A good friend of mine who lives in England and who reads my blog recently asked me if my life is really as tranquil as it seems. Oh I laughed, I really laughed when I heard that.
I guess it’s time to redress the balance. Actually I think the fact that I’m always seeking tranquility and the elusive zen really gives the game away.
My life is calm and peaceful (mostly) when I’m alone. I can have a ton of work to do, but I have good time management skills and I manage to flow through everything, more or less without stress or panic. That is a big advantage of being self-employed and working from home. My clients always contact me by email, so the phone is never ringing off the hook, unless it’s a friend wanting to chat. Those sort of intrusions I welcome! There are days and weeks where I’m inundated with work and where I just have to get my nose to the grindstone – but that’s OK. Actually every now and then I really enjoy that sort of adrenalin rush. Not every week, mind you and certainly not when I’m trying to pack for vacation at the same time, but once in a while, that’s just fine with me. So most of the time it’s quiet and I potter through life doing what needs to be done peacefully and at my own pace.
The big but in the argument is when I have to say that I have 3 children – two teenagers (and I’m sure you moms out there know what that means) and an almost teenager. So even if I achieve a sense of inner calm during the day, the second the doorbell rings and the first one comes home from school, well, that’s pretty much gone.
I would actually defy anyone in a family of five to find any tranquility at all once the family is at home. We stagger from one crisis to the next, I rush the kids to their sports activities and try to keep track of the complicated car-pooling arrangements that I have with other moms. There is screaming and door slamming, rolling eyes and rudeness, the ongoing struggle to have rules and keep to them while trying to be scrupulously fair with everyone. I have eyes in the back of my head and the skills of a police sniffer dog. And quite a lot of the time some of my kids see me as Public Enemy No.1; the most unreasonable mother in the world; the one mother who just doesn’t get it and who is downright mean. Does this ring any bells out there anyone?
Over the years I’ve read a lot about parenting in my search for the holy grail – the quiet, calm contented household where everyone is nice to each other, people do their homework and chores without having to be reminded and we all love one another. I’ve had to draw the unhappy conclusion that it just doesn’t exist – well apart from the loving each other part. I’m sure my kids do love each other and us and we love them. they just might not admit to it for a big portion of the time .But quietly getting on with what needs to be done without rebelling or fighting – would that be normal? (By the way if anyone has THE ANSWER please contact me – I’d love to know how you do it!)
So I continue in my quest for calm and zen. To redress the balance. It doesn’t always work, but maybe if I didn’t it would be even more crazy round here and I’m really not sure I could handle that right now.
PS I want to make a little plug for my knight in shining armour – the wonderful Eric – who rescued me from the Turkish Martyrs with calm efficiency last week. Eric designed the blog for me and runs it on his server (new server – not old hacked by the Turks server). If anyone out there is looking for a great, professional, blog or website designer – then Eric’s your man. He can be contacted through ELK and I promise you, he’ll do a great job.