We have been busy lately. Overwhelmingly busy. Really, not just "lately", but for the last two months. I can barely remember when it started, and honestly, the past two months are like a blur for me. It all started when I took on my first proposal. I am a government contractor and have always worked the "40-hour a week" government contracting jobs. In August, my company asked for my help on a proposal.
And so a new addiction was born. That is a bit of an exaggeration, but it is really cool that I am part of this team and understand this new language and have these opportunities. Proposals are awesome because they stretch the brain, make you think bigger and outside the box, and require an amazing amount of time and effort. I spent days working my "regular" job, then would come home, cook, eat dinner with the fam, and jump right into the proposal - often working four or more hours at night, only to jump in bed for 5 or less hours of sleep before restarting the cycle. It was both tiring and not tiring - the adrenaline rush of doing this and being part of this team kept me going. When the proposal was over, I definitely crashed. Unfortunately, I did not have much time to recover before the next proposal kicked off and I was back to the crazy hours!
In addition to my regular job and the back-to-back proposals, we also had a week long vacation and two out of town weddings. Writing it out here just does not make it seem as tough as it has been. But it was tough - I was literally doing work until midnight Saturday night before we left for vacation. We drove home late that Friday, unpacked the car, went to bed, and were up early Saturday morning to get the kids to the in-laws and head up to the wedding. We got back Sunday night and I found out I had to work Columbus day. And we worked - 20+ hours...I arrived at the office around 6:30am and did not leave until 3:30am the NEXT day! The week that followed was one of the busiest I have had here at my "regular" job, complete with a surprise briefing to the big boss.
This past weekend we had our other out of town wedding. We had a fantastic time, and a great weekend. I enjoyed this weekend more than most we have had, and it was not because this wedding was better than the previous. They were both fantastic weddings. But, this Sunday I took a different approach to life. We decided to totally forget about the clock (except to check mass times and try to find one that fit OUR schedules). We slept late and let the kids watch cartoons (for the second time in their life) in the hotel room. We had a big, fairly expensive, breakfast in a local diner. We took a sentimental drive up to see my grandparents' old home and all the sites of my childhood. We stopped at a Farmer's Market on the side of the road and picked pumpkins. We got home when we got home and found time for church. We ate a bucket of KFC on a tablecloth in the family room to ignore the mess in the kitchen. It was RELAXING.
I went to work Monday morning with a whole new attitude. Knowing my brief was over and my inbox was relatively cleaned out, I had all week to get stuff done. I have no weekend plans from now until mid-November and plan to keep it that way, which leaves plenty of time to get to the housework and laundry and other various projects. As a result of all this empty time stretching ahead of me, I feel lighter! happier! more refreshed! I cannot believe I let our schedules get this out of whack, but I am glad I did. I have learned that I can live on less sleep, that I have a fantastic work ethic, that my kids understand when mommy has to work late, and that it is okay to use these opportunities to teach them about working hard. But most of all I have learned that piling too much on - even if it is all "fun" - weighs me down. It literally depresses me. Once we "crossed the finish line", I immediately felt happier and my energy level soared.
Yesterday I picked the kids up and drove out to my parents house for dinner - something I orchestrated from the parking lot of daycare just because I could. Tonight maybe we will go to the park or the library. Or maybe I will go home and clean the kitchen and try a new recipe. Doesn't matter what we do, we have so much time ahead of us to get it all done!
*Sorry if this was the most boring post I have written. I needed to write this to remind myself to slow down, stop committing to everything, and just relax.
Thanks for listening!