I am home with four kids - two girls, two boys - ages 14, 6, 5 and 3 (and when I started this blog, just a little over two years ago, I had an infant, a 2yr old, 3yr old and 12yr old - feels like a lifetime ago, but it wasn't ;-). Until about four or five years ago, I worked in marketing. I have been and done many things - dancer, magazine "multi-tasker", advertising copywriter, gymnastics coach, resort town waitress, grad student, etc. Now my areas of expertise are different and diverse. I am savvy, efficient, patient and earthy (like it or not). I am a better cook, an Ok herb gardener, an impressive artist to my kids, an active and prolific photographer, a childrens' clothing stylist (in my head), a manager of all things "household" and a news enthusiast (from politics to celebrity). I am more cynical though less of a worrier / hypochondriac than I used to be. I am increasingly proud of what I do with kids, family and home, but I do still present myself as a "freelance writer".
Last night, I found myself totally alone again. Hubby out to dinner with industry colleagues - one in town from Germany - others just a couple of area people he knows through various professional avenues, etc. I was not invited (and why would I be??? I am no longer part of that world which, at one time, so defined me and my day). Oh well. It would be fine - except I usually won't eat alone so end up with grumbly stomach - I mill about, not having anything to do - I start to worry (now I am convinced that one of my fillings that needs to be replaced has begun to hurt, but I really have to concentrate on it ;-) - my kids do their own thing... last night, the boys wanted a pre-bedtime movie instead of a story, Lil actually fell asleep early, and Olivia was still reading her honors English requirements and, of course, texting her friends all night. In fact, instead of reading or working on my photos or just relaxing with a cup of tea, I find myself doing laundry, picking up toys outside, checking myself in the mirror for exercise progress (today's unfortunate photo was a failed attempt to document such progress :-).... other just bizarre, a-productive stuff. Weird. And... I've always been this way. I am good alone - industrious, able to get through projects in a single day if left to my own devices, but... if I KNOW that I am supposed to be with someone else or doing something else, I'm at loose ends. In grad school, if my friends were supposed to meet me and were suddenly late or my roommate unexpectedly went to the library or something, I would mill and smoke and get on the phone and wander outside...... As a child, if my parents were supposed to be home from going out to dinner, I wouldn't eat popcorn with the babysitter and have her do my hair or something, I would pace and look out the window and chew my hair and fret. So..... my question is this: What do you guys do with your alone / downtime? Really. I need help (or a sedative ;-).
Thanks in advance for the emails, etc. I am sure to get (though, again, please post here - I have a few people interested in the responses - those of you who say you "were going to comment" again and again, go ahead and do it - help those of us in need of advice :-).