Navigating the Rush Hour

Back in the States, ‘rush hour’ refers to one of my favourite Jackie Chan movies as well as the hell that is a morning and evening commute to and from work made only slightly less miserable by the sweet soothing sounds of NPR while here in the Netherlands, rush hour TRAFFIC is so lame that you’re never actually STOPPED on the highway AT ALL.

Even if there’s a giant flaming bus by the side of the road and all cars are diverted to side roads.

Strangely specific example is strangely specific.

And also?

Los Angeles California and Atlanta Georgia COMPETE for Worse Traffic In The States and not only did I used to live and WORK in Atlanta, but I once had to change a flat tire on a Dodge Dakota Club Cab on the bottom highway of Spaghetti Junction DURING RUSH HOUR.

But in the Netherlands?

Rush hour ALSO refers to the chaos of the morning and the evening that exists when One Has Children.

And YESSSSS it is Exactly That Bad.

Without Children

At some point early in my twenties I figured out that I actually AM a morning person IF I go to bed and get up at the same time Every Single Day and while it took me years and years to figure out that I can use those precious early morning hours for something productive, once I did, hoo boy.

At the top of my game, I maintained up at 05:30, wing chun, shower at work, and the rest of the day until we moved to the Netherlands and then after moving here, having a complete mental break, and putting myself back together again, it became up at 06:00, three almonds and a cup of tea, morning pages, exercise, and the rest of the day.

Why three almonds and a cup of tea?

Something something healthy something.

And it worked.

It was beautiful.

I got my shit done. I was focused. It was productive. The creativity flowed and the body was super fit.

But then…. well…. babies.

With Children

With only one child, the mornings were pretty much chaos and mayhem with nothing consistent and everything depending on whether or not I was mentally stable.

But with twins?

There ain’t no time for instability.

Up at 06:45, make two bottles, prop the twins, set up the four year old, S, with filmpjes, brush teeth, shower, and dress myself in three point four two seconds, dress S and get him downstairs eating breakfast, grab a twin, dress them and buckle them into a carseat with a cookie, repeat with the second twin, make S’ lunch, pack his backpack, get shoes and coats on everyone, and pile into the car.

S and I get dropped off at school – P takes the twins to daycare and continues with his day – I trick S into embracing his fate and then walk to a local cafe for breakfast, entirely too much caffeine and a couple of hours of writing.

And Now?

To be clear, those last few things have only happened… ONCE. But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen again.

Theoretically.

In a perfect world, I’d also have my gym clothes packed and walk from the cafe down to the gym, sling some iron, then get my happy butt home to attend meetings and such.

And that’d be my perfect world.

But is it realistic?

Is it possible?

Do I want it to be possible?

Do I truly want the goals that would make this routine possible?

Are my children enough motivation to get my shit together? Because being healthy for healthy’s sake hasn’t been enough motivation.

Obviously.

Being able to lift my three children, to walk them up the stairs without dying, to PLAY with them – one would think it would be enough, but I don’t think it is.

I think I also want to look hot when I’m naked.

And I want to look AMAZING onstage.

Those are some pretty awesome motivators, but vague.

I need immediate gratification.

Damnit.

So that leaves us… with… rush hour.

Maybe it’s time to change lanes. Maybe it’s time to change cars. Maybe I’m broken down changing a tire in the middle of pure chaos.

Maybe this is a crap metaphor.

But you can’t figure out where you’re going until you figure out where you are.

So here I am.