Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Do you ever feel like you are being busied with one thing, and then another thing, and going from one place to the next, and trying to get everything done and be everything to everyone, and do it all so well? And then when you feel like the end is in sight and you have met most of your goals/deadlines, you realize- wait a minute! I am missing it.

That's me, right now.

The truth is, I HAVE to do some things. I have to be at certain places. 

Like cleaning the house- that had to get done, because we listed it for rent. Having a yard sale, that sort of had to happen because, one- we made signs and announced it, and two- we desperately needed to shed some "things". Getting the kid's teacher's gifts- that probably did not have to happen, but I would have felt bad not doing it. 

I obviously have to take the kids to and from school. And I had to go to Jeremiah's squadron Christmas party, because I promised him I would go this year (I rarely go to those things, and I was reminded this year of why I don't.) I had to go pick up the kids Christmas presents, because they were paid for and waiting. 

It was all too much. Too many obligations. Too many things that needed doing.

And in all of it, my littlest was cutting a tooth and starting to say "get me up" (which is hysterical because she is loud and firm about it, and accompanies her declaration with a hand gesture). Jack was a potty-pooping machine. Kaiti was writing stories in her journals and so improving on her writing that she secured the only 100% in the class on their big story project. And Tyler was struggling with the idea that we would be saying goodbye to Jeremiah again very soon.

All of those things deserved my time. All of those accomplishments, milestones, and hardships warranted my focused attention. And they didn't get much. 

I am okay with failing at the cleaning, the baking, the reading, the laundry, the staying current on things. I am not okay with failing them- the ones I love the best. 

Most days I feel like balance is a myth. An unattainable standard by which we moms measure ourselves. Because, how can you possibly? How are we to do it all, and be it all, well?

And to top it all off, it is Christmastime. I should not be focused on things, but on Him. Am I living a life that pleases Him? Am I bringing glory to Him with the things that I am doing?

Not now, I am not. 

Because too much equals stress, and stress equates to shortened-patience, a raised-voice, and a not-very-fun Shannon.

(that was a pretty rotten look in the mirror, right there. deep breath.)

These things just steal my focus. The cloud my heart and they allow the unimportant to sneak in and grab hold. I got caught up in silly things, feeling pretty certain that they mattered, when they did not. 

Instead of scrubbing base boards, painting, magic erasing, boxing up, divvying out, buying, cooking, sweeping, stressing over a dress for the Christmas party or what kind of cookies I should make for the cookie trays, I should have just stopped.

Stopped and celebrated Jack's potty accomplishments, Kaiti's wonderful progress in her writing, Eve's grasp of new words and phrases. Celebrated the pregnancy of one of my favorite friends (who just got word that the celebration will be a pink one!!!!), celebrated the safe return of a friend from Iraq, who will celebrate Christmas with his family- something that just a month or so ago was in question. 

Stopped to sit and talk with my Tyler, to reassure him, comfort him, let him go through it all, with me at his side. Stopped to sit and let sink the emotion that the impending goodbye is loaded with, for him, my other children and myself. Stop and acknowledge that I cannot breeze through goodbyes with such amazing friends who have lifted me up, made me laugh, and jump-started my car these past 8 years. 

I need to slow myself. Because I don't want to miss a thing. 
(wow, I just worked an aerosmith lyric into what was turning out to be a pretty somber post.)

The best way I know how to get to goodness, to reshift my focus, and to drowned out the unnecessary is to just quit running and really be with my kids and my husband. No running around town, no planning or committing to eight thousand things, no cell phone, no tv. 

So that is where I am at now. Blogging it out because this is how I process. 

I am really tempted to wrap this up with another lyric from that plump-mouthed man and his band, but my gut tells me only one aerosmith lyric per post. So I'll go with that.

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