Captain’s Log Day 2,860

What a whirlwind this year has been. I’d be lying if I said that it hasn’t been hard. It’s been awful, truthfully. Work has sucked, summer was sad and lonely, devoid of vacation, holidays are shaping up to be more of the same. I know these are all first world problems, but it doesn’t make it any less hard.

I feel robbed in many ways. The better half of Noa’s first year has been spent in quarantine. Sylas didn’t get to finish first grade with his friends. Ivan doesn’t get to make friends this year because he’s home schooled. Amalia wants me to play with her all evening but I’m struggling to help get schoolwork done, so I get mom guilt for putting her on the back burner too.

I’m dying for a break. I just want to take a long weekend to travel somewhere, but can’t for a multitude of reasons. First, work is slammed. We are the only place in our region that does same-day COVID testing, so we are constantly swamped. Second, where would we go that would be any fun? Masks are required everywhere – and though I’m not an anti-masker, I don’t think it would make anything enjoyable at this point. Third, what is there even to do, so many things are still closed or limited entry.

I’m burnt out at work. I want to quit more days than not. It’s to the point I’m having dreams of processing COVID tests. I get home in a bad mood because I’m done with stupidity for the day. The lack of appreciation. The quadrupling of the workload without consulting us first. We struggle through it though, only for them to decide that we can do it just fine the way it is and there is no need for extra hands on deck. Then the kids start fighting. The culmination of events turns me into the mom that yells, and I don’t like her either.

I’ve been taking the kids to the lake or the various area parks in the evenings that we are able. It helps get my mind off of the bad and focus on the good. I enjoy the kids’ company and watching them play. They rarely fight when we go do things like parks or long walks. Sometimes we will take the long way home just to have some peace in the car with the radio on (and everyone is restrained to their seats haha).

I’ve also turned to crafting a lot lately. The kids love doing that stuff too. It helps bring me inner peace. The end results make me happy, and I get a dopamine hit/high from it too. I started making epoxy tumblers this summer which has been so fun. Javier and I re did our dining table, coffee table and lamp table as well. Those were all fun projects to do. Javier is back to working his full hours so we don’t get to do that anymore, but I really enjoyed doing that together. Photography is always a passion, so sometimes, I’ll dress the kids up and take them on a walk and photograph them playing. I love doing that too. I also break out my watercolor paints from time to time and have done a couple family portraits. That’s always a fun one for the kids because I’ll print off blank color pages from the internet and let them watercolor them too. I decorated for fall and have a couple crafts in mind that I’d like to do. Its getting to be Christmas season soon, and I want to make some more polymer clay ornaments for my family so that I can mail them in time for the holidays.

I have been in an organizing/purging mood too. I straightened up the attic last week. There’s so many totes of kids clothes that I had planned to sell in a yard sale this past spring, but we all know how that didn’t pan out. So I made the best of it and decided to reorganize the random piles of boxes. I really want to do the garage too. The kids’ outside toys are EVERYWHERE. There is hardly any room to walk in there because when I say its time to come inside, that obviously means to shove all the toys in the garage haphazardly and pray the door closes. I wanted to get some shelving units and totes to organize some of the smaller stuff like bubble and water toys, etc. but it will probably just have to wait until spring cleaning time now. I’d have to dump the contents of the garage onto the driveway and its been chilly lately. I also need helpers – like adult helpers – to move bigger items and help clean. Javier and I are just going to have to schedule a day where we are both home, take the kiddos to Gammy’s house, and get to work. And there’s just no time right now.

Keeping busy doing things that bring me joy have helped balance out the sucky parts of this year. The kids are so excited for the holiday season. My mom and I planned a little Halloween party for them in lieu of trick-or-treat. We are going to have a little glow-in-the-dark candy hunt, weenie roast/s’mores night and probably put on a Halloween movie for them to watch while dressed up. Sylas and Ivan are already planning out their Christmas lists. Once Halloween is over, that is all I’ll hear about until December 25th.

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