s nearly impossible. Our apartment is full of the accumulated things of two grown adults, a newborn and a 4 year-old pampered pooch. Laundry is the most difficult part of the mix to manage. Not a day goes by when I’m not frustrated with the lack of space we have to put things in their place. I just can’t relax at home if things aren’t in their place. We will be moving to a two-bedroom later this summer, but we have a lot to sort through between now and then.
This is my heaven right now. A shopping cart in an empty grocery store. Drinking a coffee. I find peace wandering these aisles. There is no crying baby in my arms. My phone is in my pocket and its notifications and dings ignored. I don’t have people asking me about projects or deadlines or budgets. I get to zone. I get to explore. I can breath.
I’ve always liked grocery shopping. In my 20s I’d often go to the grocery store at 2-3 a.m. just to wander the store in the quiet. I liked (still do) looking at new products, comparing prices, and picking up a few favorites.
There doesn’t seem to be any reasonable alternatives for spaces of peace like this for me. My office at work is out, too many interruptions. I take walks for lunch or a coffee break sometimes. These breaks are usually more social in nature and often include work related conversations with colleagues or running into people I know in the area. I love these breaks, but they require much more effort than I’d like for a truly peaceful outing.
Staying up after everyone in the house goes to sleep doesn’t work either. My wife is a serious night owl so I often go to bed before she does. Getting up earlier than the household is also difficult. The baby and our dog often wake up whenever I do (or before.) They both need attention so that doesn’t work for personal time. Plus, IF I can get any extra sleep I take it. Feeling rested always wins as a choice if it is possible when there is a baby in the house.
During the school year I sometimes go to the library before class for a few minutes of peace and quiet. Normally that time involves finishing up homework, so I don’t get to just leisurely read, but I enjoy it. I’m going to earn that bachelors degree, eventually.
I’m hoping when we move into a bigger place there will be more space to put things away in and more time for me to read or relax because of that. We’ll see I guess. For now I’ll keep enjoying my trips to the grocery store and the peace I find there.