Tuesday, May 3, 2011


2: full of activity : bustling

This day, this week, this month is busy. This afternoon/evening we had three concurrent events – ballet for A, soccer for K and school musical for B. It took nearly three hours straight in the van to get them all dropped off to their various locations so that I could watch B while J coached K’s soccer team.

The rest of the week is not much better – crammed full of activities right up through Saturday evening. And the month? Last week, I sent J a list from our calendar and was a bit stunned to realize that there are weekend and evening commitments straight through mid-June.

I believe some people thrive on schedules like this – they are more efficient, more effective, more focused, more productive when they have a lot to do. I am not one of these people. When faced with a busy schedule like the one we have right now, I lose sight of myself. I feel unable to do anything well. I can’t relax during the few spare minutes sandwiched between activities – afraid to start a book only to need to stop mid-paragraph, hesitant to pull out the collage materials only to have to clear them away. So I move zombie-like from task to task – cleaning, chauffeuring, cooking, folding clothes – not really here, not really there. Not really present.

I hate this. I hate feeling numb like this, but it seems one of few weapons at my disposal when assaulted by the pain of busy-ness. Having just come through a season that reminded me of the importance of self-care, adjusting to our life this month has been jarring. I do know, I do remember what I need to do to take care of myself. I just don’t know how to actually do it and get everything else done.

So I ignore the important for the sake of the urgent. And I shame myself for doing so. I tell myself I should be stronger, different, more capable. I should have more endurance, need less. I mistake exhaustion for lack of contentment, my limitations for laziness.

At least I am aware of what I do to myself internally when in a season that stretches me and strips me bare. I know rationally that these are lies I am telling myself and I would be wise to not believe them – wiser still to not say them.

I’ve tried to help myself deal with feeling overwhelmed by taking one day at a time – and one day only. If I could truly be disciplined enough to do it, I think this is the key. To not worry about how I’ll get through Saturday’s schedule when I am this beaten down by Tuesday. To trust that I really will be given grace enough in the moment – but not a moment before.

There is an element of trust lacking on my part as I survey my feelings in the midst of our family’s final sprint through the end of spring. I don’t think we were wrong to let K play soccer, to let A take ballet, to allow B piano lessons. These were good and right decisions. They are helping to shape my daughters into being who they were made to be. The things we do as a family – together and separately – are not undertaken whimsically. J and I put much thought into what level of involvement is appropriate and what level is too much. So I want to trust that I will have what is needed to make it through the resultant commitments.

I would like to be able to live the month of May with grace - to walk through the month instead of limping to the finish line. I’d like time and space to breathe and think and feel like a real, whole person, not a zombie mom. How to create time and space? How to breathe in the rarefied atmosphere of spring in the life of a family of five?

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