I had grand visions for the night.
I would fold and put away the clean laundry that had been sitting in a basket for a better part of the week, I would catch up on reading blog posts, and work on my book outline. I would shampoo my carpets and clean the bathtub that had been taken over by soap scum. I would take care of the bills and return every unreturned email sitting in my inbox, some of which dated back to August.
C. was taking my kids for the night, all three, a gesture which was both brave and generous. When I called her a few weeks back, bitching about not having a minute to get things done, she understood, and offered the sleepover as a solution.
I don’t know about you, but I have lists, not one, but many. There is my weekly calendar and my daily to do list and the things I want to get to in the next month and other things I want to get to in the next year. There are my lists that are organized by subject, such as shopping lists and lists of potential blog posts, a to-do list to get me ready for my business trip next weekend.
Here are what my lists look like:
I sometimes interrupt a meditation to throw something on a list, even though that kind of defeats the purpose of meditation. Yet I’m afraid I’ll forget what needed to be done before I finish…and that the world will fall apart because of it.
I have lists in the car and lists on the kitchen counter and lists by my laptop.
Not only do I have lists, but I like to get things done.
Ok, let’s be honest.
I just plain get off on getting things done.
I thrive on the sense of accomplishment I get when I can strike things off a list.
Not to mention, there is a sense of security in “getting things done,” which, of course, my root chakra greatly appreciates.
When I get home from C.’s, I hop on the computer. My goal for the next few hours is to write my blog posts for the week, edit articles for my freelance job, and clean.
I sat at my laptop, with the time to get things done that I had been coveting, and all I could do was stare at the screen in a state of semi-consciousness.
The prior week was a bear. Due to parent/teacher conferences, we were “off schedule.” I threw my kids at babysitters to get through three early dismissals, and more babysitters to get to their conferences, and yet another babysitter to get to a 7 a.m. breakfast meeting for work. One night, sans sitter, I threw the kids in the back of the yoga studio to teach a Fight Club class, after the dude’s soccer game and school and their having to be at a sitter at 7 that morning.
I try to cough out two blog posts, but my writing is off. It’s not sincere. And if it’s not sincere, I can’t post it, because that totally defeats the purpose of my blog.
It’s not sincere, because I’m tired, and what I really need to do instead of writing blog posts and editing magazines and shampooing carpets and folding laundry is sleep – because I have been lacking in that department for quite a while.
I shut off my computer and go upstairs to bed.
Part of my journey about being less rigid is to accept the things that don’t get done and revise these lists. Because given my situation as a single mom, working 3 part time jobs to keep us going, I need to drill down to the essentials.
One of my favorite newly discovered bloggers, Justine at A Half Baked Life (have you met her? She is just fabulous!) left me a comment last week about balance and how our balance will constantly shift because life is constantly shifting.
The balance will never be perfect.
I may never get to the bottom of my lists.
Which leads to my contemplation for the week:
What are my essentials and what are the non-essentials?
What can I move from the “essential” column to the “non-essential” column without feeling like my world will fall apart?
And even more importantly:
Can I get over feeling like the world will fall apart if I don’t clean my carpets?