Friday, September 5, 2008

One year ago today I was rushing to get ready at 6:30 AM, just as Allison is today. Alot has changed since then, with both of us retired and not rushing to do anything at 6:30 AM. Mostly, we cheer Allison on during her morning routine, which is haphazard at best. She is not one for routine, and such, her mornings are chaotic and filled with stress. Ours, not hers. Will she make it today? It's a crapshoot every day. When I was working I used to be rushing too, but my routine was time and activity repetitive. I was showering at the same time every morning. Drinking coffee and watching the Today Show at a specific time, getting hair and makeup done all while calling out to Allison to get moving. The energy and attention that I devoted to her was directly related to the clock and her progress. Not with so much attention to detail. More of a "big picture" kind of participation. Not so anymore. We are focused on her the way a hawk targets a field mouse. With relentless observation and impending doom. "You're watching your clock?" That sentence implies that if you're not watching it, I can certainly watch it for you, because I am right here, with nothing to do, driving you crazy. Watching that clock? it's 6:15 now, what's happening? Can I help you with anything? I throw that in to take the sting out of my constant comments. If I add that offer of help, certainly she can't take offense to my badgering. She does take offense, but then I can feel rightously offended. I was only offering HELP. Cripes.
I fear I have become what Dr. Phil refers to as a helicopter parent. Hovering. We are watching the clock all day, as we go about our chores, very cognizant of what time it is, and when the bus comes back. Did she make the bus, did she miss the bus? Should we pick her up? Will she call? I guess this is the last child syndrome, and we have fallen into this big time. I'm appalled and disappointed in our behavior. Aren't we more interesting than this? Don't we have our own lives? When and how did this happen? Even the blog has been focused on school and busses for the past week. Where is our farm information, our spinning and bee conversations, and our pasture updates? What is happening here? We didn't want this page to become Teen Beat. Sorry about that. Allison is sorrier.
We have been trying to fill our day with healthy activities. Yesterday, we took an early morning walk up North Bush Road and had a few opportunities to identify animal tracks and "scat" (poop). Jerry is quite knowledgeable when it comes to animal tracking and he is passing this knowledge on to me. There are turkey tracks everywhere, which makes us hopeful that when Thanksgiving rolls around we may have a local guest at our table. There are deer tracks everywhere, although that usually changes once Black Powder season starts (two weeks). We won't see so many tracks then. Checking the poop allows you to see what the animal has been eating - such as berries or what. When you can see what they have eaten, you can see where they are hanging out. This helps with the tracking during hunting season. It's incredibly interesting and makes our walk alot of fun. We are enjoying the exercise and happy that we are able to make time to get outdoors. Now if we can fill the other 13 hours, we can get off Allison's back. Maybe today we'll watch the grass grow. Such a problem, this retirement thing. Now I am beginning to understand the early bird specials that retirees are famous for. THEY'VE BEEN WAITING ALL DAY FOR SOMETHING TO DO!
Actually it's not entirely true. We are busy from dawn to dusk, but the urgency is gone. The clock punching time restraints are not there. If we do something now, or 1/2 hour from now, it doesn't really matter. It will get done in our own time. And that is the big difference. Our time is our own. No one is judging or waiting or docking our time if we don't show up. It's all up to us. Which is probably why Allison is now taking the heat. She's the only one with deadlines. And so we try to meet hers for her. Someday we'll laugh at this. Maybe.
What time is it? Ooops - we should be walking right now. Bye!

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