Iced coffee used to be one of my best friends. Extra skim milk with Splenda, night or day. Now, I've given up Splenda, Equal, and sugar, and even gotten used to the taste of my coffee with nothing in it other than milk--sometimes skim, sometimes soy. Yesterday, I made the very poor decision to finish my third (or was it fourth?) iced coffee at 8:00. That's 8:00 P.M., the time my children are usually going to bed and I'm supposed to be winding down. I had a busy day yesterday and I was definitely using the iced coffee to help me make it through. Here was my day:
- 9:00 a.m. - Leave the house, clean the snow off the car, and drop Ruby at school
- 9:15 a.m. - Drop Zane at school, stop in the Director's office to select his school pictures and end up having a 40 minute conversation about my experiences with Early Intervention.
- 9:55 a.m. - Call Ken on my way to DD for my first iced coffee of the day to tell him I was running late and to find out if he wanted HIS coffee (medium regular with extra sugar). Ken was supposed to be at my house at 10:00 a.m. to help me carry my entire living room full of 20-year-old carpeting and padding I ripped out all by myself a couple days before.
- 10:10 a.m. - Arrive home to find Ken waiting to help me. We go out onto my balcony (where the carpet and padding had been sitting in a big, filthy lump for a couple of days), and heave the whole mess over the railing to the walkway below. Then we run outside and drag the mess to the general area of the dumpster that serves my building in our complex. (I feel the need to go on record that Ken suggested we cut the lump into pieces with an exacto knife and then put the pieces inside the dumpster.) But I dismiss his suggestion and assume that the garbage truck will just pick up the lump when they empty the dumpster.
- 10:30: I kiss Ken goodbye and go to Lowes to buy a tool to rip up the rest of the carpet tack strips, concrete glue, and a new threshold for my doorway since I had ripped out the carpet and there was a raw edge between the concrete floor in my apartment and the carpet in the hall. I go up and down every aisle to find what I want because I like looking around at Lowes and there is no one around to help me anyway and I didn't feel like chasing anyone down.
- 11:15: I leave Lowes and drive to Marshall's to return some pants I bought on clearance for Ruby that did not meet her stringent fashion requirements.
- 12:00: I get home and start my afternoon of working at home, checking email, voicemail, reviewing copy, scheduling meetings, and checking in on other projects. I make a bizarre shake for lunch that consisted of frozen blueberries, soy milk, organic non-fat yogurt and a half-carafe of cold coffee. It was actually very good and gave me the necessary energy boost I needed.
- 1:00: The manager of my complex knocks on my door to "discuss" the carpet lump that is now covered in newly fallen snow next to the dumpster. When I open the door, he glances down at the concrete floor and asks me who is replacing my carpet. I do NOT tell him that I'm not sure I am even going to replace the carpet, that I hadn't gotten that far in my thought process, and that I am even considering painting the concrete subfloor and leaving it like that. Instead, I blush, apologize, and mumble something about my boyfriend and me doing the carpet. (Which is not a total lie--my boyfriend and I DID remove the carpet.) The manager, who usually speaks with a stutter, speaks clearly and distinctly: "You are going to have to remove it." I explain that my boyfriend is in a class all afternoon (true!) and that I wasn't sure we could get to it. (I was also unsure of whether I could count on Ken at all, particularly after I ignored his advice to begin with.) The manager continues, still with no sign of his stutter, "If the trustees see that mess, they are going to fine you! You are going to have to cut it into pieces and dispose of it in all the dumpsters around the complex, before the weekend." I mumble, "Ok, sorry" and close the door, knowing that I have no exacto knife and no extra set of muscles to borrow before the weekend. Uh-oh.
- 3:00: I sign off email and go to Ruby's school so I can wait 15 minutes for her dismissal bell to ring. You have to get in this weird line of cars on the upstairs playground so the principal can direct all the parents to drive out in an orderly manger after all the kids come out.
- 3:30: The principal waves us out of the parking lot and Ruby and I go to Building 19 to look for a carpet runner to cover the cement entrance to my apartment and cover up the big crack that I didn't know was there when I ripped up the carpet. We walk around the entire store and leave with nothing.
- 4:15: Ruby and I drive to Holbrook for her girl's yoga class. We wait in the parking lot for the instructor (the Fabulous and Serene Nancy) to arrive. When she does, I leave Ruby, and go to the Dollar Store to look for a cheap runner. I find what I think is a runner but when I get home I realize is just a long doormat-size remnant. I also buy some valentine stuff for the kids.
- 5:15: I get back to the yoga studio and wait for Ruby's class to get out. When it does, we head back to Weymouth to pick up Zane.
- 5:45: We pick up Zane and discuss which fast food option we will partake for our pre-meeting, commuting meal. Because I'm feeling the need for yet ANOTHER iced coffee, we go to Dunkin Donuts drive-thru where they now sell individual pizzas that are a big hit with the kids. I opted for a bagel with peanut butter. They ate their pizzas and sipped their chocolate milks while we drove to Quincy for the one single meeting I go to that has babysitting.
- 6:20: We get to the meeting (that starts at 6:00), drive around looking for a parking spot in the busy area, park across the square, and head inside. I insist (as I usually do) that Ruby and Zane use the bathroom before we head into the babysitting room. Zane fights (as he usually does) and Ruby goes into every stall before she finds one that she likes (as she usually does). I manage to get their hands washed and dried, their coats and boots off, pay the babysitter in the room (a lovely older woman named Sherry) and get to the meeting while the speaker is still speaking...and speaking...and speaking. I usually sit near the front so I can see and so I can pay attention without being distracted by everyone and everything between the speaker and me. But Karen Teacup was in the back row and I hadn't seen her in a while so I slide in and tried to focus.
- 6:45: The speaker wraps it up at last (with a sexist Winston Churchill joke) and I take my turn in the babysitting room to give Sherry a hand. There are 7 kids and I know all but 1 so it was easy and fun.
- 7:00: I head back to the meeting and try to sit still while I listen to people in the room treating it like a roast, telling the speaker how much he has meant to their personal recovery, etc. I don't mind this except for the fact that, as a newcomer, I often felt excluded when I attended meetings with this tone. I thought AA was a clique and that I wasn't a part of it...again. Towards the end, a couple people speak who have really great things to say about hope and faith and the role their higher power plays in their lives and in their recovery.
- 7:30: The meeting is over and Karen Teacup and I go to the babysitting room to retrieve our children. All my kids go to the bathroom again, we get our coats, hats, boots, and gloves on, and head to the cars across the square, holding hands and saying "hup, two, three four" so the kids would think it was fun. We hugged Karen, Matthew, and Ariana bye-bye and head out to do a drive-by of a possible apartment in Quincy. I never found the actual house but I found the area and thought "Na, I want to live in Weymouth." So I guess that settles the angst I was feeling earlier. I knew it would happen like that. I would just KNOW. It was clear and obvious to me that I want to stay in Weymouth for this year of renting. After that, we'll see. I have made MAJOR changes in my life this year and I need to have some things stay the same. Ruby's school and child care and my meetings are good things to keep the same. On the way home, we drive by a place in Weymouth that may or may not be available for rent in June after a client of Ken's may or may buy it as an investment property. While we're driving around, I finish the iced coffee I bought before the meeting.
- 8:30: We get home, get in jammies and the three of us lay in Zane's bed together and read two books (Horace and Morris But Mostly Delores and Arthur Goes to School).
- 9:30: Everyone's alseep. I turn on the TV and log on to my laptop to look for apartments (for June??? Who the hell am I kidding???) Four hours later, I head to bed and realize my novel (that I ALWAYS read before falling asleep) is in the car. I read a magazine instead and finally, finally turn out the light and close my eyes about 2:00 a.m. It's not like I was clubbing or even awake having sex! I was internet surfing and watching friggin TV until 2:00 a.m.!!!!
Today was a busy day, too (lunch out, play date with Ruby's friend coming out with us, library, sledding, cocoa at DD, etc.) so I'm hoping we'll ALL fall asleep at a reasonable hour tonight. After dinner and baths, we watched a cool kids movie (5 Kids and The It) and Ken came over to study for the Personal Training Certification Test he's taking tomorrow. Ken's gone and the kids are in bed. I heard soem noise coming from their room a little while ago, but I'm hoping they'll get bored with their talking if I leave them alone.
It's been a good day despite my "poor sleep hygiene" as my therapist likes to call it. (It sounds like I go to bed with filthy feet, doesn't it?) I'm going to try to remember that, for whatever reason (MS, motherhood, age, humanity) I can NOT burn the candle at both ends without getting badly burned. Unless I want to spend tomorrow morning crabby and dozing on the couch while the kids watch too much PBS Kids (like this morning), I need to go to bed by 11pm tonight. I'm going to give myself an incentive. If I am in bed with no TV and computer on by 11pm, I get to have eat some organic sorbet (with low sugar) tomorrow night.