Four months ago I was operating at a level of insanity I was pretty much oblivious to.
It wasn’t until the world came to a screeching halt and I was forced to abandon all activities and appointments that I had this epiphany.
Actually, that’s not true.
About four weeks ago some things started creeping back onto the calendar.
There were pick up days at the kids schools to get the belongings that had been unexpectedly stranded there.
There were end of the year “parades” to take a lap around the school parking lot and wave and yell goodbye to teachers from the car.
We had an 8th grade moving up drive through ceremony.
Then last week swim practice started back up.
Two kids swim from 5:30 – 7 AM every morning and one swims from 4 – 5 PM. (One hasn’t started practice yet).
Something became really clear in the last couple weeks.
This was when the real epiphany occurred.
I am out of fucking shape.
Not in the physical department.
I exercise every day and my resting heart rate is in the 40’s.
And everyone knows how I feel about consistent exercise and keeping yourself fit.
But in the having-to-get-people-to-places-by-a-certain-time department?
What has been made abundantly clear is the amount of energy that is needed to manage the logistics of getting kids (and myself) to anywhere other than my back yard.
I remember a few years ago my parents were staying with the kids for an afternoon, and they had to get them off the bus and fed and to all their practices.
And my mom was commenting on how tired she was.
On how tiring it was.
And I remember thinking, Ha! What a lightweight! I do this shit every day!
Now, just reintroducing a fraction of what we were doing a few months ago wears me out.
I’ve turned into my mom!
I have no activity/appointment/logistical stamina anymore.
And I’m not really sure I want too much of it back.
That natural instinct to start filling the days back up kicks in pretty easily.
The force is strong with this one.
But after slowing down and actually being able to tune into my body (and my kids’ behavior) when life is simplified, I’m resisting the force.
I’ll have to increase my stamina a little bit.
But I’m not training to get back to where I was a few months ago.
For the last few years I’ve been competing at the logistical Olympic level.
But unlike competing at the Olympic level in say, swimming, where there are competitions to win and awards to receive and the potential to be permanently inducted into a Hall of Fame or have your name live on indefinitely, and receive endorsements and enjoy lots of other benefits…
There is nothing to be gained by competing in the Logistical Olympics.
Except maybe perspective.
It can be so easy for us to believe that our kids need to be involved in all the things.
And all the things simultaneously.
What do we really give them when we do this?
Having your kids participate in two or three or ten things at the same time doesn’t make us good parents.
What our kids want (and need) most from us is connection.
It’s really hard to connect with your kids when just about every minute of their day is completely filled with something and when you have made a schedule that completely depletes you of all energy, leaving you virtually unavailable for your kids.
When you train and compete at the Olympic level, you are forced to make sacrifices.
You do this knowing there is potential for a big return on your investment.
But in the Logistical Olympics there is no podium.
There is nothing to show for your self-inflicted blood, sweat, and tears.
Nothing positive, anyway.
You sacrifice self-care, mindfulness, patience, and opportunities for connection with your kids.
What do you get in return?
Overwhelm. Frustration. Anxiety. Stress.
So I may be out of shape.
I’m building up some stamina.
But I’m never competing at the Olympic level again.
Logistically speaking, life is much better for everyone at the amateur level.
And I’m pretty sure at this level it’s a whole lot more rewarding, too.