My personal trainer is away for the month of January. That leaves me totally responsible for keeping any acquired fitness levels up to speed. Ideally, I could surpass her expectations and surprise her with a four to five kilo weight loss. Or I could disappoint her with my sloth like tendencies and send the scales in the wrong direction. Thanks to my son’s suggestion and my daughter’s enthusiastic follow through, we have ventured out for three walks and an hours work out at the gym. Not bad considering the holidays are upon us and suddenly the adrenaline charged energy, which generally helps me survive throughout the school term, has been switched off. I can feel my engines winding down. To the point where making breakfast is the most strenuous activity of the day. By lunch time I can only conjure up enough energy to open the fridge, scan the shelves for easy to eat, no preparation required snacks. Making a sandwich feels too hard so I turn to the cupboard and reach for the box of cereal. Easy, just add milk. Lunch done. The kids ask “What’s for lunch?” I answer…”Get it yourself”. So they pull out the chopping board and the avocado, the tomatoes and the ham. Lashings of mayonnaise complete their creation. At least I’ve trained then to make good food choices, apart from the mayo.
I feel mildly guilty but resolve that I’m teaching them valuable life lessons. How to survive when your mother has switched down into neutral. I watch them having fun, pretending to be master chefs. I’m right, they love doing stuff for themselves, I don’t need to feel guilty. After all, I’ve made enough breakfasts, lunches and dinners this year. I look at the kitchen bench after the kids have moved off to watch yet another movie. Knives chocka block with greasy margarine, crumbs, puddles of tomato seeds floating in their own juice, lid left off the margarine tub lined with great yellow clumps of crumb infused marg smeared back along the edges of the container. Appetising. I look to the floor, a few mysterious puddles of water lie waiting for an unsuspecting family member to experience an indoor slip and slide experience. Bits of ham and tomato and lots of crumbs. The cat cleans up the ham quickly but the tomato bits flatten themselves out across the lino and wait for an adult to bend down to pick their remains up and discard them thoughtfully.
Tea towels. On any given day when the kids are in the house for more than a few hours, I’ll find at least five tea towels sprawled across various parts of the kitchen bench. Some find themselves on the floor alongside the tomato pieces. Take a peek in the lounge room and play spot the tea towel. Look..there’s one on the back of the lounge, one hanging off the Xmas tree, two tucked down between the lounge cushions and another on the floor. I find I am constantly on a tea towel search and rescue mission. I wonder what potentially nasty use they were used for and head straight to the laundry. Too risky to consider reusing. I threaten that I will make the kids wash each tea towel out by hand. Rinse, wring and hang to dry. They don’t like the idea of that, however the tea towels continue to multiply across the house.
School holidays take us right out of routine. This in itself, should be a blessing. However, with no time structure to try to work within, all bets are off. Or should I say all wake up alarms are off. I’ve been sitting at the computer making my new blog page look pretty until three in the morning. Come the morning I can’t face the world before nine am. By the time I’m awake, the kids have settled happily into playing with their various Xmas presents. One thing they are obviously not missing is being dragged out of bed and rushed to school every day. The fact they appear to be happy and content playing around the home makes me feel good.
Never happy to relax myself, I stew over the fact that my goals for the holidays are not being achieved. I tell myself it’s ok to just let go and do nothing for at least one week. If I had the energy I’d reach up and rewire my brain from ‘lobotomy mode’ into fun and energised ‘Act on ambitious holiday plans mode’. I mean really, the whole thing is a vicious cycle. Driven by hunger at breakfast… depleted of energy by lunch time…. sluggish in the afternoon due to high GI lunch choice and consequent nodding off by afternoon tea. By dinner time, the cobwebs are beginning to clear and the prospect of sitting at the computer long into the morning hours, with no kids to distract, looks all the more appealing.
I begin longing for the days filled with routine. The rush out the door in the mornings. Properly packed lunches with five food groups thoughtfully represented. Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and well balanced evening meal before appropriate bed time at nine or ten pm. Well… maybe I’ve exaggerated my level of organisation a tad. To be honest, I rarely get to bed before midnight during the school term, but most mealtimes and meal choices lie within the acceptable guidelines suggested by nutritionists.
Then why can’t I just relax and enjoy being a sloth for a mere four weeks. Why the guilt? Perhaps because the start of the holidays begin with such optimism. These holidays I was going to paint the house, landscape the garden, take an unscheduled trip to Byron Bay, exercise everyday and execute the most exciting
well planned school holiday activities with the kids. So far three walks and a visit to the gym is all I have to show for it. Four weeks to go until my trainer returns. How will I go? Stay tuned and see if I manage to turn these holidays into a holiday like no other before. Now…..what’s for lunch….