My number one rule is pile on people. I like to pile on activities as well as people. It is my way of coping. I like to say yes to every invitation and expand on every good idea offered — lessons I learned from performing improv.
Families are like fine art mobiles — when one member swings one way, the others move another — compensating, balancing, attempting to maintain equilibrium. With Chris’s increased slowness, I take on more. Like the arm on a mobile, I swing faster. I fly one way, while other pieces bounced along. Life swings every one. With Chris away with siblings in the Adirondacks this weekend, I did more. And I liked it.
When he’s gone, I depend more on friends.
Here was my Sunday. I got up early.
- cabbed to pick up Charlotte from a sleep over
- brunched at friends’ — lovely — bagels, lox, whitefish
- dropped Hayden at church
- napped for 20 minutes
- got the car
- picked up H. from church
- dropped one child off at Randall’s Island, Icahn Stadium
- drove to Cold Spring to get Kate from her sleep over
- walked around with friends and K. in Cold Spring
- watched the people fishing
- chatted, picnicked by the harbor with friends
- ate yogurt at a yummy yogurt place
- picked up K.’s things from Garrison
- drove K. and myself back to Randall’s Island
- cheered H. and his team at track and field events
- drove friends and kids back to city
- parked the car at a lot
- made dinner — chicken, rice, broccoli, strawberries
- helped H. pack for 5-day bike trip
- sent myself and the kids to bed at 10:30
In a family, there are tons of ways to cope when a spouse is out of town, sick, or just unable to deliver the goods. People tell me, “You do too much.” Yet I would rather pile on people, activities, work, exercise, kindness than pile on resentment, solitude, inertia.
I’m sure there’s a lesson in how to balance your life based on the image of a Calder-type mobile. Balance is not part of my vocabulary.
Enthusiasm, passion, friendship, too many activities? That’s the way! Pile it on.