It has been an exciting, challenging, difficult few months.
I founded a magazine, a new literary magazine for parents. It is called Stealing Time, and it is wonderful. If you want to read about parenting without being told how to parent; if you want to share in someone else's experience without being told what to buy; if you want to consider the "and" rather than always the "either-or" of parenting life; if you just like really good stories-- go and subscribe. You'll love it.
But the reason I'm posting tonight is this: I've been riding less. Feeling slow and wheezy when I do. Gaining weight. Losing muscle.
We still don't have a car, and it's not like I'm driving more. Instead: we've been leaving the house less. Having fewer adventures.
The magazine is a huge amount of work, and I have a limited amount of childcare to manage it. The rest gets done at night. Kes isn't sleeping through the night, and Jasper has been having a bad night at least once a week as well. My lifelong insomnia has been acting up. In short: I've been getting catastrophically too little sleep. And one of the places that has been affected by that is my physical well-being, and my ability to be a super cool bike mama.
At the same time, the kids are hard right now, too. Kes is adamant about having exactly the right clothes on before we go out (at 17 months!) and will scream and cry if she doesn't have the *right* hat, the *right* shoes, and so on. And Jasper is an angry nudist; we fight every morning about changing his diaper, about putting on a shirt, about putting on pants, and so on-- not to mention, before going out, having the same fight about coats and hats and gloves and raingear. I've taken to letting him leave the house without, and shoving them into my bag for if he wants them later. So far, he's held his ground, and hasn't yet caught his death. But all of those things make leaving the house harder, and paired with my fatigue and short temper, are sometimes enough to keep us indoors altogether.
I'm not writing to whine, I swear. I know that it is hard right now and I know that it will get better. I have been thinking about enlisting some of my kickass fellow bike moms in getting my ass back in gear, but am afraid that I'm not up for even that, yet. I am so, so tired.
I know that, for folks just getting into this bikey world, it can seem very all-or-nothing. Some people simply "are" bike people, with boundless energy and strength and tolerance for the cold-and-wet; and some people aren't. I'm writing to say: It's fuzzier than that. Being bike-based doesn't mean I always want to ride. Or that I'm always in top form. Or that the bike is always easy.
But I know that a lot of these challenges would still be challenges if we got around differently, except: I'd be getting even less exercise. I'd probably be having even less fun. It would be harder to connect with my kids when we *are* out and about.
I love my bike, even when I'm too tired to ride it. And I hope to be back in form soon. Kes's sleep is better and better. The magazine is creeping back from the edge of a financial cliff (and will do even better if you subscribe!). And the bike will be there, waiting, when I feel more myself again. There is a path from here to there. But right now, it's just hard.
(now, to go get some sleep...)