I've decided that I have too much free time. My friends snorted at me when I said this yesterday. And I know those of you with babies are either rolling your eyes or firing up an email to order me to take advantage before it's too late!, but I've decided my free time is not a good thing. Or, Phillip decided this late Saturday night as I sat blubbering on the couch about the myriad of tiny miserable things I shouldn't even think up, much less freak out about.
For the record, I don't think I've been the hormonal scatterbrained mess people say women are when they're pregnant. Except for a whole new slate of strange aches and pains, I feel mostly like myself. I don't know what Phillip would say about this, but I'll have you know there haven't been any random blowups or more than one or two sudden crying jags, which means in my estimation, my mental health is as usual: questionable. People say, "Oh, it's just pregnancy hormones," and then I have to say, "No, actually, would you believe this is an improvement?"
So anyway. I get home from work around five and Phillip tends to get home around six-thirty, which means I have a whole hour and a half of wintry late afternoon before Distraction shows up in the form of dinner plans or errands or plain old "work sucked today" conversation. I bake, I watch TV, sometimes I make dinner. I think about writing, I might do some laundry, I flip through whatever arrived in the mail. Mostly I sit and attempt to stave off the anxiety that always shows up to fill in the blank space.
Phillip said, "I haven't seen you read anything in a while. Why don't you get some books?" So yesterday I went to Barnes and Noble and bought three fat novels. This one, which I've been wanting to read for a long time, this one, because I saw "lives on an air force base" on the jacket, and this one, because it looked funny. I also went to Pottery Barn Kids and did not buy anything, are you proud?
I made a list of friends who are home when I get home from work, mostly a growing number of friends who stay home with babies.
I thought about what things I need to do to get the baby's room ready, but in an orderly one-day-at-a-time way, not the ohmygodmayislikeTOMORROW way I've been favoring. Most of it Phillip has to do- move furniture in our bedroom to make room for my new desk, move my computer to the new desk and set it up, get rid of the old too-big desk, haul a to-be-purchased glider up two flights of stairs and set up where the too-big desk used to be. You know, dirty work. But I need to buy (or sew? am I seriously considering sewing?) curtains, put the little clothes away, hang up the cute little paintings I bought in China two and a half years ago, thread ribbons through the hooks on the wooden moon and stars I bought in Germany and pin them to the ceiling. (There is also a giant poster of Italy on the wall that I am not taking down. We may never have enough money to take this kid anywhere, so I have to stuff it all in his room.)
I wrote out my church meeting schedule, doctor appointments, retreats, parties, weddings, birthdays, showers and deadlines on my calendar. That makes me feel busy.
I bought more butter and chocolate chips, even though Phillip's office is beginning to expect him to show up with cookies. But I suspect my 89-year-old neighbor likes cookies too. She also likes to snoop inside the new townhouses they're always building in this neighborhood, just like me. I filed that away for the future.
The sun is not supposed to set until after 5 tonight.
I might have a new person available to walk around the lake with me after work. And I'm thinking about signing up for prenatal yoga classes at the yoga studio a few blocks away. I took yoga a few years ago in an attempt to "achieve a state of relaxation" like all the anxiety books advise, but I think the endorphins helped a lot more. My early morning class woke me up, made me feel stronger, put me on a schedule.
I feel like I do a lot of stuff, see a lot of people, commit to a lot of things, but there's still that hour after work when the sun is going down and all the things that make me nervous set up shop in my head and start their roundtable discussion. Phillip said, "It'll be hard when the baby gets here, but it'll be okay," and I said, "Maybe I'll be too busy to worry."