I've been doing a lot lately of what I call maintaining the organism. Other people might call these coping strategies. Still other people might call this Giving Yourself a Whole Lot of Extra Work and Why Don't You Slow Down Already. But, here are some of the ways I'm trying to stay sane:
1. Exercise, but not too much. My big run on Sunday is only five miles and my weekly runs veer toward 2-and-a-half miles, which previously I didn't really consider a real run (three miles, though: THAT's real.) I walk more. While I've never been a real striver in the exercise department, I'm letting myself take it more easy than before.
2. Eat well, but allow more treats. There's nothing that restores the mind and body quite like a coffee milkshake, after all.
3. Fancy touches. I haven't yet started putting garnish on the dinner plates, but I feel like I'm putting in extra effort to make the dinner table, which is also the countertop and the dishwashing area, LOOK nice. This isn't my usual way. I've also been sweeping the back porch more, even though we hardly ever use it, since it's miles away through a grit-encrusted wasteland right now.
4. Packing ahead. My lunch, the kids' lunches, the kids' backpacks--sometimes I'll stay up until 10:30 getting everything ready for the next day/ week. I'm not sure how much grief this really saves in the morning, but it does help me feel more or less on top of and in touch with the kids' school lives.
5. Cleaning. I've become a bitchy bear about making everyone (ie the kids) clean the living space every night.
Does this stuff help? A little. A lot, actually, but it's of much less value when dealing with having to move everything into two rooms and seal them up. I spent all Sunday moving books, clothes, and boxes, and still, there is so much left to do, and nothing gets underway until we've finished--it's exhausting.
Positives: on Saturday our building guys tore out the nasty gritty allergenic carpet from the kids' rooms, and Si's room has a really beautiful hardwood finish (which he keeps firmly reminding us he wants to have covered up again with carpet as soon as possible). Helen's room also has hardwood, although not in as nice condition.
Also on Saturday, Helen and I drove up to Fort Collins and visited with an old friend who has a daughter Helen's age, and it was so nice, to just sit around drinking coffee, playing with her baby and talking. This is something that doesn't happen as much as it should in our new life.