Pile on People and Activities

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.

Calder's Red Mobile, creative commons

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.

  • journaled
  • blogged
  • 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
  • cleaned
  • 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.


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