It's so simple to be wise.  Just think of something stupid to say, and then don't say it.     Sam Levenson (1911-1980)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Back to Balance... Or Not

Ah.... it's good to be back.  

The school year is in full swing, the kids are back in school and I'm back at work.  Finding time for it all --  blogging included --  has become the task of the season.  How dare you go to work instead of blogging?  deadpans Dad.  Even Mom, who doesn't fully get the blog thing, called a few days ago wondering whether I'm still alive, for lack of published evidence.  

Returning to the Jblogosphere after over a week's hiatus feels something like jumping back onto a nonstop spinning carousel;  it's simultaneously thrilling, dizzying and weighted down by false starts.  As much as I've missed it, there has been plenty to keep me busy around here. Included below, an abridged record of the flurry, a kind of back-up disk for my sleep-deprived mind:

Things to Do Instead of Blogging

1.  Back-to-School Night (known in Israel as an asifat horim, lit., "gathering of parents"), one for every minor inhabiting the household, and sometimes more.  (RivkA explains it here in all its glorious detail).  Even the daycare centers here hold a back-to-school evening, usually in order to spell out the additional charges they request, for everything from toilet paper to art supplies to enrichment activities.  These events are painfully long and drawn out and can drag on for three hours.    This year, as a balance- and sanity-preserving measure, I skipped the preschool one altogether.  I hope they'll still let my son graduate.

2.  Working in the art studio, making paper and carving linoleum prints for greeting cards.

Here they are, drying on the mini-blinds:

Close-up of the same print as the one up on top, in a different color palette:

Supplies (Carving knives, water-based printing inks, soft-rubber brayers, carved linoleum printing blocks, card samples)  The art table is a low-budget home-made model:  an old wooden door on a frame of leftover construction wood.  Works for me.

My friend Q has a large studio where she makes handmade paper of amazing quality.  A few years back we added on our own, much smaller studio to our own house, but a full work schedule meant it often sat unused.   Going back to my artwork is probably adding years to my life.  At least that's the feeling I get from it.

Indoor plumbing repairs.  Particularly unsuccessful new hobby;  definitely sticking with my day job.  Note the bucket under the studio sink.  Guess why it's there...

Scheduling my kids' extracurricular schedules.  Another less successful venture.  In keeping with Israeli tradition, my kids are now signed up for various after-school creative ventures.... only problem is, the schedule is still new and I keep forgetting to send them on time...

Catching up on Srugim and other stuff.  I'm up to episode 12, and I'm wondering how things will hold together now that the geographic focus has spread out beyond the Swamp itself.  Last night we watched the first couple hours of the BBC's Pride and Prejudice, which follows the book down to nearly every last detail (which is why it takes about six hours to watch.  (I'm just amazed that we have such a detailed historical record of all those line dances... and how did they manage to get their hair arranged so neatly with no running water in the house?).

Work, work, and work.   More work.  Don't know why this one's so far down on the list, actually.  Time-wise, it's way on top.  Lots to do:  Strengthening our connections with the families, designing a class schedule for the school year, helping our new staff members find their way, meeting with medical and mental health staffers, inviting patients' schools to meet the department.... the list is endless.  Despite this, I'm still making every effort to leave work on time.  Balance, balance.

Dancing around the living room, music on full volume.   I do this with the kids, but between you and me, I would do it anyway.  (Just ask my former roommates -- Friday afternoon was Disco Time in the kitchen.  Remember Cate Blanchett in Bandits?  Only she, as always, looks amazing, and I look like, well, never mind....).

Getting some sleep.  Only kidding - I just added that one for Mom.  Amazingly enough, even without blogging I haven't managed more than five hours a night.  I'm still waiting for someone to invent a pill with no negative side effects...

All the other stuff:  Laundry  Dishes  Cooking  Homework help  Bedtime   Stories  Wiping noses (and other places)  Commuting there   And back   Shopping  Phone calls  Hair cut  Bank statements  Emails  Visiting neighbors  Shul meeting  Cleaning aquarium  Guests here  Floor clean  Food ready  Table set.... Go.  Shabbat.

(Speaking of keeping the balance...)

Shabbat Shalom,



Leora said...

The artwork is not really taking a break from blogging. I mean, you could spend a month working on your art work, and then when you have something to present, wow, what a great post. It looks like a lot of fun, carving linoleum prints. Wish I could come over and do some, too.

If one really studied plumbing, one could make quite a bit of money doing so. I think even in Israel... but it doesn't sound like your thing. Also, plumbers get emergency calls too often. That wouldn't help your balancing act.

I saw BBC Pride and Prejudice many years ago. Haven't watched tv since... I can't remember. Possibly since Seinfeld went off the air.

Shabbat Shalom.

ProfK said...

Boy do I recognize your schedule. A friend not so jokingly put "go to the bathroom" on her daily planner because she wasn't sure that if she didn't get it into the schedule that it was going to happen. Beautiful stationary there--congrats!

Re how they kept their hair so perfect, not so sure you really want to know. For one thing, taking regular baths and washing hair was not done. For another they used some strange combinations of pomade and lacquer to hold the fancy hairdos in place--they were literally plastered into place. There were also special sleep wraps to keep the hair in place--didn't do much for letting you sleep in a comfortable, natural position, but hey, who cares if you are exhausted as long as your hair looks good. Of course, this was also the time period where arsenic was an ingredient in facial cosmetics.

Shabbot Shalom

muse said...

gorgeous cards
Blogging fills my empty nest.

A Living Nadneyda said...

Leora - You are most welcome to drop by and print on your next visit! I have a lot of work from previous years; think I'll start posting it. You're right about the plumbing.... I'm not interested in fixing middle-of-the-night toilet leaks. Actually, I recently heard about a Tel Aviv-based company hiring women electricians... founded by a woman who was raped by her repairman, and wanted to prevent future incidents.

ProfK - Wow, lacquer and pomade.... not as romantic as it looks, after all. I suspected something of the sort. I'll take hot running water any day.

Muse - Over here the nest is still full, b"h. We do our best....

Anonymous said...

Funny you should mention BBC Pride and Prejudice; I bought it a couple of weeks ago to watch an extract with my students. When I am less busy, I intend to watch the whole thing!

rickismom said...

When I was in Anmerica visiting my mom last year, I saw the second half of P&P. Was very well done.

I also have a schuedule that's off the wall. Last night (after having spent the day with Ricki in the hospital--after only 3 hours of sleep), I was exhausted enough to get more than 5 hours of sleep for the first time (excepting shabbas)in ages!