7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 226)
Wow! Seven posts in seven days. I kind of felt like a wimp for only doing a week of daily posts, since plenty of other bloggers commit to doing the same thing for a full month, but I see now that a week is verrrrry much my limit. It’s been great, I’ve learned a lot, I’m more energized to write, and I’ll definitely do it again in a few months…but it’s good that Sunday is the last day. It would only take a couple more days of this to end up collapsed with my head on my keyboard, drooling and muttering, “Too…much…blogging.”
One of the biggest things I’ve taken away from this experiment is how little free time I have right now. Well, I guess I already knew that. But I understand it now with a whole new level of clarity.
For years, if I could get the littlest kids to nap at the same time, I’d have a good block of time to work on writing or other projects almost every afternoon. Alas, that time does not exist anymore. Even when I can get the baby and the toddler to do simultaneous naps, the four bigger kids have all these pesky demands like, oh, wanting to be fed lunch, and by the time I’m done helping them, one of the little ones is awake again. (I recently posted my daily schedule here.)
I will go for hours at a time jumping from one task to the next, trying to hold in mind the four other things that I’m also supposed to be doing. For example: I’ll be making lunch for the five big kids, but at the same time, the toddler’s diaper needs to be changed, the baby is waking up from his nap and starting to fuss, the phone is ringing, and someone starts screaming that her sister poured orange juice into her milk. These days, I consider it a slow period if I’m just working hard at one urgent household task and don’t have a million other things that should have been dealt with five minutes ago.
This is why I’ve been staying up too late. I’m the type of person who absolutely has to have a little quiet time in order to stay sane. I could easily go days — maybe even weeks — without socializing or even leaving the house. No problem at all. But give me a full day with noisy people all up in my grill all day long, and I start to feel like my brain is melting.
In theory, I believe that it’s best to take your personal time in the morning. I’m the world’s biggest night owl (I’m not entirely convinced that “morning people” even exist), but I think that having some time to get in a good mental place in the morning is a key factor in feeling on top of your life. Rolling out of bed at the very last minute would be like an NFL player sleeping on the field and waking up to play once the game has already started. If you don’t stay ahead of the curve, you’ll be crushed.
But here’s the thing: in our small house, I’m likely to wake up the kids if I get up early (there is this one creaky spot in the stairs that betrays me EVERY TIME). Right now, the late-night hours when everyone else is sound asleep are my only chances to get a few moments of silence. One of these days I’ll aim to get back on an early-rising schedule, but for now I’ll stick to staying up late.
I got to sneak away to meet Calah Alexander for lunch this week. I first discovered her site when she wrote “What a woman in crisis really needs,” which is one of the most powerful blog post I have ever read. I’ve followed her writing ever since then, and love her thoughtful, humorous style. Her posts are humble and honest, and she always brings a fresh angle to everything she writes about. If you don’t follow her, you should.
I don’t think I ever mentioned that we had the baby baptized. It was an amazing day, of course. His godfather is my cousin, Br. Claude Lane, the Benedictine monk iconographer (who couldn’t make it because of vows of stability and stuff). I was surprised and delighted that his godmother, my friend Jessica, was able to make it.
Jess and I originally met through blogging circles, and we’d never actually met in person since I live in Texas and she lives in Virginia. It was such a treat to finally meet face-to-face, and really made the weekend extra special.
So, I got an iPhone. My cell phone company caught me in a weak moment, and I accepted their offer to get a free one if I signed my life away to them for another couple of years. I blame Instagram: I kept seeing all these crisp, gorgeous photos that everyone was taking with their iPhones, and then I’d try to do the same on my Android and end up with a black, blurry mess. Here’s my short Android vs. iPhone review:
The camera on the iPhone is better — vastly better — but the Android has a better user experience. It is as if the Android designers worked day and night to create the most amazing phone possible, but by the time it was time to deal with the camera, they were exhausted and just didn’t care anymore. I do like my iPhone, but, other than the camera, it’s not the vast improvement over Android that I thought it would be.
Anyway, what apps do I need?
I was cleaning up blog files and found my old “two stout monks” commenting policy, based on old Benedictine monastery rules for guests. That sign really does offer the perfect rules for blog commenters. I think I’ll add it back to the main page.