Sometimes there seems like more things to be done than there is day to do them in, and lately, I've felt stretched a lot and frustrated trying to do it all. Of particular concern for me has been fitting in time to exercise and watching what I eat better. We got a treadmill for Christmas, and I'm determined to get back to my ideal weight before August, when I'll probably quit nursing and become pregnant again (at least that's been the pattern!). So far, it's been working, and I've slowly but surely lost 4 pounds the last two and a half weeks. However, it's been at great cost to my calm, organized days. Finding time to exercise and resisting the urge to snack at my most exhausted moments has taken a ton of effort, and it's cost me a lot of sleep.
Finding the right time to exercise has been one the hardest challenges. Our family wakes up at 6:45 for scriptures, and I just plain don't have the willpower to wake up any earlier than that, especially when I've already been forced into wakefulness several times during the night to feed a baby.
At this point in my life, I need all the sleep I can get. Up until the beginning of December, I was blessed to get a nap many weekdays. Eliza and Harmony would go down for naps at the same time in the afternoon and I'd have quiet time for the twins, where I'd turn on a video for them (their only TV during the day) and lie down in the next room. It was heaven. I hadn't felt so rested during the early baby stages since my first baby!
I'm not sure what's changed, but now it seems that every day something interferes with my nap. If I've exercised in the morning, my body is usually too keyed up at naptime to rest. Other days, Eliza will go down wonderfully, but Harmony will sleep a mere forty minutes, and by the time I get lunch cleaned up and the twins settled, she'll wake up. I'm an incredibly light sleeper, so other days it's been the twins opening a door to let a kitty in or sneaking into the pantry for a snack that's woken me (they've yet to remember I have superhearing!).
In any case, my final exercise time only compounded my sleeplessness. I would hop on the treadmill at 8:00 after the kids were settled in bed. It worked great, except then I was too keyed up to fall asleep before 11:00 or midnight, making that 6:45 a.m. wake-up time seem like the hardest thing in the world.
But the last two days, I've discovered a great new time for exercise -- 2:00 in the afternoon. Sure, I have to change and shower in the middle of the day, but so far, the kids have been rested and have played happily nearby while I worked out. By then, I've gotten a nap if I'm going to get one, and I've found that the extra adrenaline boost at that time has gotten me through the tough after school and dinner hour.
In fact, today I pretty nearly had a perfect day. I was able to talk to my mom on the phone, plan visiting teaching, play with my kids, clean my kitchen, run to the store, take the twins to preschool, take Eliza to storytime at the library, get a nap (hooray!), exercise for forty minutes, take four kids to gymnastics at two different times, plan two service projects for tomorrow, and all with (almost) perfect patience. I LIVE for days like today, when everything goes smoothly and I feel like I'm fitting it all in. Of course, tomorrow may not go so well and life wouldn't be life if there weren't challenges and problems, but days like today fill me with joy and excitement. I just want to pause and savor it and say, "What a great day."