A Year of Habits, no.44
Here I am again, facing the beginning of a new week with mixed feelings. I love this time of year. In some areas our family slows down and in others my life seems to go on fast forward. There is so much to do, so much to catch up on after fall sports slow down, so many things on my wish list of tasks to complete. And yet it’s also a time of year that beckons me to slow down, snuggle under a warm quilt and read a book. Finding a healthy balance between the two can be tricky.
Was it really just Halloween last Monday? Where did the week go?
I was good to my house this week. A lot of little things finally got done and I like how much better things look and feel. And here’s a newsflash: I’m three loads away from being caught up on laundry! Woo hoo! I haven’t been this close to caught up in months. The other amazing thing about it is that I’ve been really disciplined about getting everything folded and put away.
The down side is that when I get in a good housekeeping groove I always end up promising myself that when it’s completely clean then I’ll do such and such. The thing is, I never quite get there. It’s really never all clean at the same time. I end up chasing the impossible when I should just accept “close” and take a few minutes to do other things that also matter to me. Because I so easily fall into this trap I’ve had this growing tension, a desire to be creative. It gets worse at this time of year when there are so many projects I want to finish both for the holidays and because I promised myself I’d do it this year. I’m going to find a better balance this week.
Let’s see, the biggest surprise of the week came on Friday as I was driving home from the grocery store. I had my window down an inch or two and was in the left turn lane of an intersection when suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my right leg. I looked down at my lap and saw a wasp on my jeans. I wanted to do three things simultaneously: drive properly, kill the wasp, and cry because my leg hurt so bad. But because my leg hurt I didn’t want to smash the wasp on my lap and risk another sting. So I tried to brush it off and keep track of where it crawled to while I also kept my eye on the road and blinked back tears. It was an interesting thing to think about on the way home, trying to decide what bothered me most: the pain, knowing a wasp was crawling around inches away from me, and feeling annoyed with the construction worker that didn’t want to let me turn down my street. Two days later I have a four inch round circle on my leg from the sting that has gone from being swollen and warm to the touch to what I think will be an ugly bruise.
The funniest discovery of the week came this afternoon when my seven year old daughter told all of us what she thought her older brother’s full first name was. And it’s not his name. It makes me laugh so hard to think that all these years she’s never once heard us call him that name and yet she was sure it was his name anyway. Children are so funny!
I feel good about my efforts in the kitchen lately. I’ve been focusing on more variety and more from scratch. Yesterday we turned my kitchen into a bakery for my daughter and two friends to make cupcakes in. I enjoyed teaching them some new things and they were adorable!
I also let most of the children spend more time with friends this weekend. Not a big deal except that for me doing the whole friend thing is really stressful. I don’t know why. I just know that when my children have friends over I can’t relax, which means that all day Friday and Saturday I was battling major stress for 9-10 hours straight. I’m consciously working on it in the hope that I’ll become a more relaxed mom when crowds are around. On Friday night we had the soundtrack from Tangled blaring in the family room for hours as girls of many ages danced and sang at the top of their lungs. It was incredibly loud, but also very cute. And the timing was perfect: our 14 year old son was away on a campout… in a snowstorm. We made late night trips for Slurpees and last night I watched my husband take on three 14 and 15 year old boys in a wrestling match and pin them all in two or three minutes. Sometimes it’s a healthy thing for Dads to dominate.
I feel good about the choices I made this week. I feel good about the things I sacrificed for better things. I feel good about the direction we’re moving in, even if we’re moving much more slowly than I’d like. Slowly, slowly I’m getting the hang of this whole mother of 8 world I live in. And I’m praying my children turn out to be much better than I am, in spite of me.
Have a great week!