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!