So September is done— Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah finished. My kids haven’t had a single five-day school week yet.
And while I’ve been back-and-forthing to school and internship, I was home with my kids for holidays/weekends Wednesday through Sunday three out of the four weeks, doing Jewish holiday things and a lot of cooking. So even though balancing travel, school, homework, and holiday prep has been challenging (just heard my Jewish friends snort at “challenging,” which doesn’t begin to cover it), it hasn’t felt like real life.
Today it begins.
Today I start spending Monday-Wednesday out-of-town. I have to start thinking about what food I will bring with me each week (kosher meals not being readily available); sodium-laden cup-a-soups won’t do three days a week. I can’t help the kids with homework (I’m in school 5:30-8:30 Monday and Tuesday). And unless the kids start picking up the slack, my house will look like a bomb went off at a laundromat.
And who will suffer most from this absenteeism? That’s right– the dog.
I can’t chastise myself anymore for not walking him– we’re 200 km (120 miles) apart three days a week. If I had my own apartment here, I’d bring him with me– but as I rely on the kindness of friends and family, that’s not really an option.
But I can make a pledge.
Here is my pledge: Every Thursday and Sunday, we will make it to the dog park, even if only for half an hour.
I miss the park. Every time I think I can’t go because I have too much to do (the dishes won’t be washed, the laundry won’t get finished, the chapter won’t be read), but I go anyway, I’m always glad I did. I feel refreshed. My dog is calmer. If I’m lucky, I run into someone I know, and have some great conversation that doesn’t revolve around laundry, dishes, or homework.
They say it takes three months to create a habit. I have this crazy schedule until April. I’m hoping that by the time January rolls around, that little bit of self-care will be part of the routine. That the way runners always make time for running, I will make time for the park, no matter how tired or overwhelmed (notice I’m not promising anything about weather).
And of my readers, I ask– keep reminding me. Send me a comment, an email, or something, reminding me that I promised, and one should never break a promise.
Especially one you make right after New Year’s.