Good morning blog. How are you all doing? I am not really sure what I have in my brain this morning. I mean, sure I have all the usual spate of familiar physical and mental complaints, but honestly? I’m tired of complaining. I’m tired of judging and resetting my willpower determined each morning to try harder and become a better person.
I think I’m just going to spend a day being okay with myself.
(Okay, maybe not a day. Maybe just an hour.)
Right now, right at this instance, I feel just fine. I’m a little tired, I’ve got a few things niggling in the back of my mind that I know I need to get done, there are a whole bunch of outstanding social invitations – both for “with kids” and for “without kids”. I’m feeling kind of mellow about it though – I’m just tired of stressing and panicking and headless-chickening, and anyway, I don’t think it makes all that much difference to outcomes. Other than the outcome of my cortisol levels.
There’s a lot more to life than being strictly productive, and I’ve been starting to feel like the man who worked so hard to provide a good life for himself and his family and got so into the working hard to provide that he forgot to ever enjoy the good life that was provided.
There’s a usefulness in tools like Instagram (no wait, this really is related!). I’ve spent the last few days sorting through the photos on my phone and uploading selected ones to Instagram so that I have a record of the last couple of years in a more accessible format. It’s so much easier to take photos nowadays, but the sheer volume of records that we have of ourselves, our kids and our lives seems to mean (for me anyway) that we’re far less likely to do anything with them all. What purpose photos if we never look at them! I want to create photo-albums and print them, and frame selected ones, and make copies for grandparents and interested aunts and uncles, etc.
Anyway, I’m digressing.
The process of moving photos from two years ago to Instagram has reminded me of some of the important, sweet little moments in our lives that I’ve had the sense to capture on camera. And it’s also reminded me that I’ve gotten a bit lax about taking photos more recently, and that it feels like we’ve gotten lax about taking little family jaunts out to the park or for a walk or an adventure.
Then again, I spent 4.5 hours visiting FOTA animal park with them yesterday.
I didn’t snap a single photo – because I felt like it was something we’d done so often. Maybe it’s more important than I tend to think though, to document the mundane. No no – I don’t mean exhaustively. But y’know, as a kind of a reminder that life actually is lived in these tiny moments.
I look around the room in which I sit. It’s mildly cluttered. The couch is currently in bed-form as it’s become our “bedroom” since I cleared out our old bed and bedroom. The kids are lying in it, watching iPads and putting crumbs on everything while they eat something far from the healthiest of breakfasts (pancakes with nutella for Twin 1, “Seed Bread” = a multigrain brioche roll with nothing on it for Twin 2). One corner of the sheet has rolled off the pull-out mattress and the cushions are damaged and scraped by both children and dogs.
I’m not sure it’s an image I want to project into the world – in fact I’m pretty sure it’s nearly the opposite of how I’d like to present my family. At the same time, I’m not really ashamed of it as such – if I deeply had a problem with it, it wouldn’t be happening, right? I know that if I looked back on it from 10 years time, it would be with fondness and with all the sharp worry about “doing parenting properly” long blunted by time.
I don’t particularly want to glory in our slovenly laziness but at the same time I don’t really think we’re doing that much wrong. I don’t think iPads in the morning are that much different from the 2 hours of cereal in pyjamas and cartoons on the TV I used to get when I was a kid on school holidays. Twin 1 is watching some learning tube song about the countries in Asia, Twin 2 is watching a cartoon called “Horrid Henry” which is actually delightfully old-fashioned in its cartoon-ness, with none of that self-awareness, political undertones and appeal to adults that some of the more modern cartoons seem to have.
Now it’s fully morning, so I suppose I should consider doing something useful. Like taking photos of my kids.