Hubs and I went to see The Hobbit yesterday with friends. I really enjoyed it, but I also fell asleep in the car on the way back to my parents' house to get the kids ... at 7:15pm no less. What this has underlined is a central truth about my state of being at the moment: I am so tired. Deeply, bone achingly fatigued.
I have been running and running at full pelt since May, with very little downtime and very few weekends. That was immediately preceded by a month of being quite sick with heart problems in April, and two months of intensive work before that from late January to late March. Barring a week without work in early November, I have been working at least 30 hours and sometimes as much as 50 each week since May, with a 3 year old still at home except for 2 days a week at creche (one of which is short day of 6 hours).
I have still had community / volunteering commitments, too, although I did ease them back mid-year. But there are some things I couldn't, and didn't want to, avoid; things that were important to my kids and me. Like helping in the school kitchen during the 9 year old's cooking classes, or helping with the school's night market and the church's Christmas festival. I also continued to teach Sunday School monthly, because I felt it was putting too much pressure on others to pull out.
Volunteering and work and family life aside, the amount of energy and effort that goes into kids' extracurricular activities can't be underestimated. Gymnastics, swimming, ballet and music involves commitment from me and hubs as well as from the participating children, and its overall time impact on the week is at least 12 hours all up if everything goes to plan (considerably more when comps, exams and performances are coming up).
Of course, injuring my back in October, and getting flu in December, has not helped my cause greatly when it comes to maintaining health and energy levels :-(
Top that lot off with hosting our traditional last-day-of-school party for the kids' friends, and family Christmas Day at our house, and the highly strung pace has not had a chance to slacken even for a moment. We're also having a NYE BBQ this year, just because it seemed like a good idea at the time, so I am busily prepping for that.
So, in short - I am TIRED. Really, crashingly, exhausted. I need a sustained rest, and I am going to do what I need to do in January to make sure I get one, and to make life as stress-free as possible.
I've ruled off my job book from 31 December and am not available for work again until 4 February. The kids and I will have a lot of home days. I'm sending the younger two to my Mum's overnight mid-month so I can take my eldest to a specialist appointment solo and have a day in the city with her. My Mum is also taking the three together for a Friday night late in the month so hubs and I can go out to eat and SLEEP IN!!
There will be cricket, books and poetry writing. There will be painting, crafts and swimming at the beach. The big kids and I will indulge in an Ace of Cakes marathon. I will take them to the movies, the Zoo and the Museum. We are doing summer old skool this year and I am so, so ready. Bring on Tuesday!