The clock is ticking.
So much to do, so much to catch up on, so many new thoughts flooding my brain.
I’ve been in waiting for the last few weeks. Waiting until I got my kids settled in school. We’re almost there.
That means freeeeeeeeedom for me. At least a little bit.
Back to that clock.
I only have so much time between pre-school drop-off and pre-school pick-up.
I want to write.
I want to catch up on emails.
I want to clean up my desktop.
I want to do updates on my computers.
I want to clear all the mail and papers and clutter surrounding my desk.
I want to tidy the house, my room, the garage, my brain.
I want to go through pictures.
I want to put all the pictures and videos on my phone into iPhoto so I can delete them off my phone.
I want to write (more!).
I want to create.
I want a clean slate.
I will have the opportunity to do these things, but it’s a process that’ll probably take me the rest of this month to work out. The newness of a new school year and a new season is exciting. I like the change. It shifts my mood and when that happens, my creativity soars and erupts every which way. With it, comes the frustration of trying to tackle too many projects at the same time.
The thing I need to be careful about during this change, as I have consciously learned over the past several months when I made a medication change and started speaking openly about being bipolar, is that it’s okay to get a little off kilter, so long as the imbalances don’t turn into extremes.
I’ve been doing really good in that department. I couldn’t have asked for a better summer, filled with a range of normal emotions that I let myself feel. I’m learning to ‘feel the feels’ better than I have in the past. And the most helpful thing I have done is not shy away from my emotions or hide them.
Wahoo! I am who I am! No apologies. No excuses. No insecurities. No secrets.
Truly it’s liberating and, this summer, I’ve lived with this quiet confidence about it all. Feels so good.
I have paid particular attention the amount of sleep I am getting and I’ve monitored the nights I don’t sleep well and need to take something. I’ve given myself permission to do that without feeling weak or ashamed. Sleep is everything to a person living with bipolar disorder. Lose sleep and the insanity will start to creep in.
I am using this philosophy with my kids as they start school. There is so much newness for them, and for I, as we adjust to new schedules and new experiences that tax our minds.
I know I won’t do everything perfect for them — returning all the forms on time, packing the perfect lunch everyday, sitting at the table with them when they come home with perfect patience, getting them where they need to go on-time every single time — but the one thing I will not let slip — their sleep schedules.
Sleep is just as important for my kid’s growing brains, so it can process all the new information they are receiving, as it is for my bipolar brain. New teachers, new classmates, new curriculum… all of it… it makes my head spin just thinking about them sitting in new classrooms learning the unfamiliar ropes.
So… the #1 thing I am emphasizing this fall is consistent sleep patterns.
For them –bed at 7:30 p.m, up at 7 a.m. (or if they wake up sooner).
For me — bed between 9:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., up at 6:30 a.m.
It’ll involve smart planning and sacrifice to make this happen, but if I can focus on this one thing — sleep — as a priority, then I hope the rest will fall into place. We will all be rested enough to handle what comes our way during the day — especially opportunities to enjoy “the good stuff!”
As I sit here wanting to ‘do this’ and ‘do that’… I must remind myself that my kids are readily adapting to school because I have helped them feel secure enough to be away from me. (They are probably loving it! Ha!). That’s a good feeling, even though there is a lingering loss in my heart watching them walk away from me at the school doors.
They are ready, and that’s what is most important.
For this moment, between a tick and tock of the clock, I am acknowledging that my most important work — parenting — is in order. Taking care of my kids needs over my wants, check!
I devoted my entire summer to being present with them, and I am satisfied with my efforts and accomplishments. We had a great time in the summer sun. Oh how good the light felt!
Yes, the clock is ticking, but taking the time to write today is centering my internal rhythm as the seasons change. And when I am centered, the ticks and tocks are manageable.
I am ready. My turn to start something new.