The tides of life ebb and flow and we roll with it. As long as things maintain a near normal state, or return to a near normal state regularly, it's not so bad. We deal with difficulties and enjoy the high points. But this past year has felt like an approaching tsunami for me, reaching some really challenging times of late. The losses both in my family and those near to me continue. It's hard to function on any sort of a normal level. So I reduce things to the most basic level. I wake up in the morning; think about what I absolutely must do on that day; and then do my best to at least get the most important stuff done.
Normally I would place a high priority on keeping my house in order and my yard tidy. But with the grandkids here all day every day, the house sometimes isn't all cleaned up until the weekend. The weeds in the yard get a little attention and the patio pots get watered. I'm sometimes slow in getting bird feeders and hummingbird feeders refilled. Thanks to Alberto, the yard got off to such a good start, it has stayed pretty nice despite my neglect.
The only planning I do is lunches and shopping for the week for the grandkids. I actually write a menu and shop on Sunday. That removes the pressure of trying to think of something every day.
Most of my energy goes into having a great day with the kids. We have a lot of structure in the day with some summer classes in science and art, reading after lunch and then a little worksheet of math and other school topics before their parents get home. We have some hours of free play time, too, but not so much that they get bored or start getting into conflicts. Once a week we do a field trip and often have fast food on that day. My days with the kids require so much energy that I'm left with little remaining for anything else. But this is my choice. Sometime I'll catch up on other things and maybe take some time to breath and get my bearings again.
When we are younger, we think life will get slower and simpler when we are older. But the truth is, it still comes in waves of challenges, and we are still called on to do what we don't necessarily feel up to. Right now I'm feeling tired and tapped out. I do just one day at a time and don't look at the long term at all. But I'm convinced the time I'm spending with the grandkids this year is really important. They both need to strengthen school habits and skills. Plus, we are making some great memories at the same time.
At the end of the day, I regroup, drink a little wine on the patio in the company of my sweet pup. The birds come in for one last feeding, and the sun provides a work of art as it sets. And I think things are not so bad and I'm pretty sure I can do it all again tomorrow.