Monday was a good day.
After 5 weeks of one illness then another, I was feeling at least back to 87.7%. Maybe even 90%.
(I still have to nap at least once a day, instead of once every-other-day.)
And I had had a good day and I was grateful. Driving homefrom work, with groceries for dinner in the back of the car, Christmas music on heavy repeat, I felt so happy for all that is good right now – my family, my home, my job, the cold weather, the twinkle lights on everything, my discovery of The Mindy Project…
But then, after dinner and homework and dishes I made a mistep.
I climbed into bed and opened my iPad.
And there it was.
SO MUCH PROOF of Everyone Doing It Better.
Blogging better. Mothering better. Procreating better. Decorating better. Cooking better. Cleaning better (well, that one is ALWAYS true..) Writing better. Dressing better. Eating better.
That’s when Ennui saw his moment and came and crawled into bed next to me, bringing his old pal Bad Mind with him. Into my bed that is still on the floor. In my room that has no baseboards. He came in pushed and crowded and stole ALL the covers and egged me on as I complained about how I am sucking at it all.
How I am blowing it at blogging more and blogging better.
How the book is NEVER going to be done on time.
How I should really be on a diet. For realz this time.
How the house should be further along.
How I should make the kids get off the computer more.
How I should remember to return ALL the emails and make ALL the lunch dates.
How I should stop thinking about ME so much.
And how I should not care so much about what everyone is doing better
Luckily time has taught me a few things. One of them is that if I go to sleep, usually, in most cases, Ennui get’s bored and leaves, and takes Bad Mind with him. Together they head off into the night to find another poor soul in need of metaphysical angst and discontent.
So I hurrumped a few times, tossed a few dozen, and then passed out cold, drool on the pillow and everything.
When I woke up on Tuesday morning things were better. Not Sound-of-Music-twirling-on-a-mountain-top great, but solidly good. So I went with it.
That afternoon, coming home from work, I remembered that one of the boxes we unearthed last weekend was the box with the boys Christmas tree in it. A tree we haven’t used in at least two years thanks to the crazy that was 2012 and 13.
I decided to ignore the mountain of chores I had on my list, and to instead do a little decorating in their room before they got home from school. I fluffed the tree, wrapped it with lights, hung some lights in their-still-un-curtained-windows, made their beds (okay, so Wylies is still a mattress on the floor….,) and hot glued all their Nutcracker’s back together, and left the bag of their ornaments out where they could see it and decorate their tree themselves. I know that I probably should have been writing or cleaning or paying bills, but all I wanted to do was love on my boys.
This move has been challenging for us all and the boys have been troopers. They have had to deal with a lot of change, upheaval, and limbo for the past six months. There has been very little normalcy or settleness, and a lot of “we just can’t do ____ that now/yet/this year.”
Taking the time to put up their tree, and hang twinkle lights – even without the baseboards down, or bedframes put together – was my way of saying “I get it. I see you and I see how hard this has been for you and I am sorry for that. I love you. You’re heart is more important than the to-do list. Let’s celebrate that.” judging by their faces and the hugs, I think THIS time I got it right. This time I spoke in a language they could hear.
And I knew I had made the better choice – the choice to do something non-essential like decorate their room for Christmas in order to show them what is most essential. That they are loved.
So here is the thing.
I think we all feel like we are doing it wrong. That we are missing it. Screwing it up. Choosing poorly.
And sometimes we are. Sometimes we miss the mark, we choose the wrong thing, we miss the point.
We are human, we are a bit of a broken beautiful mess, and it’s how we learn.
But I have a feeling that MOST of the time, you and I, well, we are doing okay. We are actually doing it right more often than not.
I have a feeling that we are doing it WONDERFULLY in fact.
We are choosing hearts over to-do list.
We are choosing love over comparison.
We are saying sorry when we screw up and we are celebrating when someone else does it right.
We are putting up Christmas trees in houses that need baseboards, we are hanging twinkle lights instead of doing laundry.
We are finding ways to celebrate and spread cheer that maybe would never be in a magazine, but bring smiles to the faces of those we love.
We are saying NO to keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ and we are saying YES to creating our own pace. One that nourishes our little families as they are.
Over and over and over we are doing a million little things that keep our families together.
We are TRYING to love well and we are succeeding much more than we give ourselves credit for.
So please dear friends, rest in the knowledge that you are GETTING IT RIGHT more than you know.
And don’t let Ennui or Bad Mind tell you different. They are just lonely bullies.
PS – Just for kicks and giggles: