Here's the thing -- a few years ago, when the kids were tiny and Kevin and I were chronically painfully underslept, I was still running from one thing to another, but I actually was dropping balls. Mostly balls that could stand a little bouncing, but still; I wasn't able to do my best work, and it stressed me the hell out, and I'm still a bit traumatized by that (I get anxious now about things like scheduling meeting rooms, which is ridiculous, but I end up sending follow-up e-mails just to make sure that yes, I really scheduled it, because I've messed it up once before and it was just so embarrassing I don't ever want to do that again -- that sort of thing). So now, life is much better. I am almost entirely caught up, and if I worked the way I worked when the kids were tiny, then I actually would be caught up.
But I'm not. Because when the kids were tiny, Kev and I scheduled every minute of our days to maximize working. The early mornings, the evenings, the weekends. We got sick more often, in part because we were so very exhausted, and we just powered through it somehow. It was hellish. And now that life has slowed down a little, it's very tempting to keep up that same work pace. I could be so productive! But I don't think it's good for me. I think it's a false productivity, that intense churn. There's no space for processing, for reflection, for healing.
So now I'm making a deliberate effort to keep my weekends mostly free of work. My evenings too. The academic life doesn't allow for that completely -- I'm still working at least a dozen extra hours each week on evenings and weekends, I think. But that's still a huge improvement from where things were before. And it means I can do things like make pumpkin bone cookies with the kids (next on the weekend schedule) and string cobwebs on the front porch. (I've never actually done that before -- should be interesting! Tips welcome.)
I'm still a little buzzed, I think, from the years of running flat-out; I'm anxious and adrenaline-y more than I think is healthy. But I'm trying to channel some of that energy into kisses and cookies. And while I'm stirring batter, sometimes I'm thinking about my book revisions, in a not-completely-freaked-out way. That's the theory, anyway. Now, off for more practice.