Last week I made a desperate plea for help. To those of you who chimed in,
thank you. Your words of encouragement mean a lot to me. Over the weekend I was
reminded of something that has led to a bit more peace.
Saturday was stacking up to be one of those marathon days in the middle of a marathon weekend. I had to put in 12 miles early, go to a birthday brunch at 10, a wedding at 1 and a reception at 5.
Crazy, I know. It's just one of those things. I had already RSVP'd to the wedding and reception. I've been following a training plan for the upcoming half later this month. Then I got the invitation to the brunch a few days before and it was for a friend I really wanted to celebrate.
I got up and hit the trail before the sun was up. It was long and painful and by the time I finished, I knew I needed an ice bath if I was going to be able to function the rest of the day. I got home and had the boys dump the ice in the cold water, which I must say they took a great deal of joy in doing. I did draw the line after they felt its chill and asked if they could watch me get in. "You're going to totally scream when you sit down in that!" they told me as they shut the door and proceeded to sit outside of to hear me do just that.
By the time I got done and took a shower I knew it was too late to make brunch. I told Nelson the night before that there was no way I could go to the wedding. It was way too much time to leave the kids on their own. He agreed and by Saturday he decided he would hang back too. We needed to get some things done.
We were just digging in when Nelson made mention of some lunch, which I stopped working to fix. We cleaned out some leftovers and by the time I warmed up something for all of us, ate and cleaned up an hour had gone by.
A light bulb went off. It takes a lot of time to keep the family fed and the house in order.
This is not a new realization. I've know this for a long time. It's just that I choose to ignore it. I try like crazy to squeeze more and more in. I think I can do this one more thing or finish that little thing while I'm doing x, y, and z. It never really works. And what's worse, I'm a mad woman when I try it.
I headed into the rest of the weekend and this week determined to take this moment with me. Managing a household takes time, I told myself over and over. If I want to do something well and with peace, I need to make realistic expectations. I'd say that I basically told myself that I need to lower my expectations but that sounds kind of bad. Except, well, that's what I knew I needed to do.
Yesterday I did laundry...5 loads of it. What I told Nelson at the end of the day was, “All I did today was laundry.” Except, I also took the big kids to school and then Max. I picked Max up. Somewhere in there I squeezed in a workout and a shower. Took all the kids to Mackenzie's games and watched her for over 2 hours. Got her off to rehearsal from there and came home to cook dinner. Had a friend over to eat and did the nightly routine which included helping kids with big tests coming up.
I saw it. I didn’t just do laundry. I did a lot. Today was more of a lots of little tasks kind of day. I had more peace though because I went into it thinking, these things are enough. I’m doing enough. I don’t have time to do anything else and do it well so I won’t start it. And even though today was more complicated than yesterday with errands, three piano lessons, a rehearsal carpool and a meeting here I had more peace.
Acceptance. I accept that my life is full. I accept that the things that I usually don’t count as things I did, are indeed big, time consuming things. I accept that every day is not perfect, nor is every day awful. Acceptance, it seems, is the first step to peace.
I’ll let you know how it goes.