I woke up this morning feeling sorely behind. There are a million tasks that must be done and a firm deadline. 5:15 PM. I must be done. The effort will be worth it but the list is overwhelming. Would you like to take a peek?
1. Straighten house (notice this does not say "clean"... just straighten!).
2. Pull together dinner.
3. Shop for weekend groceries.
4. Do laundry... some of it should be mine.
5. Run errands for things that are needed right now.
6. Do Elizabeth's hair.
7. Lay out clothes for Elizabeth for 2 days.
8. Clean out the fridge.
9. Write schedule notes for Mark for the weekend.
10. Find my cel-phone charger.
11. Pack my laptop.
The list itself is not overwhelming. Instead, it is the many sub-points under each of these that begins to eat me alive. It is the tiny details and the countless interruptions that make it hard to see the list accomplished. And I have deadline. 5:15 PM.
Today, I leave for Hearts at Home. Sitting here this morning, I remember last year so clearly. The list was different. The deadline was different. I was speaking then and was full of excitement and nervousness and joy. Last year, my bags were packed and I spent this day relaxing, praying, getting my nails done, checking my list. This year, I am heading off with friends who feel like family to listen and sing and learn and though the weekend will hold a different pace for me, I so believe in the work they are doing I am glad to be able to be there as a speaker or as an attendee. It will be good and I cannot wait.
It is amazing to me, though, how hard it can be to step out of our busy roles for even a couple of days. Swirling in my head are thoughts of things that I must do before I leave... and things that will not be done until I return. Mark is a fully capable and loving daddy to our four children... but the hair on a little girl is fully befuddling to him and I know my precious daughter will look less like a princess and more like a... I don't even want to finish that sentence. The details of our daily life, the strict schedule that gets us in and out of every day, will fall away some while I am out... as will fruits and veggies and balanced meals. And it is hard to release these little things. It is hard let go of the details that I hold tightly to when I am with my babies. Yet, this I know... not only will my children be fine but they will be better than that... they will have a great time with their daddy. They will laugh and do things that they never get to do with me. They will make memories and run late and wear comfy clothes that may not match and they will eat fun food and it will be good. If I am lucky, he will slip them a Flintstones vitamin along the way and they will be no worse for the wear... they will, in fact, be better.
Us mommas are a funny bunch. We are used to being the sun and moon to those we love best. It can be hard to step away, not only because things go undone, but because there is something pretty wonderful about so important to someone else. But, the weight of that importance can take it's toll and for that reason, we must, WE MUST find a way to catch a minute for ourselves. We have to find a way to recharge our own batteries or truly, my dear friends, they will run out. We need those minutes, those days, those experiences that wind us up and make us laugh or give us the space and time to release the tension in our shoulders and take a nice deep breath. It matters. I know that full well. So do you.
Where can you find that gift? Today, how will you make space and time for yourself? What do you need? It is okay for you to think in those terms... even when your whole life can seem like it is all about thinking through and planning for the needs of someone else. If you cannot step away for a day or two, how can you honor your work, your sacrifice, your very self on this one day? It needn't cost money and you do not have to go away... but taking care of you in some small way will make a world of difference as you seek to be the momma you want to be.
I am leaving for Hearts at Home today. I will sit with friends and share a meal, reconnect with people I love and miss. I will laugh and cry and learn and at the end I will fall exhausted into my bed at home, my head full of ideas and plans to support this work that I do each and every day. And it will be good. And it is necessary and I honestly cannot wait.
School just called. My list grows longer. My kindergarten son has centers today and a volunteer is needed to help. Time to get dressed, go to school, help a bit and kiss my son. It is one more thing... but I gratefully said yes to this added task because I am thankful for a few more minutes before I step out for a couple of days.
Our work is never done... but on this day... I know a chance to catch my breath is coming. When will that come for you?
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