easy street: one week down...



WEEK ONE OF EASY STREET: ACHIEVED.

It was strange to prioritize my own ease, pleasure, and enjoyment this week... like I'd borrowed my friend's shoes, and even though we wear the same size, the feel of the sole is odd, and every time I take a step I am aware of that step in a way I wasn't last week. I think, "Huh! Another step. How novel."

It was extra strange because it was a big week - Chicken graduated pre-k, and it was his special week at school so it was a double-whammy.

Buster also took his shot at the crown with sudden, operatic separation anxiety (because I needed more things), and this weekend Ryan went camping solo so I was planning to be on my own Saturday and Sunday.

Straight-Up Shortcuts & Hacks

- Dinner.

Fuck off, sweet potato enchiladas. GTF outta here, black bean soup from scratch.

I served canned soup, take'n'bake pizza, bags of salad, microwaved frozen peas, pre-cut veggies and fruit instead of whole, pre-shredded cheese instead of the brick. I stopped just short of Stouffer's but that was last week and tomorrow's a whole new ballgame.

#StandardsAreAThingIHad5YearsAgo

- Separate corners.

At the first sign of conflict between Chicken and Buster, I separated them. HARD.

I did not fight the good fight. I did not seek to deepen their understanding of the importance of compromise and communication. I avoided the shite out of those conflicts and I don't regret it for a second. I alternated which kid went to the bedroom with a toy of his choosing. I turned on an audiobook, and I closed and locked a door between them.

- Please don't hate me, because I'm about to say something that is so cliche but it was true this week so I feel like I have to be real here...

Instead of exercising, I just got outside and ran around with my kids. I mean, I RAN tho. My kids are fast. I broke a sweat 4 days out of 7. We played Dragon Tag and Robot Hide and Seek and Airplane Catcher. These games sound complicated but they're like cocktails: the Boulevardier, the Old-Fashioned, the Manhattan, the Sazerac... yo that's all whiskey with a garnish. And all those games are some blend of chase, catch, tickle, scream, release. It was honestly SO fun.


Treats and Specialities

I indulged this week.  How, you ask?

How DIDN'T I indulge this week? I made my daily stuff YUMMIER.

Put it this way... every morning for breakfast I made a toasted everything bagel with sharp cheddar cheese melted on top in the broiler. And I discovered a profound truth about life and happiness and salty bread and melty cheese... THEY ARE ALL ONE AND THE SAME. #LiveEveryDayLikeItsCheesyBagelDay

There was wine! Cake! Daily pounds of cheese! Creamy night moisturizer! Every water was a can of Kroger-brand sparkling water! But most importantly, I gave myself permission to eat the delicious organic berries and cherries that I buy for the children. And oh, those berries were SWEET.

I also treated myself to a babysitter this Saturday morning while Ryan was hiking and camping. I got a haircut and went grocery shopping for the week while the sitter ran my boys into the ground, handled the negotiations around the cool new Paw Patrol water squirter, cooked them lunch, and dealt with Buster's nap.

Shit I Skipped

- Laundry.

I know I said I was going to do 1 load a day. Buuuuuuut I maybe did 2 loads this week. Every time I passed the growing pile of grass-stained, oatmeal-crusted, hose-water-soaked Osh-Koshes, I was like

nope

- E-Mail.

I just... didn't. That's a luxury and a privilege, to be able to basically ignore emails this week without fear of losing my job or my 40% off code at Shutterfly. But who are we kidding, if you ever pay full price at Shutterfly (or shipping, for anything, EVER) you are a damn fool who deserved to get taken.

- Small-talk with my regular weekly small-talk people.

You know the people you see every week - the other mom whose kid sees a therapist at the same time yours sees your therapist, another mom in the parking lot or the gymnastics class waiting room, Brandon at Starbucks drive-thru? I didn't this week. I smiled, I nodded, I wasn't rude. But I didn't put my energy into trying to connect with them. I didn't feel like it. So I didn't.  I took my own side in that debate. "You don't want to, and you don't have to. You don't owe this person anything. Pay for your coffee and be on your way."


Counter-Intuitive Master Strokes

- One morning I woke up an hour before the kids. 

KATIE. How is LESS sleep Easy Street?? I'll tell you how. In that hour I watched 2 episodes of Kimmy Schmidt, decided I'm kind of meh on this season, made myself a hot breakfast, packed lunches, made the class treat for Chicken's special week, and by the time the boys' alarm clock light turned green I was 3 cups of coffee deep, talkin' fast and trembling lightly.

- One night for dinner I made bruschetta. 

I know what you're thinking - that's a shitload of dicing for someone on Easy Street! Well, yes, but CHECK IT. I walked that street with a glass of wine in my hand, watching The Handmaid's Tale, and there was cheesy oil-soaked bread at the end of that street.

- Ryan and I got it on even though we were both tired.

Listen, I know a lot of our relatives read this blog and I don't want it to get weird but y'all know where our babies came from and it wasn't a berry-bush. It was a P in V and we're M and W and that's how it goes down sometimes. (I mean, more than sometimes...)

ANYWHO, you know how they say the hardest part of going to the gym is putting on your shoes? That's kind of my point of view with good old-fashioned marital relations. The hardest part is deciding to. Once you lace up it's good clean sweaty healthy fun and you're almost never like "Oh man, I wish I'd just watched another episode of Kimmy Schmidt instead."

And that was my experience this week.

Me Time

I tried to find an hour every day, whether that was after bedtime or in the middle of the day, when I could tune out and do my own thing.

- I took a HIKE on Sunday. And then I went to a MALL. And then I went to DINNER. And saw a MOVIE. With a FRIEND. Not a drill, not a joke, not a dream.

- I packed the iPad for long drives into the city with the boys, and let them listen to their audiobooks in the backseat while I listened to mine up front.

- I took a long walk during Chicken's appointment on Monday.

- After bedtime I made bruschetta for myself, or I had a cup of tea and some cake with a good friend who came to visit at the new house.

I enjoyed shit that was just for me.

Lesson learned: Easy Street is a beautiful boulevard to walk, especially when you can strike that balance between handling some shit and deferring other shit.


So now what?

Well, obviously I'm going to keep going down Easy Street. I've had a taste of my kids' berries and I'm not going back.

But Week 2 is going to be tricky.

- School's out for summer, which means I am excused from 2 hours of daily drive to and from Seattle (hallelujah), but my attendance is now mandatory at "my children" 24/7 until September (wait what).

- Remember that camping trip Ryan took? Welllllllll he came home with some stitches and bruises after he fell halfway off a mountain. Don't worry, my man is THE man and he never falls halfway off a mountain without paracord and leather-palmed gloves for rappelling, so he rescued not only himself but also aided in the rescue of 2 others who found themselves on the same rocky cliff only a couple of hours later.

But he's sore, swollen, and touch'n'go when it comes to things that I usually take for granted like "Can the children please sit with you for stories," or "Play that game where the boys hit you repeatedly with pillows, they need it, it's either that or we chain up a goat and lock ourselves in the car."



- I can't put off the laundry anymore. I'm wearing the terrible underwear right now.

So stay tuned for more info about Easy Street: Week 2.

And I continue to invite you to join me.

Too often we don't give ourselves one-time breaks because those are breaks we can't do ALL the time.

"I can't order pizza on a Tuesday; we can't afford takeout every night!"

Nobody can! But can you afford it tonight? Are you exhausted? Is it 45 minutes to dinner and you'd rather spend those minutes trying out Dragon Tag than dicing an onion for homemade stew?

I hereby tell you to go for it. I hereby give you permission, not that you need it, unless you do, in which case PLEASE TAKE THIS PERMISSION and go enjoy some shit and relish the delight of not doing the shit you thought you had to do!

Even though it's going to be hard to make time for myself with the kids home all day, I'm sticking with Easy Street. Because I deserve to eat the good berries and write my little blog. Because I have this one wild and precious life. And because my happiness trickles down (and not just because of these terrible underwear) (ew I know) (sorry) (sorry not sorry).

Leaving you with that image byeeeeee!

why

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