Friday, October 29, 2010

Why Am I Not Tired?

It's 3:09 on Friday afternoon. The boys didn't have school today, so I got to sleep in until 8. Will and I popped over to Target around 9:30 to pick up a few things (which, Target being Target, turned into about fifteen things), and were home by 10.

I've cleaned the kitchen, made a birthday cake (Will's birthday is Sunday, but we're having the family party tonight), worked on a quilt, made lunch, cleaned the living room, straightened out the attic (which is to say moved a few boxes around to make it look like progress has been made in the ongoing decluttering project--total illusion) and picked up my study. I've composed two lengthy emails, made a business call, and organized the mud room.

In short, it's been a busy, productive day. Usually by this time on a weekday, the boys in school, I'd be ready for a nap, even without all the cleaning and baking. But while I feel vaguely tired, I'm not at all nappy. It's like this on Saturdays, too. I hardly ever feel tired on Saturdays.

Why do you think that is? Does it make a difference to start the day off slowly instead of herding children out the door into the car? Does it make a difference when most of the day is spent at home? Is it running a million errands in the minivan that wears me out? Even on days when I don't have errands, I drive the boys to school in the morning, pick up Will at 2:40, and then run out again to pick up Jack at 3:20, and yep, I feel tired and ready for a nap the minute I get home.

Am I energized by having my family at home, even if I'm ignoring them? I do find it cozy and nice to have the boys and the Man at home when all of us are doing projects and puttering and generally just hanging out. Should I start homeschooling?

While I love feeling tired at the end of a day well spent, I hate it when I run out of steam mid-afternoon. It was that way for me all week. This was a week of school parties and birthday present shopping and meetings and appointments. I spent three hours yesterday in Will's second grade classroom helping kids stuff candy corn and popcorn into rubber gloves--don't ask.

I hate chopped up days, when I'm in and out of the car. I think the pioneers had hard lives, but at least they didn't have to do afternoon pick-up.

So how is it for you? Are there days where you happily go-go-go from morning to night, while other days you barely make it to 4? When do you have the most energy? What saps your strength? Should I move to the woods and refuse to sign up to help with school parties?

Please advise.


magsmcc said...

This is universal, methinks. I can ignore my family quite happily and clean and scurry all over the house- as long as they're in it; but come back to an empty house after the walk down and up and be ready to go at 9am- inertia. Facebook. Tea. OK then, girls, see you at the Bean in ten minutes. Have no answer, just empathy!

Pom Pom said...

I think getting in and out of the car is a huge energy drainer. Driving is a pep zapper, too. Staying home is best. I want to stay at home forever. I don't like being bumped and there are so many bumpers beyond the front door!

GretchenJoanna said...

It's always been this way for me. I've had quite a few more years than you to discover that it's all those things that chop up the day with errands, anything that requires getting in the car to make it to a certain place at a certain time, that completely zaps me of the ability to get much of anything done at home. Being in transition, or watching the clock to be sure I'm not late, all that sort of thing seems to preclude being really present and focusing. When the errands are done there doesn't ever seem to be much of the day left, and I'm distracted and fatigued by the long list that didn't get done. I start thinking of how to do the next day better, and start being anxious if it's another day that I have to go somewhere.... Even now that I haven't got kids at home, it has not changed, *I* have not changed. I wish I could.

Homeschooling is great, if you can manage to stay home. It might be hard with kids who are not used to the slow pace.

Ali said...

For me? It's to do with food - I'll eat a proper lunch when I have to feed everybody else. Left home alone, I often don't and then pay the energy slump price.

Angela said...

Oh definitely it is the comings and goings in the car. Yesterday - running errands all over the place, and unable to feel I had achieved anything.
Today I got up, and got on with it - cannot believe it is now only 4pm, so stopping for a blogbreak and a cuppa!!
And yes, sitting down at lunchtime to eat something is a wise idea - not grazing on the run.
Blessings x

wayside wanderer said...

Is it a personality thing? Or is it a habit people cultivate...being busy all the time? I'm happiest when I am a hermit..and I get energized by thinking, puttering and doing quiet things at home. My youngest two children (13 and 15) are the same way which is VERY nice.

Tracy said...

I'm a bit schizophrenic on this subject.

I am most energised when I have balance between being busy, and having at least one day (or a decent part thereof) where I'm in my house all by myself.

Conversely, if I am to be flat out busy all week and I'm not home, if I can be in just one place to do that busyness then I cope fairly well with that too. I cope quite fine being at work for 10 hours a day, so long as I don't have turn around and ferry the kids hither and yon when I'm done. The ferrying is better done if I walk out at 3.30pm on the dot.

Told you I was odd.

debbie bailey said...

I agree with Pom Pom and Gretchen Joanna. For me, it's the fragmentation that wears me out, but when I stay home and putter, I get so much done and am so much happier and calm.

Gumbo Lily said...

I have always liked being "busy at home" and not running hither and yon. I live to far from the towns so I try to do my errands and shopping in one day a week.

I was just talking to a couple of my homeschooling friends who now have teens who have crazy schedules. I mentioned how when all our kids were little, our schedule became their schedule and not visa versa.

I'm glad you had such a productive, joyful, stress-free day.