While Andrew is trying his hand at swim preschool I finally sat down and did some calculations id been mulling over for a while.
I came up with 2 to the n power- 1=y
n=# of people
Y= number of relationships that need tending.
So when it was just M and me that number was a reasonable 3.
When we added Andrew is rose to a tough but doable 7.
Now with Miranda is is a whopping 15.
Sheesh! That sounds like a doozy. The math gets more complicated because some of the relationships get different weights and priorities. Some will tend to drop off entirely unless we really make an effort. Some will need more deliberate focus than others.
Here is my back of the coloring sheet math. I will not be offended if someone disproves my proof. I'm on beautiful mind amounts of sleep.
Only days until Iowa and New Hampshire! Every four years especially I think of the summer 2003 - fall 2004. I had just moved to Connecticut and was using the proximity to volunteer in NH and PA nearly every weekend. My first ever snow happened while I was canvassing for Howard dean. I Burma shaved my heart out. I cared so very much.
I don't know where that person went.
It's really disheartening. I will concede that a large part of my lack of involvement is a direct consequence of full time job status (see post in my draft folder about giving $ versus giving time). But in 06 and 08 I had a job too but with each subsequent election cycle I was more and more sick of it all. Canvassing went from a really fun way to meet and engage with neighbors (ok, in 04 they were state neighbors) to a completely painful drudge. Phone banking went from tolerable to torture.
In 08 the nastiness within my own party during the primaries was the final nail in my getting involved coffin. I was just so sick of how ugly and expensive it had all gotten.
What really makes me sad and slightly ashamed is that as my participation dwindled so did my paying attention. I feel like I do such a poor job of keeping up these days. I'd rather read blogs and see what people post on Facebook than stay on top of the issues.
As with everything I assume that if being an active participant is really important to me then it will come back in time. But as each election cycle comes and goes I have a little sadness that I'm losing part of me that I was proud of and was important to me.
I'm as terrified now as I was then, if nnot more, of the future if republicans take control of the white house. Especially with the lunatics they're parading out as their standard bearers. I will certainly vote, I will possibly contribute, but I just don't have the passion I had.
I remember making that remark off the cuff to my company's CEO when he called me out for a scowly face after he announced he was giving us a day off. We had just worked really hard and produced data that we thought would get us out next tier of funding.
It made me chuckle and grimace. It's true. I don't. My glass isn't full or empty it is fragile. And while motherhood exaggerates this tendency this example was in early 2009- my young footloose and fancy free self.
The fragility is what stresses me out. How could I be as lucky as I am? How? There must be a dangling shoe somewhere.
I really struggle to keep those feelings at bay and appreciate the here and now. But every time I get giddy looking at the life I have I immediately mentally knock on wood as I imagine all the terrible twists that could bring us to our knees.
It really isn't the best way to live and I worry what it means about my mental health.
I am pretty harsh on when I'll grant approval of milestones. For example, I wouldn't give Andrew credit for saying "dada" until he pointed at a wedding picture and picked out Michael saying dada.
But I think Miranda is smiling for reals. At me. She loves me. I get in close and say "it's mama" and a majority of the time she'll give big smiles.
It's especially heartwarming on days like today. I'm sort of sleepy, I cut my finger, I paid bills, I vacuumed but you probably still can't tell that I vacuumed, I put away a staggering amount of laundry. All sorts of boring adulthood made more fun by such sweet newborn adoration.
Now I'm kicking back with my pink aloe socks I got from Judy with warm milk (well, for Miranda) and a leisurely bath (well, for Andrew).