The first is an hour before I go to work. The puppies wake me up at 5:30 a.m. or so. They need to be taken out and to be fed. Then they play for an hour or so before falling asleep again. Once they are asleep, I get my hour. I can eat breakfast, watch the previous night's Daily Show and Colbert Report and get ready for work. Some days I just crawl back in bed for an extra hour of sleep.
The second is the hour before I go to bed. The puppies have been settled down and put to sleep. Ericka has been given her evening medications. I can read, watch TV, play a video game or even go to bed early. I try not to do the latter as too often it results in the puppies needing to wake me in the middle of the night.
Other than these hours, the time I'm sleeping and the time I'm at work, I am the primary caregiver for other beings. Ericka and the puppies need my attention. If I'm doing something else, it is subject to interruption. This is a strain on my mental capacity and every now and then I just need a little more time off.
Ericka is great about making sure I get that. This weekend, for example, I was able to go out to dinner. A couple of hours off make all the difference in being revitalizing.
The joys of my life make this grueling schedule worthwhile. Ericka is such an unmeasurable joy and help to me. The puppies are bundles of wiggly love and I know the work I'm putting in with them now will reap rewards for years to come.
These are things I think about during my hours.