Sunday, March 25, 2012

Focus on What's Necessary

          I have a new mantra, “Focus on what’s necessary.”  It popped into my head while cleaning the other night.  Perhaps it was the Swiffer fumes at 9:34 that produced this profound epiphany.  Or, perhaps, it was the overdose of fresh air I received this week.  Chances are, however, it was the fact that I had just cleaned the bathroom and was having one of my overwhelmed, I-can’t-do-it all moments. 
          You’ve been there.  Life is cruising along at the speed of, well, life.  There’s work, the kids, the husband, the house, and somewhere, a slim moment or two thrown in just for you.  For awhile you go with the flow.  Then, ever so slowly, the papers on your desk begin to pile up.  You had a few days planned ahead, but now you’re at a loss at which direction to go next.  At home, you’re doing your best to maintain the ground level but every time you go upstairs, you notice the dust bunny in the corner is growing and now there are cobwebs on the mantel.
          Time to focus!  So how do I decide what is necessary?  I’ve tried “to-do lists,” but usually found myself doing things off the list.  I had a cleaning lady, which I fired after three visits – but that is a story for another day.  Perhaps mediocre cleaning help is better than no cleaning help!  Jim and I have tried to divide and conquer, which works for a few days.  The problem is, in our house, multiplication works much faster than division!
          New approach to what is necessary: 
1.     Meeting basic needs.  Okay, I can do that.  Keep myself and the boys clean  and fed.  That is manageable. 
2.    Clean what is necessary when it is necessary.  Dishes can wait, life can’t. 
3.    Leave work at work.  Period.
4.    Do something just for me every day.  Even it’s just an extra five minutes in the shower.  A little peace and privacy go a long way!
5.    Take advantage of the calm after the storm – that wonderful quiet time after the boys are in bed.

          We all want to feel successful and happy but we shouldn’t have to sacrifice one for the other.  I guess we just have to find what works, even if it only works temporarily.  My life is in a constant state of revision!  So for now, I’ll try this new approach and see how it goes.  Wish me luck!  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It’s Nice to Meet You…Really

It’s Nice to Meet You…Really
        A few weekends ago, I went out to dinner to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  When I arrived, the only seat available was next to a woman I did not know.  (Before I sat down, my girlfriend had identified several women whom I did not know.)  Within a few minutes, I knew the ages of her children, which town and grade she taught, her current workout routine and had quickly surveyed her outfit.  These, of course, were all things I had a connection to.
        About an hour later, the group headed to another establishment for a drink. As we were waiting for our drinks, my new friend asked, “Do you remember her name?” pointing to a blonde wearing a black and white blouse and black pants.  I did remember she had two children though.
        “No.” I said.   
        She rattled off a few names, none of which sounded familiar.  “Hmm,” she said. 
        I looked straight at her and said, “To be honest, I can’t remember your name.” 
        She looked back at me.  I had a moment of panic.  I had offended her.  Then she laughed.  “It’s Nicole.  You’re Jessica, right?”   Then we both laughed. 
        I don’t know why I can’t remember names.  I’ve tried saying them over several times when I first hear it – no luck.  I’ve tried little mnemonic devices, for example, Jerry Juice or Robin wearing red.   I get so wrapped up in what is the perfect match, that I forget the original name I’m supposed to be remembering! 
        When someone new joins the group, I am the one anxiously waiting for someone else to introduce the mystery individual.  Or, even better, they introduce themselves!  Few!  Pressures off me and I get another chance to hear them name!
        What I can remember are people’s faces and outfits, occupations and children.  Good to know I am not completely hopeless!
        So, if I meet you in the near future, I promise, I will wholeheartedly try to remember your name, really.  I’ll get it the second time around.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

You Know You're a Mom if...

When I was pregnant with Andrew, I read about childhood and motherhood nightly.  I continued to read often after he was born, underlining passages and sharing important points with Jim.  When I was pregnant with Alex, I was too tired to read most nights.  And nowadays, with the two of them on the move and working full time, I’m lucky if I get to read one or two articles in a parenting magazine.  I think moms-on-the-go would appreciate of a book of lists instead of chapters.  If I was to write this book, this would be my first entry.  

            You know you’re a mom (of someone under 5) if
You find yourself throwing in laundry at 5 a.m. or 9 p.m.
You opt to get up at 5:30 because you know that is the only 30 minutes of silent, alone time you will get.
You are the first one up and last to bed.
You heat up your (first) cup of coffee a minimum of two times.

You usually have company while in the bathroom.
You have children’s theme songs running through your head when getting intimate.
You can’t get out the door without some mysterious stain on your clothes.
You get giddy at the opportunity to go grocery shopping – alone!
“It’s just a phase,” is part of your daily vocabulary.
You’ve thought about wearing roller skates during dinner since you rarely sit for very long.
You know the name of way too many planes, trains and automobiles.
You find a way to work your kids into any possible conversation with another adult.
When your child says, “I missed you,” you simultaneously get warm all over and tears in your eyes.
There’s nothing like the feeling when your child tells you, “I love you.”