Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Who I'm Running For

Yesterday I felt frazzled. Like, the whole day I felt frazzled. I was in motion, only stopping to pause when Lorenzo needed to be put down for a nap, but the rest of the time, I was moving. I could feel the list of Christmas to do's pressing in on me, and I saw dishes to wash, laundry to do, a filthy, unorganized garage that's driving me out of my mind, and closets that need to badly to be organized. I was the metaphorical hamster in the wheel. Running and running, but not getting anywhere.
Amidst all this running and moving, and exhausting action, I hardly took a second to check in with my kids. It didn't feel like there was time to look them in the eye, let alone sit down and talk or play them. By the afternoon Ellie was starting to unravel. I wanted to unravel, but we had plans for friends to come over for hot chocolate and Christmas singing in the evening and I still had dinner to make, a trip to the grocery store to accomplish, and a house that at a minimum needed picking up. Ellie needed me, but I didn't have time to listen. I didn't have time to pause. After loads of tears, 3 ineffective time outs, a headache and short tempers, I finally decided to text my friends to tell them we'd have to get together another time. Ellie was upset about it at first, but then I finally sat down on the couch to pause. Our burnt dinner could wait. The dirty house could wait. I could breathe, and Ellie could finally have the attention she needed. BJ tickled her back and cuddled with her, and eventually she fell asleep on the couch. We ate a calm, relaxed dinner together at the table (I hadn't realized Ellie was starving. She hadn't eaten since lunch at school.) I let the kids have the hot chocolate we had made to share with friends. Then we got in pajamas and watched an episode of Fixer Upper together. (Our new favorite.) I put Ellie to bed by herself, and then Lorenzo. BJ sealed and stamped all our Christmas cards while I cleaned up the kitchen, and we went to bed early.
It's hard when we have demands on our time and we find ourself in the struggle of so many good options to decide between, and only 24 hours in a day to figure out which ones need our priority. Yesterday wasn't fun feeling torn and frazzled, but it taught me that even at Christmas time, sometimes the better option is to simplify. What we all really need is connection. Sincere, honest, simple time to connect. So often, we need time to slow down. I made a list last night before bed of the things that absolutely need to be done this week. Those are the things I will spend my time in motion for. Things like my filthy garage and my unorganized closets will have to wait, because one thing on that list is time to actually be with these people that I'm doing all the running for.

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