Thank Goodness for Bedtime

The End of a Long Day

5:30. Everything started off just right. It was quiet and I had a coffee in my hand but it was all down hill from there. I couldn’t focus. Everywhere I looked, I saw work. The three loads of laundry that have been sitting on my sofa for at least a week were just sitting there – staring at me. On the dining room table was the list of chores I wrote yesterday. I swear that list grew in the middle of the night! Either that or some optimistic person who has 30 hours in their day wrote that list to torture me!

5:45. I was painting the doors in the living room.

8:00. I had to get ready to do errands in town. And I forgot to bring the books I needed to return to the library. Fines, again! Groceries. Meetings. Banking. Buying supplies to do the chores on the list that was now the length of my arm.

11:00. I tidied the kitchen and put the food away. I deep cleaned the bathrooms while my girls alternated between fighting with each other and complaining about having to fold laundry and dusting (which didn’t get done I might add).

3:00. My husband brought home lunch from town for us. I sat down with my family to eat. I chowed down my sushi and salad and headed back to work, cleaning the outside windows. I asked the girls to empty and reload the dishwasher. That was a mistake. Rather than emptying the dishwasher, as I asked, they were chasing each other around the dining arguing about who should clear the table. Now, I had soy sauce all over the dining room floor! So, I finished the windows and came inside. My husband and I re-tidied the kitchen, washed the floor, did the dishes, and cleaned the table.

Since asking for help has created more aggravation and mess than I had before, I decided to carry on by myself. They could read or play in their rooms until I was finished my list which was now down to my knees. Next, I sat down to fold the laundry that stubbornly refuses to fold itself. I put the laundry away for everyone. Then, I tidied the other rooms, did the dusting, the sweeping, and got dinner ready for the kids.

5:30. I serve my girls supper. They ate while I scrubbed the stove and counters. I don’t know how but somehow there was an argument. Someone was being bossy. Someone called a name. Someone was chewing with their mouth open. Someone’s foot moved under the table. Are. You. Serious?!

6:00. Obviously, it is time for face, hands, teeth, and p.j.s. “No story?! Why Momma?” Harumph! While my little darlings are cleaning their teeth, I walk into the dining room. I re-cleaned the table, loaded the dishwasher, and re-swept the floor. I got the girls tucked away into bed. Then, it was time to have my own dinner with the “99” and my husband. The episode ended. I cleaned up dinner, tidied the TV room, and swept the hearth. There are still to-do’s on the list which has made it’s way all the way down to my toes. I think a radioactive spider walked on it because IT KEEPS GROWING!

7:30. My husband looked at me. He said, “Stop working. Write.” I said, “I can’t. I have nothing to say. And, you didn’t like yesterday’s.” Cue the serious face. “It felt unfinished. It seemed like you wrote because you felt like you had to and not because you wanted to. But, you should write anyway. Not all of your posts are going to be great.” If you heard him say this, you would know he was being supportive. He was not being a jerk. He supports all my endeavors.

7:45. I am writing about the day I have had. I’m so looking forward to bedtime. Everything aches. My head is spinning. I can feel the muscles in my jaws throb from clenching them.

8:10. He was right you know. I wrote yesterday because I had felt like I had to, especially after missing the two previous days. I wrote about the only thing that came to mind. But, as I am typing, right now, I realize there is a connection between this post and yesterday’s. I haven’t read today! Not a word. This why I love my morning reading routine. Reading fist thing in the morning means that no matter what happens during the day, I have made time to read. Reading is the one thing I do just for me on a consistent basis. I read to escape. I read to relax. I read to experience new things. I read to learn. A day without reading is really rough.

As I said yesterday, during the school year, my morning routine doesn’t allow time for reading in the morning before work. That’s why I build reading into my routine in other ways. My students and I read for twenty-five minutes everyday, right after the announcements are over. I also read to them from a novel after lunch. Later on, when I am back at home; the house is tidy, the kids are in bed, and everything is ready for work the next day, I read. I read until I fall asleep. My husband will join me a few hours later, take the book out of my hand, and turn out the light.

My routine is important to me. In fact, it is so important to me that I I have written about it twice now. Without my routine, I run the risk of being a slave to my to-do list, which has proven that it can grow faster than a bamboo plant. Reading, be it at the beginning or at the end of the day, it makes every day, even a soy-sauce-on-the-floor kind of day, better. Needless to say, I am looking forward to bedtime, so I can finally read.