Yeah, I know ... New Year’s was last week. Have you noticed how long it’s been since I last blogged? I almost forgot how to post this on my website. I hurt my think-box a little trying to remember. Also, they changed it so I had to learn something new. COME ON. Calm down. Leave it alone for a few months, developers. Allow me the luxury of thinking I understand something for short period of time before I get all dumb again. Anyhow, I haven’t blogged since September. Oopsie. I have had some issues getting everything done for a while now. Like, 3, 4 months now, but it’s a new year and I am going to figure it out!
So, how to get it all done.
Oh, wait, I’m sorry—I forgot the question mark.
So, how to get it all done? Anyone? Because I have no idea ...
A while back, I was hanging with my 13-year old niece and we decided to call Mem. Mem has the same phone number she’s always had—we transferred it right to her room in the nursing home. Mem's line has no frills: no caller id, no call-waiting—nothing. We wanted to say hello to Mem, so I dialed the number and handed the phone to my niece. I waited. And waited. I finally asked, “She’s not there?” My niece said, “It’s just making a weird sound.” I took the phone and put it to my ear.
“That’s a busy signal!”
My niece had never heard a busy signal!
How many of these sounds have your kids heard? Yes, the world is moving forward and we cannot slow it down. Things for my kids are a lot different than they were when I was a kid in the 80’s. And in spite of all the advancements the super-smart people have given us, we feel busier than ever. I’m certain you are aware of all the talk about the “cult of busy.” I am not going to expound or reiterate. I simply want to come up with a better word than “busy” to define myself. I want to squash its power over what I want to accomplish. Seriously, I am at my limit with busy. Not with being busy—which is really simply a symptom of being alive—but with complaining about it. With perceiving it as a problem. It’s a fact of life—you can’t get away from it. The laundry needs to be done, the supper needs to be cooked, your work needs to be accomplished. The phone calls need to be made. The fires need to be put out. And then the laundry needs to be done.
Last weekend, my sister and I went on a little getaway together to Boston. Usually, we do a beach cottage thing for our sister getaway, but thought an urban experience would be a fun change. We lived in Boston during our 20’s and love this city. My sister is a mom of 3, a midwife and a homeschooler. She’s busy, too. We talked a lot—A LOT—about prioritizing. We used to talk a lot—A LOT—about how to get it all done. But we don’t anymore. Why? Because we discovered that you can’t get it all done. I’m pretty certain I’ve discovered this truth before. Also that I’ve written about it before. Yet somehow I keep having to rediscover it. So, bottom line: it can’t be done. And it’s okay. Breathe with me.
While in Boston, my sister and I went to a yoga class. It was Vinyasa Flow with Deep Relaxation. Who hates Deep Relaxation? It’s capitalized. How bad can it be? Well, it was amazing. It was also the first yoga class I’ve been to in years. I used to go several times a week before kids. I still do yoga, but at home in my bedroom while I try not to look at the socks Steve (not his real name) leaves on the floor although everything else makes it into the bin (Why Steve (not your real name)? Why?) and the dusty stuff built up along the edges of the carpet and the basket of the kids’ folded laundry I still need to put away and the main purpose of my home practice is simply remember how to breathe. Going to this class with my sister made everything so clear: I need to go to yoga class every week. I worked hard and felt so great and balanced and light! And there is neither dust nor socks there about which you need to give a crap. At yoga class, a nice, soft-voiced instructor tells you what to do and all you need to to do is do what she says. And then at the end, she makes you lie down and rest. Close your eyes and rest. She MAKES you. At any rate, during our well-earned breakfast after class, I felt clear about my priorities, the thing my sister and I had been hashing around all weekend. I typed them into my phone so I would not forget:
homeschooling: meet daily goals/allow them to play as much as possible;
self-care: yoga class, meditation, walks, 15 minutes of strength training 4-5 days a week;
blog: once a week;
Saturday block of homeschooling/life planning time (and probably a drink from Starbucks);
writing: 2 nights a week (and probably a drink from Starbucks).
Then I thought some more about it, and I realized a better thing to think about is WHY I chose the priorities I did. When I looked at them, they are the things that are important to me. So, for 2015, I’m going to choose the stuff that really matters—matters to my family, matters to me. Slow down a little and make sure I’m doing the stuff that really counts. Pause. Stop worrying about the stuff that's not getting done. Do less, but do the things that matter better.
Just to be clear, so far I am not particularly good at any of this. Not the slowing down, not the pausing or doing less, not the prioritizing. But these are my goals for 2015. I know, I know—New Year’s resolutions are so cliché, so passé and maybe some other words that require an accented e. So even though New Year’s resolutions are cliché, my kids and I made a wish tree for 2015. We each chose 1 or 2 wishes for our new year wrote them on paper stars and hung them from the branches. It’s a pretty reminder on our kitchen table.
PS—I almost stole this pen from the yoga studio but then thought it was probably not very good karma for a new year.
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