Friday, November 30, 2007

[Bracket} thoughts.

Now that my California cold that followed closely on the heels of my English cold has receded into a mere shadow of its former snotty glory, i feel almost clear enough to write again.

What keeps coming to my mind is the simple clarity of the month spent with my English family--why did that time feel so much more clear? On the most obvious point, it was just excellent to be with them, and enter into their lives, and get to just chat about the everyday-ness of life. But why else did it seem so clear and simple?

Anything outside my normal life has some magic to it, and some clarity. This i suppose arises from the fact of being a piece of time in brackets. You know, {Vacation} {Birth of a baby} Those are finite times with edges. My normal life is open brackets...just some vague dots trailing off...into...whenever...

i think that's one reason i enjoyed the whole baby/toddler/child raising time--it had edges. It had brackets. There needed to be meals, and naps, and baths, and bedtimes. Those were my mini-goals, to make it from breakfast to naptime, from dinner to bath to bed. Small brackets around small bits of my day.

While i was in England, the days were pretty clear--there was breakfast to be eaten, and the dishes from that to be washed. There were grubby boys to play in the garden, and clothes from that to be washed. There was a clear path from morning till night, with chores to mark the divisions of the day. Simplicity. Clarity.

Of course, i must factor in that my daughter has The Gift of Organization. As i've mentioned before, she'd rather wash dishes frequently than save them up and have an overwhelming pile. She'd rather pick up the toys and vacuum at the end of the day than to already have a mess at the beginning of a new day. i suspect she can actually see brackets: {these things go together in this drawer} {this is a logical time to do this chore.} i am challenged in these matters.

Other than the natural bracketing of the meals and naps of child-raising, i tend to be easily overwhelmed by life. i'm not schedule oriented, i enjoy being flexible and creative. But sometimes the open ended-ness of my life is daunting, especially when some of its days are so achy. i think i'm unsure of how to find the balance.

Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Hi and welcome back! Hubby and I were just talking about this the other day. He says I have no discipline or schedule and I tell him I don't need to since I've been home. I just get up and do what needs to be done. He says I forget to take care of myself properly tho like taking time to read or do PT exercises. Mostly I take care of my yahoo groups, make phone calls to let congress know what I think, call friends sometimes- but mostly spend time goofing off on the pc and taking care of the cats. If a person needs a schedule or some discipline like you had in England you just need to make a list and be sure to allow time for everything. Like I should limit my time online which I'm better at now, but still don't manage to make time to read or do projects I'd like to do. It doesn't help that my meds make me sleep more than the average person either. I need to stay very busy mentally not to think about my pain and reading or exercising causes pain. There aren't many books that can keep my mind occupied like the pc. I hope you can make a list of some sort and a rough schedule. It doesn't need to be strict. There is so much I'd like to accomplish, but we only have so much energy in a day. I have commitments online that I could probably get out of, but don't exactly know how so trying to do less and less. There are books to help people get organized. You remember how organized I used to be- gone out the window. Good luck! pti

Anonymous said...


Your thoughts resonated with me! I'm actually more of the scheduled sort myself, but nevertheless, the responsibility of trying to create rhythm in my life can become wearing at times.

I know that I really enjoy being around my parents, partly because my mother is super energetic and structured. Sometimes it's nice to relinquish the responsibility of keeping things going and just ride the wave of structure as planned out by someone else. It's as though the world is turning without me running on a treadmill to keep it going.

I think we all need bracketed time to recharge and find clarity. Thanks for this post!