Thursday, May 5, 2011

having better days

I just wanted to let you know that yesterday's tomorrow really was a new day.  I had a good conversation with my best friend, Celest, who had the marvelous idea that I should hire some help for myself during Wes' 70-hour weeks.  Why didn't I think of that?!

You know when you get so buried and busy as a mom and sometimes you make your own bed?  That's definitely what happens on Wes' busy week (in hindsight).  I get so burned out and so tired and I just keep telling myself to "hang in there" until next week.  When next week comes, I'm always busy running errands and getting groceries and "catching up" what I couldn't get done the week before.  Not to mention we always try to squeeze lots of family time in there since we haven't seen Daddy in a week.  And on top of that I'm always telling Wes to go out and play (he loves to play volleyball with his buddies, and since we don't have TV I sometimes send him to watch a really good game at a friend's house) and to relax since he's had such a crazy week the week before.  Somewhere in the middle of everything, I forget that "mommy is a person" and just take care of everyone else.  Then I start feeling like something's off, but by that point I'm halfway through Wes' next "busy week" and I don't have time to stop and figure it out.

I'm reading a really good book right now all about creating margins in life.  It's been really eye-opening to see how many opportunities to have some space in my life present themselves, but I always fill them with something.  I love when Richard Carlson (author of "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff) says that when you die, your "in-box" won't be empty.  The to-do list is never done.  We get this feeling that we need to check a few things off the list and then we can relax.  Then we can have fun and be in the moment.  How crazy is that?  I've noticed lately the last year or so, how often Wes and I both really do that, and we've been working on cutting back.

The author of the Margin book, Richard Swenson, is a doctor who ended up cutting his practice back to part-time to create margin in his life.  Talk about smart!  There really are so many moments of space if we just look and have an awareness.  Maybe that's why Celest's suggestion of getting a sitter on the hard week stuck out to me.

I love my kids, and I love the mommy thing.  I just need to find a balance.  I can't really eat out or buy a dinner now and then when I have such a strict diet. I have to shop more frequently when I'm eating so many vegetables and my fridge is only so big.  I have to do the laundry so we have clothes to wear.  I have to be the one who's there teaching my kids, playing with them, and I want to be.  I just want to do it with more energy.  And now I'm supposed to nap while they're napping?  I use that time to do the laundry, fix dinner, striaghten the house, make phone calls....everything I can't do when they're up. 

But seriously, if it's really throwing my life that upside down from one little nap during the day, then there is a serious lack of margin in my life!  Yesterday, I took a little break.  The kids had colds and I had planned on doing some grocery shopping (around here, with GF food on the menu, that involves 3-4 different stores).  I opted to stay home and relax with them in light of what I knew was coming today (more about that exciting news later).  I created some margin!  All by myself.  :)  I did take a nap when they napped.  I didn't sleep too long, but I also got to read my book a little, and evaluate some things that needed my attention.  When they were up, I was refreshed and ready for them.  We read stories most of the afternoon.  It was wonderful.

Life is truly full of ups and downs....we all know that.  But I realized that you can create many more "ups" in life with some margin.  That's a big part of what all this sickness stuff is teaching me....margin is necessity.  Margin is health.  But margin also doesn't happen by have to make it happen. 

Life ironically is so much more fulfilling with less in it sometimes.  Balance truly is a constant battle.  But man alive you can believe that we are going to be EMBRACING margin over here.  And once again life will serendipitiously take us in a new direction.

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