If you live in the city of Chicago and you send your kids to CPS, you know that this week is spring break. Even if you don't live in the city of Chicago and don't send your kids to CPS, but spend any amount of time in the city, you might well know this because hey, there are a bunch of fricking kids walking around the city not in school - what the hell.
Anyway, my son is out of school for his very first spring break, which he has been really looking forward to. Maybe he's seen too many shows on MTV (not) or maybe it's because so many of his friends have actual trips planned to places like Disney (likely) that he has an unrealistic view of what spring break should be like. Unfortunately for him, I do not subscribe to that style of spring break. No, our spring breaks consist of him continuing to go somewhere during the day because his parents need to go to work. However, I actually don't have to go to work, I took the week off. So technically I could be planing adventures for us around the city. Monday we go to Maggie Daley Park, Tuesday we go to the Field etc. But nope, that's not happening either. Instead I signed him up for camp at Lillstreet Art Center. This, in my mind, is the best of both worlds.
First, he gets to go do something totally different than what he normally does. And there isn't any 'work' like at school. It's all art. Second, his day is shorter, as drop off isn't until 9 and pick up is at 3:30 (which is technically when he gets out of school, but we don't normally pick him up until 5:30 because you know, work, so he spends time doing after school stuff during the week). And third, and this is the best part, I still have time to myself and also with him. We get to have slightly more relaxed mornings; I drop him off; and then I get to go do whatever it is I want to do; then I pick him up and we still have a few hours of play time to go to the park.
What am I going to do during that six and a half hours of free time? Well, I'm glad you asked. Usually I plan my days off with a million things to do and then I don't get through all of them and then I feel bad like something terrible is going to happen because I didn't get through my completely unattainable list. But of course, nothing terrible happens. No one notices that the refrigerator isn't clean or that I didn't dust the base boards or wipe down that one wall that's always dirty. No one except me of course.
Rather than make a list of all the things I think I need to do before I can do the stuff I want to do, I'm going to do it the other way around. First I'm going to do the stuff I want to do. I'm going to do yoga or run and write and read. And then, if I have time leftover, then I'm going to clean or organize or something, do one of the things on my to do list. And that way I get the stuff for me done first, and I'm not always putting it off. It's a novel approach, and not something I've really tried before. I'll let you know how it goes.
So far today I have run (which I did at the usual before everyone gets up time so it didn't eat any extra time out of my day). Then I threw in a couple of loads of laundry while I made the reservations and sent the invites to S's birthday party. I know that doesn't fall into the category of 'things I want to do for myself' but it needed to be done and I've also learned (let's be honest, am learning) how to be flexible. Now I'm sitting outside, watching the birds play in the birdbath, eating some lunch, and writing (this blog you're reading - this is the fruit of my writing labor for today). Now that I'm done with this, I may move on to some reading for a bit, then yoga and then we'll see how it goes. I still have more than three hours to do stuff. And it's just day one!