It's really all been quite a bit of readjusting and re-prioritizing. That and packing, and cleaning, then a three-day roadtrip, cleaning some more, and unpacking and organizing.
Ian and I decided we really weren't pleased with many of our choices and use of our time over the summer. Yes, I wrote a lot and started a few new projects, and we made steps in the right direction for revamping our budget to save more, and improve our eating habits, but the whole time in Ann Arbor felt very unfocused and confused. We spent several days talking and planning when we got back, and committed ourselves to a schedule that prioritizes my work as well as his. What this means, however, is that we're spending less time together in the evening, waking up earlier, and have less free time in general. We're getting serious, yo.
I love to blog, I love to write. I love working on my projects. But realistically, I need to focus on doing my part in keeping the family in order, then my research, then my physical goals, and then fun things like reading and blogging and watching videos of adorable kittens online (there is actually very little of this, but who am I to say that it doesn't occupy more time than it actually should?)/
We've also committed to not eating out at all, except for once a month on our lunaversary. This is actually pretty easy to do now; there are absolutely no restaurants within walking distance (or even a short train ride!) that are both affordable and cater to a vegan diet. Ditto with baked goods.
And so we are very intentional in planning out all of our meals, even our snacks. It means we are spending more on groceries (though about the same overall as when we were eating out 2-4 times a week and eating meat and dairy products), and that we are both spending more time in the kitchen. I'm the lucky one - I get to spend most of my kitchen time cooking! And then Ian cleans up my messes, which is a really big job. So when I say that a large chunk of time is going to "keeping my family in order," what I really mean is that I spend lots of time in the kitchen. Making delicious things. And lots of messes. But I'd like to focus on the delicious things.
I'm also taking my research much more seriously, prioritizing it above all else during my allotted 'Rachel' time. I haven't done this since the baby was born. Before, if Felicity was cranky, or I was tired, or the house was a mess (one of these three things was almost always the case!), I would choose to stay home. Now, save for a medical emergency and/or natural disaster (they often come hand in hand, no?), I'm out the door when I'm supposed to be. I'm started actually leaving my computer at home to avoid distractions when I'm out. And guess what? I'm working at about 3x the speed. I have to write out my notes by hand, but that's fine.
And exercising. I'm exercising now at night if I'm not working or cleaning. This instead of watching Gilmore Girls (maybe I can do both at once!?!).
Add on to all of this a poor, sweet little thing about twenty-two pounds in weight that has her two front, top teeth coming in (ouch!), and has had a terrible case of the loose-poos for the past four days straight. As she has no other symptoms, we're pretty sure it's because of the teething and the pediatrician isn't worried... yet. But seriously, Felicity goes through about 15+ diapers a day now, and, despite our best efforts, has a diaper rash that only a forgetful and easily-distracted infant can endure. I'm pretty sure I would not be as patient with such a red, angry booty.
And her sleep schedule is all messed up due to the above. It's super not cool.
So yeah. I've been doing things.
I do plan on starting back with the Meditation Project very soon. We haven't done any sitting or walking meditation in the week we've been back, and I must admit that my daily mindfulness practice has also almost disappeared. Isn't it funny how a change in location can throw off your groove? I need to take some time to plan out how to be intentional with the project and work it into our grand schedule. Personally, I think this will involve leaving hand-written gathas around the house on note cards.
As I take off your steaming diaper,
I am reminded of the ebb and flow of life.
May your diaper rash heal,
As we heal ourselves and others.
I'm kidding. Sort of...