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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Warning: Spontaneous verbal combustion ahead

Otherwise known as a rant. This is really directed at no one, except myself.

I am 41 years old. Likely, at least half of my life is over. So why do I still have so much to figure out? I'm not talking about figuring out the solution to Pi or if Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I'm not even talking about how to get Sharpie marker off my dining room table.

Why can't I figure out a workable and stickable chore schedule for my kids so that the house is not always a mess?  Why can't I figure out an organized solution to menu planning and couponing? Why am I still using the "stack it on the counter and deal with it later" method of dealing with the mail?

I look around at other people and try to see how they do it. That just ends up in frustration and I find myself moving further and further from contentment. For the first time in a very long time, both Mike and I have a paycheck. So what do I think would be great?

To quit my job -- (which, Boss, I have no intention of doing, just a delusional fantasy) -- and stay home to do things like laundry on a set schedule and make dinner most nights of the week and use coupons before they expire and volunteer in the classroom. To have cookies and milk or carrots and dip on the table for an after school snack for the kids to munch on as I sit there and help them with their homework. To know what the basketball practice schedule is before the carpool people send a text message asking if I want to drive there or pick up.

Then there are those people who seem spiritually content. Who don't think at 4pm, "oh crap, I haven't prayed yet today." Those people who have figured out ways to live outside of their own bubbles -- who are actually living and breathing V-words...volunteers. They are out there making the world a better place while I'm making PB&J for dinner because I didn't get to the grocery so there is something real to cook.

Which leads me to what am I teaching my children? I want them to loving, caring, giving people -- and I think that they are. But I want giving of self to come naturally to them, yet I'm not modeling that for them. How do I expect them to learn? Am I doing them a lifelong disservice by not caring if their bedrooms are clean? Should I be more demanding when it comes to insisting that they eat more fruits and vegetables? Am I a bad mom if I'm not vigilant about red dye and high fructose corn syrup?

And those couples who go on romantic vacations or even weekly coffee dates? Who have more to talk about than who is picking up which kid when and where? Don't even talk to me about that.

Obviously, I have plenty to learn from those people who wake up in the morning and go to sleep each night counting their blessings. I have lots of them. And I am thankful for them. But, apparently, I am a "glass is half empty and someone is probably gonna come along and knock it over any minute" kind of girl.

I'm not going to fling myself off a bridge or drink my anxieties away (although a little self-medicating with Little Debbie Swiss Rolls sounds good right about now). Sometimes it just feels good to say things out loud. Know what I mean?

7 comments:

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

Since when does everyone else have it all together?

One suggestion, if you're both working, don't worry about the coupons. It's not worth the time it takes to save what you'd save.

Remember, people share/put their best foot forward, so the spin will always sound better than your reality.

Jen@Creative and Curious Kids! said...

I'll be 40 soon and there is so much that I haven't figured out, too! Most of it deals with organization- very frustrating. Don't give up and don't be too hard on yourself. Little steps to success. Flylady.com is a great resource that can help you in some of the areas that you listed. I need to visit her website again and soon!!

Mich said...

I think you and I must be twins. I TOO am 41. And I TOO wish I could figure it all out.
It's funny that you posted this today, because I was thinking of doing a similar post myself. I decided that TODAY I am going to start making some changes.
I am going to clean out my desk and organize it. I am going to start organizing, not all today, the rest of my house and purging things we no longer need. I am going to start focusing more on work and things that help me be a better ME.
I know it's a lot. And part of me thinks, I'm 41. What makes me think I'm going to be able to change NOW? So we'll see.
But thanks for speaking to me today. And thanks for letting me see that I'm not alone. Sometimes, that's all we need.
Mich

Momza said...

Changing habits takes focus and determination. You have both of those characteristics--just have to decide what your REAL goals are...not the ones you think you should have, but the ones that mean something TO YOU.
Your feelings are normal, sis.
I would suggest making a list of all the GOOD things you do already towards your goals and then add one or two things/actions that will build on those good things by association. You can do it! Go! FIGHT! WIN!

Alysea said...

Amy, this blog is excellent and inspiring! I am 45 and only have one child to juggle. However, I do it by myself. I am envious of mother's that manage 3, 4 and 5 children! Anyway, I learned awhile ago that I had to enlist my daughter's "help" if I was going to be organized, cook at home versus eating/ordering out, etc. There is only so much one person can do especially when you work full-time. So, we both have chore list. We coupon together. If I cook at home, she helps plan the menu and cooks with me. If I volunteer, she does it with me. Again, I know it's easier with one child and it did take me awhile to get to this point. It is possible and can make your relationships better! Again, thanks for blogging. I hope you find that place of peace, organization, structure and healthiness.

CWMartin said...

Swiss rolls do not cure the problem. They just cover it up. However, I just had my two swiss rolls for the night about 2 hours ago and I ain't got a care in the world.

kimybeee said...

little debbie sisters we are lol just remember that things are not always as they seem when you peek in other people's windows!!!!