Monday, August 12, 2013

Past Deadline: Mid-Year Progress Report

Here is Past Deadline from the July 11/13 issue of The Perth Courier.
Mid-year progress report
 I am famous for making self-improvement pledges/resolutions that often fall by the wayside. You may recall such classics as: 1. I am going to get up early and exercise! 2. I am going to eat less! 3. I am going to exercise more!
Gah. A resolution that wasn’t on the list this year was: “Replace entire wardrobe with clothes that fit!” Perhaps I should add that so I can feel as if I have accomplished something.
Anyway…something that has been working out a bit better despite Mother Nature’s best efforts to “dampen our spirits” is a resolution to spend more time outside with the kids.
This resolution has morphed a little, though, to combine with another one that was contemplated but unspoken. It may sound a bit odd coming from someone who works from home, but I want to try to spend more quality time with the kids.
I’ve long gotten over the fact that working from home automatically means I will be a Domestic Diva and Super Mom. (Ha.) My house is definitely not the cleanest on the block. In fact, I think that being here most of the time actually turns me off of making things spotless.
I can live with that. (Sort of.) Something that truly bugs me, though, is that even though I have excelled at seeing the kids off to school in the morning and greeting them when they come home, sometimes I am not really “here.”
Computer games and the TV have been babysitters over the years whilst I slave away at work deadlines in the home office. While I know there is value to having been physically here for them, it hasn’t always been quality time.
Summer is here. (It is. Really. Don’t let the monsoon rains fool you.) Yes, there will be times when I have to tune out the kids and get some work done, but I’ve got to make time to do fun stuff.
When the kids were babies, I worked weird hours – e.g., when they were sleeping. Chopping up my day so that we can spend time at the beach or on a hike or playing badminton or going to the playground or traipsing around in swamps isn’t far-fetched.
It has become increasingly clear over the years that, sometimes, kids don’t know how to play the way my generation did. With all those screen temptations, why bother going outside? So, I’ll continue to teach them.
We have a provincial park annual pass for day use – look out, Murphys Point, here we come!
At Hogg Bay Beach, Murphys Point.
At Hogg Bay Beach, Murphys Point.

Once exception to the “outside” rule is the Perth indoor pool. There is public swimming Monday through Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. (free on Wednesdays thanks to Tim Hortons and Saturdays thanks to the Perth Fire Fighters Association). The kids and I went for our first summer excursion last Friday.
It was great. The day camp kids were there so Girlchild knew a whole pile of girls. They were having a blast – there was music and they were singing and even dancing – great entertainment at a low price!
Aside from the day camp counsellors and lifeguards, I was the only “adult” in the pool. My kids can both swim and they immediately migrated towards their friends, so they didn’t really “need” me there.
No matter. I did scissor kicks for a straight hour! (Exercise! Yes!) I enjoyed the music. I could definitely make a habit of this – and the kids had fun.
Time is marching on. The kids are growing up so fast. It’s never too late for quality time.
Next stop: the swamp!

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