Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A day in the life

Recently, I've had two friends write blogs detailing the current insanity of their lives. Both are parts of families with two full time working parents and two children, both under five years old. Their blogs make the unions weep: the 40 hour work week, supposed to grant both income and time, has grown long in the tooth and quaint. Kristin and Vikki's lives are normal - only in so much as multiple families can compare notes with their daily agenda and show the same kind of insanity. But in terms of what most of us would agree is a sound quality of life - time with those we love, time doing meaningful work, time sleeping - their days are painful to read about. Too much running, too little breathing.

Here I am, living in Brazil for six months. We've just moved under the month mark, meaning we have less than four weeks before we return to life in Minneapolis. We have another week and a half of quiet life before our last spurt of guests and family takes us up to our leaving date. I am profoundly aware of how graceful our days have been, how gentle, and how those empty days - sometimes lovely and sometimes long and boring - are going to change.

I wrote Kristin today that I was embarrassed to compare notes: what I consider a full day is laughable next to my "full days" of seven months ago. But for the purposes of entertainment and posterity - I have to remember this four months from now - I am going to list our regular schedule.

I will say here that the notion of "regular" is laughable as we have many guests and/or Luca spends time at her grandmother's house, but this is the vaguely mostly typical weekday schedule for a day. Quite honestly, minus the school part, the weekend schedule isn't that different:

Anytime between 6am and 8am: Luca wakes up which means that Rocki wakes up while Susan snores on. On very rare occassions, Susan or Rocki wake up first, get up and make coffee but usually Luca wakes up first, comes into our room, snuggles on the bed and starts hugging our boobs.

Anytime between 7am and 9am: We put Luca off for as long as possible but eventually someone, usually Rocki, gets up to make breakfast for Luca and coffee for the grown-ups. Breakfast can be crackers and cheese or cereal or yogurt or fresh fruit like pineapple or melon or apples.

During this morning period, Susan and Rocki drink coffee, wander to the computer, look to see if anyone wrote them, look at the headlines, sometimes read, sometimes all of the papers, sometimes just surf for awhile.

Anytime between 9am and 11am: Sometimes Rocki has a surfing lesson. Most often Susan and Luca put on their bathing suits, grease up and wander down to the pool. Three to four times a week, most of the family is submerged in water - either ocean or chlorinated. Susan always brings a book to the pool and beach but rarely reads it. Usually she swims, plays with Luca, dozes in the sun. Rocki surfs and comes back, brown and sore.

Anytime between 11am and 1pm: Showers happen. Luca might spend some time drawing or Susan tells Luca stories or Rocki and Luca play games. Somewhere in here, lunch happens. Either Susan makes it and they eat at home or else they order from Golden Sucos, a local place that serves fresh juice, acai, cheap sandwiches and omelettes.

1pm: Luca goes to school. Rocki and Susan share the business of taking her there.

1pm to 5:30pm: Two or three times a week, Susan puts in between one and three hours of work at the computer. This work could take the form of "real work" for District 202 or obessesive emailing with Kristin and Vikki. Sometimes she writes her blog. Sometimes Rocki is at the computer creating photo websites, sometimes just surfing. Sometimes Rocki and Susan watch a movie, sometimes Susan goes for a walk or does something in the kitchen. Sometimes they run to the store. Rocki does a lot of laundry.

5:30pm: Luca comes home from school. They all play. Susan makes dinner sometimes or they eat out. Sometimes they go for walks, watch the skateboarders, play together at home. On Wednesdays, it's family movie night and the family watches nature documentaries on their laptop computer. Dishes get done, school stuff put away, they kiss and cuddle or Luca throws a tantrum or they do stuff on the computer.

Anytime between 7:30 and 9pm: Luca goes to bed. The hour is based on how tired she is, when she got up, how fed up Susan and Rocki are from their hard days, if it's time to take a shower, if they went for a walk, if it's movie night, and so on.

Anytime between 7:30 and 9pm: Based on when Luca sleeps, Rocki and Susan sometimes watch a movie, read a book, have sex, play on the computer.

Anytime between 9:30 and midnight: Rocki usually falls asleep first. Susan reads until later and falls asleep second. At one point during the night, Susan gets up and turns the ceiling fan on to a higher speed. This is after she has been munched too many times by mosquitos.


Anonymous said...

I'll trade lives with ya! ha ha!

We are looking for ways to simplify our lives but haven't found them yet. My greatest fear is that we will become to accustomed to the busy-ness of our lives that we will no longer be able to be still, will no longer even know how to doze in the sun.

Please tell me that won't happen!

Anonymous said...

Blogger still won't let me log in so I am the anonymous poster above.


Kristin said...

I thought I would be jealous of you, but really I am happy that you had the opportunity. I have a fantasy that some day we will save up enough money to go with you for 6 months and lollygag in the sun.

Raquel said...

well, Susan forgot to say that i've been spending quite a bit of my time lately on the internet explaining how a flan pan can fit inside a lasagna dish...

Vikki said...

If Raquel had her own blog, I would post this comment there but...

Raquel you are a mean but pretty lady and now Susan's millions of readers and fans know it!