4.28.2010

on your mark, get set -

When I wake up in the morning, no matter how early, it has already been up for hours.

Photobucket

I chase it around while it dogs my every step. Much To Do. Get myself and two small children dressed and do laundry, shower and clean the bathroom, prepare a meal and do dishes, create art and wash brushes. Each step forward is two steps back.

Photobucket

I sometimes feel a pressure between my eyes and a fluttering in my stomach. How tired I am, how much more there is to do before I am done. Somehow I've set myself up against the rotation of the world, damning the motion of the earth. It's exhausting.

Photobucket

I am also clumsy. It's my blessing. I can go so fast that I trip myself up. When I fall, and sit dazed, I can suddenly feel the movement of the earth, independent of my own frantic lists and measures. And remember: this is not a race.

Photobucket

Yes, we are moving: in circles. Yes, we are going somewhere: back where we started. There is no finish line, no judge, no red ribbons. There is just people, and air, water, rocks, trees, some other stuff. Breathe. This is not a race.

Photobucket

The laundry, well, it will have to be done. The bills paid, the children fed. It all must be done. But there is no prize for having the dishes done the same day they were dirtied, or having homemade cookies instead of store bought, or having the toys separated into colour coded baskets.

Photobucket

There are rewards, though. Laughter, joy, creating. Each other. We all turn here, going through the motions of living lives. Of the grand moments and terrible grief, and the tedious daily maintenance needed to keep it all together. I think we all, when it comes right down to it, want the same things. Our health, our safety, our children to be blessed and happy.

This is not a race. This is a cooperative.

Photobucket

I am writing this now instead of writing my To Do list for tomorrow. It was looking like it was going to take me a bit of time to write the list, since I have about a couple dozen or so items to transfer over that were not accomplished today. Some of those items I have been carrying over, day to day, for over six months. (Obviously this is not a race, because someone would of kicked me out of it by now.) But, if no one really is paying attention, then no one will mind if instead of chasing my To Do list tomorrow, I take a little pause and just coast along.

Photobucket

After all, I'm not going anywhere.

17 comments:

  1. I feel like I have just had a meditation session reading this post. Thanks. I hope I can apply it to my life now, to stop me feeling so overwhelmed.
    Cheers, Christie.

    ReplyDelete
  2. beautiful and 100% true, thankyou :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. you are soooo right. i sometimes feel like it is a major failure not to achieve all the things planned for one day, but like you say, who cares about dishes in twenty years? i use that 'twenty year' thing often, it helps me to get things into perspective and to see what is really important. from my childhood i remember going out for walks often, to the playground, zoo....i don't remember at all how much my mum cleaned or how tidy the house was or how many home made cookies there were. that must tell me something... i just love how you can pin down those feelings so well. great article!
    barbara

    ReplyDelete
  4. my five kids are happy and healthy. my friends tell me for a single,disabled mum, i am doing amazingly, my elderly dad who lives with us (and i suspect takes more care of ME than vice versa) is beating his cancer, is loved, supported, and never lonely). i have so many loyal, long term friends. some of us quilt regularly (never enough!). i am learning guitar and work web developing part time.

    so why do i feel so often like i have failed my day? it outran..err, wheeled me too?

    oh, it is not just me. thanks for the perspective.

    five amazing, happy, healthy people (one amazing successful adult, two nearly there, two smallest ones 9 and 7 and magic and wonderful too), loyal friends, why do i feel so damned useless after all? the dogs and chooks are content. heck, even the fish are happy.that IS a lifetime of richness.

    thank you for much needed kick in the pants, lady:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. That made me cry and made my day.
    After a day where I feel like I have failed everyone, you once again have put things into perspective.

    So thank you.

    I will put on my "To do" list tomorrow - to laugh and have fun with my kids.

    ReplyDelete
  6. fabulous comments. thank you for the reminder. stumbled here and glad i did. bridget (u.k.)

    ReplyDelete
  7. That really choked me up and was something I REALLY needed to read today after the day I had yesterday, which did feel like a race. Thank you for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Always, always, it is good to come here and read a little bit about being in the moment.Thank you! I'm off sewing for a while - maybe it's the lovely weather outside, finally. Maybe it's that the kids are just fun to be with. Either way, this week we are just going out to do stuff. Yesterday the zoo. For 2 hours, and just to eat ice cream and play at the playground there. Ignored the actual animals. Today the kids' museum, and primarily to have lunch nearby at the McD. When I sit down tonight, I will have accomplished close to zero chores, and eaten at unhomecooked places and sewn nothing. But we will have had a blast doing stuff together.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Forgot to share a very silly note I leave on my fridge door (where, sorrowfully, it gets covered up in pizza adverts and car oil change coupons):

    "Play With Kids. Unless Sick - Then Rest, NOT Housework."

    It's easy for me to see the undone chores, but not so often easy to see the unplayed-with kids.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lovely and true. I love your thoughts about "There is no prize...."
    You cheered me up today.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well said. I use to have to remind myself often to just breath. I have even tried to get 'breath' engraved on the outside of a ring to help remind me that life is about the journey, not the finish line.
    Thanks for such a great post.

    ReplyDelete
  12. i love it. it made me a little 'vaclempt' :) no, really. beautiful words. off i go to pondor some more. slowly though..for i don't want to always need to be first.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I sooo needed to hear that this morning :)

    ReplyDelete