The report of my death was an exaggeration

It feels as though I've become rusty with the whole "keeping in touch" thing. What with twitter, facebook, and general blogging malaise hamstringing my efforts at communication with actual (and virtual) people, I probably appear to outsiders as some sort of misanthrope. Nothing, I assure you, could be further from the truth. Lack of sun, the winter season, and maybe a little selfishness? Those I can admit to.

The winter has trundled merrily along, consisting of a steady stream of hockey practices, swimming lessons, PD days, Beavers outings, and the ever-popular workweek. All of this has been punctuated with blasts of True Canadian Winter which means either heaps of snow or deep-freeze temperatures. The treadmill in my life has changed from that dusty unit in the basement that I used to bang out 4-milers on at six in the morning to "that time between when I wake up at 6 AM and when I finally collapse on the couch at 9:30PM and eventually tell myself that I can move to the bed at 10:30". Monday turns into Friday, and weekends are a blurry memory on the Monday morning bus ride to work. Lather, rinse, yadda yadda yadda.

In short, people, I am tired. And that scares me.

Why? Because it's only going to get worse busier from here on out. I can't imagine what the new addition to the family is going to mean to the general routine, but I'm guessing that it will be the end of what remains of "Mike Time" on the weekends. And I say this perhaps prematurely, since so far, hockey and swimming have been solely "dad duties", which mean that 5 of my waking hours are not devoted to that time when I become the Most Important Person In The World, at least for the duration of a long bike ride or run. Most of the time I dedicate to keeping in shape is the otherwise coveted lunch hour, which I have found works well for short outings, but puts a crimp in the shreds of social life I have left. I had a conversation with a friend the other day where I suggested that I wanted to cancel a lunch date with a different friend because it would be cutting into my swim/workout time. "Friends are important", he countered. "That's why we have Facebook", I weakly protested. Part of me may have been serious.

I can see now that I'm going to have to re-learn how to make sacrifices, or find a way to incorporate at least one kid in my "me-time". This thought, however, isn't as scary as it seems (for those of you still reading who don't think I'm a total jerk of a father who routinely abandons his children with their mother). I would love nothing more than a way to both keep in shape and have quality time with the kids. When they were younger (and lighter), one could go for a nice half hour or 45-minute run with them in the stroller and they would patiently wait for you to get it out of your system so they could play on whatever playground you were circumnavigating. Now, not only are they less patient, they want to actually talk  to you while you're running, which is pretty much a non-starter; you can't hear them, and they can't hear you (above the pounding of your heart, if not the wind you're fighting).

To that end, I have planted the seed in the mind of my eldest that he should try a triathlon this year. He claims he would love to swim, bike, and run, and I know the Triathlon Nova Scotia crowd have the Kids of Steel series. It almost seems too perfect. I'm hoping that he'll become a little less stubborn about going out to "do things" with his parents and actually come out biking with me this spring and summer, and we can develop a new relationship that involves shared events (not me accompanying him to his and vice versa, which gives neither of us the satisfaction of "quality family time").

I will leave you with this: The family, sans me, is off to Florida tomorrow morning at O'dark Thirty. It was too expensive to send me (extra plane ticket + rental car = insane cost). The Lovely Wife has prepared The List, which I'll take a crack at while they're away. More importantly, everyone will be getting a break from The Schedule, each in his own way. I hope that we all emerge from their week away and my week of getting-things-done-around-the-house refreshed and ready to take on the spring and the joys and challenges awaiting us when the baby comes along. If not, I'm sure someone out there can help me find some quality meds.

Posted bythemikestand at 11:38 AM  

4 stepped up to the mike:

bethany actually said... 1:50 AM, February 16, 2010  

Dude, trust me when I say we all know that treadmill-of-life feeling. I've gotten to the point in my life where, if someone doesn't understand that I love them without weekly phone messages or emails, I end up just letting them go (as callous as that sounds) because life is just too short. My true friends know I love them even if they only get to talk to me once a year, and vice-versa.

Enjoy your week of respite from routine!

mmmmmpig said... 11:00 AM, February 17, 2010  

They say that you have to "make" time for family and "make" time for yourself, but I have yet to figure out how to manufacture time. When I do, I will bottle it and sell it. I would even sell it to you on a discount.

Steph said... 5:01 PM, February 17, 2010  

It sounds like you have a serious case of February. You need a good dose of June and maybe a barbecue.

I know what you're saying about being tired. I'm not even back at work yet and I'm panicking about the schedule and the weekends and the childcare and...

lauren_hewings said... 6:02 PM, February 17, 2010  

you described the treadmill of life perfectly - in fact, i was trying to put the same thing into words tonight on an email to a friend, but i don't think i covered it nearly as well.
maybe putting less pressure on yourself to do it all might help? i'm guilty of considering changes of plans to accommodate a fitness class, but in the great scheme of things, missing a few isn't going to make a massive difference. before you know it, you'll be at the stage when your boys are challenging you to the adult triathlons, and then there will be plenty of time to train hard...

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