By: Corinne Cameron
I am always interested in how people organize their lives. I figure most households are similar in that there are never enough hours in the day and there is always “something” that doesn’t get accomplished. And of course there are the different types of priorities and their importance really depends on the person they are benefiting, correct?
It isn’t until you sit down and either take the time to mentally put together all that is on your plate, journal it or have a blog you need to write, when you realize that that “plate” keeps growing. When it goes from a dessert plate to a bread then small dinner and finally large dinner plate, you realize that no matter the size, eventually the table is going to get filled too. As parents, we are always challenged with putting things in order of priority because, like it or not, a “day” only consists of 24 hours and some of those precious hours need to be devoted to sleep.
It's actually rather interesting to think, as the rhythm of your day unfolds, that something that was, for example, #3 on your priority list can so easily get pushed further and further down as other more “important” things arise and take its place. The way we personally rank our priorities is due to many things: the way we grew up, morals, health, outlook on life etc... Even in this new world of social media where we now know way more about the day to day of our “friends” lives than ever before, it doesn’t mean people post everything. I find sometimes that we, as women, tend to judge others for those decisions without knowing the complicated individual filter each person has. If I could with this post impress any one thing on other mothers (or fathers) out there, it would be that 'your priority list is your own and don’t let anyone make you feel different.'
So I ask, how do you choose to organize yourself? Do you write lists? How do you determine what goes on the list? Is it just the major things or do you put every last thing down like “folding the laundry”. Do you have the same routine everyday for the normal things? I realize that my organization is very unstructured. Maybe that is my problem; if I actually wrote things down and had a sense of order, maybe I wouldn’t over schedule myself, wait until the last minute to accomplish things or downright forget to do things like cleaning out the little one's ears at bath time.
On the other hand, as a director, I am very structured. I write out lists to make sure everything gets done. I create timelines to ease my stress level and I am usually prepared way in advance for things like auditions, rehearsals, blocking, choreography etc.. So why can’t I do this for my life in general? Well, maybe it’s because life with a toddler is an ever-changing adventure? Who knew something so small could throw a huge monkey wrench in your day in a blink of an eye!
Even though I don’t write things down and forever feel unorganized in daily life, we do have a nice rhythm of our day and certain small routines that always happen. They tend to make life a lot easier such as always putting Remy’s shoes and socks on right before we are ready to leave the house, while he is sitting on “the shoe bench” (which is actually a wooden storage piece for our throw blankets). It works great! Saying “Remy go to the shoe bench to get ready” signals him to run over and sit cutely waiting on the bench with his infectious smile and giggle due to the excitement of our impending outing. We also have great routines for nap, bath and bedtime that make each “activity” go off without a hitch. Ok why did I feel the need to put “activity” in quotes? Well I guess sleeping is an activity, just a low energy one and my bizarre nature felt the need to separate the word in some way..but, I digress….
Moving on...I recently learned that despite the best of intentions of getting things done and moving things up on my mental list of importance, life can always throw a curveball. These curveballs can be small or large, but change life in some way. My family has kind of had many good sized curveballs thrown out there as of late which has made life a lot more..umm… let's say 'complicated' for lack of better term. Without detailing everything as it would take many pages to do so, I'll give a brief glimpse of what has changed my normal priority list which I will try to write in a short paragraph. Ok try to read this like one of those fast commercials that are done in improper English...
Dad doesn’t feel well, collapses, gets taken to the ER. Has his second brain bleed and is in Mass General for a while, then 2 rehabs, then home in time for Turkey Day. Mom, my hubby and I need to learn to care for him as he is now paralyzed on his right side and you really can't understand 70% of what he says. Aides, therapists and nurses in and out of their house, has another stroke and back in hospital, then a week of rehab, gets sprung for a day for Christmas and then discharged for New Year's. Only child, me, takes on caring for him 3 days a week while trying to reschedule Remy’s school and early intervention appointments. Hubby’s car on the fritz and down to one car and need to get him to and from work every day. Mom herniated a disk so Hubby, Remy and I pack up and move in for 5 days to care for them both. Keeping their house clean as it's on the market (anyone want a nice three bedroom in Brewster??) while searching for a new house for us all to live.. Holidays, dental appointments (I'll write in my next post that I'm actually toothless right now and awaiting new teeth) MRI’s (for my own complicated medical picture), re-evals for Remy's early intervention due to delayed speech, quality time with the twins and the stomach plague hits both hubby and me for 4 days! Arggh!!
Phew.. Ok do I really need to explain more why I haven’t written in a while? Needless to say, life has changed a bit and is continually going to change until we all move and settle. It's both stressful and also exciting at the same time! I grew up with my grandmother in my home and it was great. I really love that Remy will have access to my parents on a daily basis.
Oh yeah, what I failed to mention, until now, is that I was also charged with directing the entertainment for a fundraiser at Buzzards Play Productions for the theatre department. I plan to write a whole piece on this unique and awesome live venue in the future. Anyhow… between all that was going on, I lost my pianist for the night and in typical Corinne fashion was lucky to find one with a week left to go. I had two rehearsals scheduled for this past week and guess what? Yeah, one of them was on Blizzard Tuesday (the only day the pianist could come) so apparently mother nature didn’t want it to happen. Luckily the pianist (who has never done musical theatre) was able to come for 2 hours on our Thursday rehearsal. We didn’t get through all the music, including one piece that the two actors didn’t know! So they (the pianist and the actors) learned it an hour before the performance.
Ok shameless gushing coming…. One of those actors was my talented husband. The show went off without a hitch. As I watched everyone perform the different numbers I was in awe.. It started off with a “flash mob style” of doing “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent. Rent was the first musical done at the venue so some of the cast came and joined the recent cast of The Rocky Horror Show to sing the song and it was beautiful! We did some numbers from “Rocky” including my hubby’s solo of “I’m Going Home”. I was standing off to the side of the stage holding a very tired Remy. He goes up, towering over the mic with his 6’6” frame and decides not to use it… he opens his mouth and the house was silent. The only possible thing that could have potentially been heard other than his beautiful voice was me getting choked up and starting to cry a bit.
It wasn’t just his voice that did it (although it was warranted), it was everything that I have just been writing about coming to a head. Even with all the trials and tribulations of life and major curveballs, there was time to just sit back and relax for a moment and beam with pride on behalf of the talent that assembled to support not only the arts but the venue in real need of a financial boost.
What is you escape activity? If you don’t have one, consider theatre… it will give more back to you then I could ever express on paper!
OK, nap time is over so off I go, go, go!
Cape Cod Moms