Veeder: How I spent a dose of free-time
Apparently when I’m pregnant I can’t help but feel like I’m a ticking time bomb, waddling around counting the days until my world explodes into unmanageable chaos.
So I have a tendency, I’ve learned, to try to manage the heck out of everything in my path in the meantime.
I overbook my work schedule, I annoy my husband with reminders about unfinished house projects, I organize places like bathroom cabinets, I plan house additions and I deep clean the oven, (because apparently deep cleaning the oven is strictly a hormonal thing)
Yes, my mentality as a pregnant woman is a weird sort of frantic, but after months of running around trying to fit it all in, I think I’m gonna have to call it.
But I still have a good two and a half months to grow this baby, which, in my brain, should be enough time to finish that entryway addition and get a good start on my novel.
Last weekend my husband left to go hunting in Montana, Edie went to spend a couple nights with my mother-in-law and my Saturday event got cancelled, which left me with an unexpected window of time that I planned to use to clean out my office to make way for the crib and the tiny baby socks.
Blame it on the late night spent singing, or the rainy day, or just plain laziness, but that Saturday I didn’t step foot in that office. Nope.
I was alone in my house in the middle of nowhere for over 24 hours and nobody called and I called nobody.
I didn’t use my voice, I didn’t go outside, I didn’t cook or get dressed and moved only to do a couple loads of laundry and take out some stinky garbage. I read. I ate. I seriously took binge-watching Netflix to the proper level. I took a nap.
And I had to keep reminding myself that it was OK.
Why do we do this to ourselves? I finally had some quiet moments to myself, and I couldn’t help but use it to wonder why the luxury of free, unscheduled time made me feel so anxious. Maybe I’ll just blame it on my workaholic parents who I’ve rarely seen spend an entire Saturday relaxing.
Which I sort of get now. Before becoming a parent, I would have likely spent that Saturday being productive in leisurely and creative ways, like taking a hike in the rain to come up with new ideas, inspiration and motivation.
But that was before I understood how fast you become accustomed to taking care of the constant needs of young children, and how it becomes embedded so deep into the muscles of your body you forget how to be alone with both your hands free and a mind with a quiet space to wander again.
Which I probably should have done. I should have let my mind wander. But I was too busy having zero inspiration, feet up, hair up, counting baby kicks between bites of popcorn and reminding myself to enjoy it because it’s all gonna hit the fan again soon enough.
Jessie Veeder is a musician and writer living with her husband and daughter on a ranch near Watford City, N.D. She blogs at veederranch.com. Readers can reach her at email@example.com.