Joy, week 7

I feel a little lost tonight, like I’m not sure how to bridge the gap between the busyness of daily life and the direction I want so much to move myself and my family in.  January felt SO good, like I was on target and moving consciously in that direction.

February feels like an exercise in detours thus far.  Terribly important detours, which are essential to focus on, but which I’m also getting tired of.  All of them are just part of being a mother and I understand that.  Yet I feel like I’ve got a lot of detours facing me right now, creating a web of sorts that I need to figure out how to navigate while at the same time having no idea where they’ll lead.  On the one hand I’m grateful for things like Parent/Teacher conferences, but on the other hand I hate the way they throw off  the entire day, and I hate that almost every day this month has presented things like this.   I guess what I’m trying to say is not that I resent these things, but that it’s hard to focus on things I feel strongly I should be doing and ALSO respond to what the rest of the world wants me to be doing.  It is the tension between those two pulls that drains me.

The sports schedules for my oldest two children have hit us in the face this month, coming about 5 weeks earlier than it typically has in the past.  Part of it; indeed, much of it, is simply due to the mild winter we’re experiencing.  The rest of it is that they’re just getting older and since they’re my oldest I didn’t know it would hit when it did.  I hate subjecting my younger children to so much time in the car, especially around the dinner hour when they all fall asleep and wake up later screaming, but I have no choice.  I’m finding that all of them have been behaving a little differently, revealing in their individual ways the strain of adjusting to their Dad’s new work schedule combined with a long commute after having him work from home most of the time for a few years.  Everyone misses him, myself included, and I’m finding it difficult to be a one man show AND get the driving done AND get the homework done AND get dinner on the table AND deal with all the surprises of teen-aged behavior AND be pleasant and happy and read bedtime stories and so forth.   I feel like I’m feeling drained and I need to adjust faster to it all.  Having everyone a little bit edgy hasn’t helped.  Oh well.  I’m so grateful he has a job again.

One of the goals I set for myself this year was to experiment with my cleaning routines and have a good housekeeping schedule in place by mid-February.  Well, I’ve tried to do that, and here’s what I learned:  if I spend EVERY MINUTE inside my house on cleaning, the house will look ok after a few days.  If I miss even one day of that, the house will look trashed.   So pretty much I have a clean house OR I get other things done, not both.  I figure it’s mostly an indication of my stage in life combined with the intensity of having a large family and the surprises of a youngest child who is positively adventurous.  Honestly, the rest of the school year will likely be wild, so I simply need to do my best.

Although I feel a bit weary I will say that good things happened.  Once more, I got a few essentials done on the weekly list, which was no small task.  I made HUGE progress yesterday with one of my children, faced a massive personal fear and (hopefully) put it away where it belongs, got my daughter off on a weekend trip for her soccer team, sent my husband and son out the door on a campout, facilitated playtime with friends for multiple children, watched a friend’s children for a little while, tried to offer a listening ear for a friend in need, chatted with an old friend about life in general, spoke to another wise friend, and so forth.  It really was a good week.  I guess I’m just frightened that I’m not getting enough done.

On the daily list, once again I feel like a lot of things fell apart because of what we have going on.  But I’m reading my scriptures and so it’s ok.

As I type this I realize that this week I lost sight of my vision for 2012 as a joyful year.  Too many days were spent just getting through instead of seeking things to be happy about.  I forgot that my specific lists of things to do aren’t the goal by themselves, but an effort to find more joy in daily living.  Remembering this is top priority for my new week.

It’s late and I’m dozing as I type.  Can I just tell you how thankful I am that I don’t have to get everyone out the door for school in the morning?  I haven’t folded laundry yet and there’s nothing like looking for school uniforms in a haystack like that.  Hooray for President’s Day!

Have a joyful week!
Jennifer

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