Thursday, February 27, 2014

only a day away

I don't remember history being much of a subject in my elementary studies when I was growing up in the Philippines. If it was, I don't remember much at all (though I am finding myself rather interested and so will research anon). I do remember Social Studies class.  Specifically this lesson about what the Filipino people inherited as a result of Spanish colonization: Catholicism, architecture, dance, a cuisine full of Spanish flavours, a language peppered with Spanish words, and the Mañana Habit.

If you know some Spanish, you might know that the word "mañana" means, "tomorrow." So, it follows that the Mañana Habit refers to an habitual tendency to put things off until, well... tomorrow. Yes, this really is a thing. In fact, I very clearly remember answering a quiz question to help me commit to memory that my birth country's chronic procrastination habit is absolutely attributed to Spanish rule (anyone else remember this?). 

Although I realize that procrastination is hardly recognized as an actual inherited trait, I would like to posit that perhaps the proficiency with which I procrastinate (and the gravity of the consequences that follow) is because I am twice-blessed by both my Filipino and Spanish heritage (thanks to my paternal grandfather's family and good old scapegoating).

For example, I have been so focused on getting settled in our new home, parenting, and working hard at the job-that-pays that I have been neglecting the knitting. Not that there hasn't been any knitting. Oh goodness, if there hasn't been at least a few stitches knit in a day, I think I would spontaneously combust and repel all living things within a 6 mile radius what with the waves of volatile un-becalming grouchy-mcgrouchiness that comes of having no time to collect oneself.

So, as you can imagine, there has been knitting aplenty. I gifted a lot of knits over the holidays. You know how I know? Many of them are still here. Yup. I have a pile of hats that I have yet to mail or still happen to be just here, hanging out, waiting for an opportunity to see the neighbours who live a less then a block from us so they can have their hats, finally.

I also have a pile of blocking to do. I finally finished my owl sweater. I knit a tunic for the girl's birthday  and I joined the Journey KAL and finished the Onward Shawl but haven't made a moment to block it or join in on any of the happy Ravelry group chatter.

In the triage of our days such activities definitely fall into the non-emergent category and so often render themselves postponed. Much like updating my Ravelry account with photos of such projects. Or dealing with the clutter in my office. Or the hill that once was a pile of laundry that is now falling upon my hallway like a mountain avalanche.

I really need to get my act together at some point. It'll be Christmas again before some of my people get their hats. And we are close to running out of underwear (no more diapers here!) so I suppose it's time to get to that laundry.

Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

this stage

So, the New Year is off to a cracking start.

In between recovering from the last month of the last year (moving out of our old home, moving in to our new home, friends visiting, my father-in-law's visit, my cousin's visit, my parents' visit, Christmas celebrations, celebrating the New Year in Kelowna), there was the week I battled strep throat, and passed it on to the wife. That same week, my daughter started pre-school and the wife interviewed for a new job. The following week, my wife got the job she interviewed for, at which point, our family was plunged into an entirely new schedule, and we all suffered through the cold the girl brought back from her first week of pre-school. Shortly after recovery, we spent some time with friends, registered the boy for kindergarten, and then my cousin came for another visit.

Still with me?

We are at the tail end of second month of the year and like most families, (after overcoming yet another cold virus cycle - that makes 3 sick cycles this year so far - if you're keeping up) the spectacle production of our days feature 2 pick-ups, 2 drop-offs, 2 full-time jobs, not to mention the very serious and laughable work of parenting - which includes but is not limited to: 3 meals, 2 snack intermissions, some sort of educational or creative or active adventure (preferably outdoor), television breaks, hugs, kisses, toddler tantrums, mommy tantrums, tickle fights, actual fights, all the clean up along the way,  and then (finally) the dancing bedtime finale that ends with a final pirouette and spirit fingers when toddler eyelids drop like curtains. 

Then of course, post-production activities ensue: strike whatever the living room and kitchen ended up looking like after the toddler frat party. Pre-set for for the opening breakfast number the following morning. Discuss parenting production notes with the wife. Knit-frog-knit-surrender-to-sleep.

Everyday is a comedy of errors, I tell you. Every day is full. Every day is an opportunity to restart, redo, reflect, reconnect, and get better at the craft. 

I have vowed that every day there will be a glass of wine.

I turned 38 yesterday.

I spent 9 hours of my birthday with the wife, away from our daily performance as co-parents and worker-bees. We went to the ocean and amused ourselves with the triptych of water, sand, and snow. We visited with a friend. We ate Cambodian food (best chicken wings in the city, I think). We did a teensy bit of shopping. 

While I enjoyed every second of it, wished for more time even in the moment, I missed my forever birthday gifts and fellow cast-members all together, centre stage.

This boy has been wrapping presents for me for weeks now, in anticipation of my birthday.  Each gorgeous bundle is a meticulous wonder of tape, ribbon, and paper. Each wrapped token: a toy car, a single wooden block, a box of tea from the cupboard, his love, his intention to delight, all of his generosity, every ounce of his creativity. 

This sweet little girl that hugged me happy birthday and tells me she loves me everyday. She sings to her own tune with her own lyrics.  She, who loves to sit and be still, read to. She, who lets me hold her hand any time I want. She is everyday, her own gift. 

This wife who works so hard to give me everything I want, to make all of us happy. Even when making me happy includes making me another throw pillow (because I really believe that there can never be enough, ever). Not only is she a true partner in every respect and I basically think she is the most adorable and best person on the planet, she bought me knitting needles for my birthday. 

Today I am back to my regularly scheduled performance as myself at the job-that-pays, at home, and at heart. 

I have been focusing on working hard for the job-that-pays, tempering the temper, laughing often, loving up on my family, mixing wine with chocolate (after actual working hours), then (hopefully) knitting.

How have you been?  

Monday, February 3, 2014

well hello

I have missed this space and feel that I am quite out of practice with the filling of it. 

So for this first entry in this blog's second birthday, I'll keep with tradition and share photos from our first trip to the river beach in 2014, interspersed with some of the things I'm actively working on in the grand scheme of finding peace amid the chaos that is the busy business of family life.

: Slow down. Sometimes stepping back is a better way forward.

:  Live within the hours in a day. Sleep is important.

: Parent more kindly.

 : Play more often.

: Prioritize more time with the wife. 

:  Work smarter. Laugh harder. Create with wild abandon.

: Practice patience.

: Recognize that all I can give is enough. Enough is plenty.

Polar vortex or not, I hope that the New Year is already finding you well and in good spirits.

Happy New Year!