In the past two months I’ve come to realize that the speed of my writing on the topic of motherhood is directly proportional to my level of exhaustion. A ton of work, sleepless nights, cranky toddler? I type away into the wee hours of the morning. Eight hours of sleep, uninterrupted meals, time to do manicure thanks to family taking care of Kroshka? What the hell do I
complain, sorry, write about in my next post?
Life has been (somewhat) easy lately. As easy as life can get with a two-year-old. Ever since we’ve come to Sri Lanka two months ago, three to four extra adults were always around to look after him.
There’s still lots of cajoling Kroshka into brushing his teeth, getting him dressed involves running and tackling, and cooking is an (almost) everyday event, but at least my free time actually means “free time”, not “taking a shower alone” or “having a coffee in peace”.
I almost can’t believe there are people in this world (a lot of them) for whom leaving kids with grandparents and going on a date night is a weekly occurrence, not a once-in-a-year extravaganza.
My husband and I have been on breakfast-dates and lunch-dates mostly because someone has to put Kroshka to sleep at night and the same someone has to be there in case he wakes up. Someone’s just realized someone hasn’t been out after 7 pm for the past two years. Not once. Yikes. Someone… ok, me, it’s me! I can’t say I miss going out at night, but having a dinner with a glass of wine would be nice, I’ll admit.
So we do breakfast-dates. We go for a swim at a local sports club first and then stop at one of my favorite cafes in Colombo for a healthy-ish breakfast of scrambled eggs with beans and bacon or sticky coffee granola with fruits and a dollop of peanut butter or just a cup of cappuccino. We discuss our plans for life, 2022 goals, and how we are going to conquer the world, you know, that annoying “power couple” stuff, only when it comes to you and your partner it all seems rather reasonable and not at all annoying. I do try to stay away from the actual words “power couple”, though.
Last year was not too shabby. The highlight? We’ve agreed to learn each other’s hobbies: me learning to ride a bike and my husband — to swim, and have successfully accomplished this goal. Not that I’ve never ridden a bike, but the last time I did it well was at the age of ten, and the last time I did it at all was ten years ago in Rio de Janeiro which sounds fancy, but was, in fact, more traumatic than anything else.
My friend and I rented bikes and went for a ride in a park — sounds innocent enough, right? That’s what I thought too, until my friend, who is Brazilian and speaks Portuguese, revealed to me by the end of the ride that pedestrians shouted “Is she crazy?” and “What’s wrong with her?” as I was passing by. I’ll admit the ride involved me hitting a car (not the other way around) in slow motion as I was pretty much walking the bike, so I fully understand people screaming obscenities.
That being my latest experience, I will not exaggerate if I say I was terrified of riding a bike again. But a New Year resolution is a New Year resolution, right? We never postpone or completely forget those, do we? Ok, I was just tired of paying three euros per bus ride every time I wanted to get somewhere.
We bought a bike in August and my first ever ride was to the Russian embassy in Hamburg to pick up my brand new passport. Google Maps predicted it would take me thirty minutes, it took a bit over an hour. Google Maps must be estimating time based on Olympic records because I was flying like the wind. At least it felt that way.
Have you ever heard the question “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” Riding a bike on a daily basis was definitely one of the coolest firsts of 2021. My husband, meanwhile, went above and beyond the initial resolution as he learned how to swim and then, once we arrived to Sri Lanka, also to surf and to dive.
In the first week of 2022 we sat down to discuss the goals for the new year which ended up with me creating three Excel spreadsheets with big picture goals, step-by-step actions on a monthly basis, and deadlines. Three! That is not something I’ve ever done. I spent a full day planning only to have a tiny panic attack once I saw the amount of work for January written down in every little detail.
This article right here (can I still call this rant an article, even though it jumps from the topic of date nights to biking to goal setting?) is in my spreadsheet and the deadline is today which is why I am writing something, anything really.
I once read Elizabeth Gilbert say that a writer has to sometimes write a mediocre book. Not every book is going to be amazing. Just like no one’s work is amazing 100% of the time. So you have to roll your sleeves up and shut the voice of your inner perfectionist down and accomplish the task in front of you. Because that’s what professionals do. Then move on and try to write a better book next.
So I hope this is how you will see this piece: as me trying to act professional and not as a mad woman’s unconnected chain of thoughts that has no point (which it really doesn’t). I’ll do better next time. I think so. I hope.