Friday, October 5, 2012

I Blame the Toys

Saturday morning my kids made the biggest mess.

I was so upset I didn't even try to take three minutes to giggle about the nonsense or to take a picture of this epic disaster.

I.   LOST.   IT.

Big time.

There was some yelling, some discipline, and tears because sometimes I handle messes okay but when kids intentionally trash a room (in under 5 minutes), mom comes a little unglued.  Or a lot.

We all--yes, it took all four family members--got the mess cleaned up but inside, I was just a bit devastated that toys (and blankets, and leaf pixie dust, and shoes, and stuffed animals ...) being thrown about the room could prompt such a meltdown ... on my part.

It dawned on me.

I am feeling overwhelmed.  I do not want one more thing on my plate, even if it is something as small as having to clean up a room.

At this point, I want to give away 95% of my children's toys (and my possessions) just so life feels a little more simplified.  I love to care for my husband and children and father.  I love my school and job. I love that God relentlessly gives me more than I can handle so I can lean on Him and not myself.

I just think I would love all of this more if I did not have to clean up a bin full of cheap fast food toys ever again.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More is Less

I have heard it said often "Less is More;" therefore, by defintion,  more is less (at least sometimes).

Like the more I do, the less accomplish I feel because I am not spending enough time ______ (fill in the blank with anything parent-guilt related: reading to the kids enough, making quality lunches, going shopping for organic dates, volunteering int he classroom enough, dating my spouse ...).

Or

Like the more ways I reach out to people actually makes me feel less connected. Sure I have 330 Facebook "friends."  When was the last time I actually talked to one of them?  Great I'm on Twitter.  I'm partially connected but who, really who, am I connecting with?

Or

If I just buy more  _____________ (fill in the blank with: food, new shoes, new necklace, trendy patterned jeans, leather jacket, boots, a new video game, scrapbooking kit, a vacation) I'll feel better.  But paying for all that more, means less time with my family (see example #1).

I want a full life.

Full of laughter and joy and hope and friends and memories.

There is a difference between a full life and a filled life.  Right now, life is filled.

Filled with "To Do" lists ranging from blog and clean up the dog run to read for fun and exercise.  All this stuff is a part of life but life should not be all this stuff.

The more I do, the less I feel like I experience this life of joy and freedom I've been given.

The time has come to get rid of the "more" that makes my life less.

I'm starting with Twitter.  I've only been Tweeting for a month and I honestly can't stand it.  It's just one more thing to do.  So, so long Twits!

What "More" is making your life "less" (and what are you gonna do about it)?


 Thanks, Shell!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Christmas. Already.

It happened Friday.

As in, Friday September 28th.

THE phone call.  In general, I prefer to avoid this call until late October.  This year, it happened Friday.

It's a simple question, really.  "What are you doing for Christmas?'

But as I've said before, simply questions rarely have simple answers.

Last year was really hard without my mom BUT one of the benefits was this free pass I got.

It was a "Get out of petty 'You put that photo of me looking all fat in the calendar on purpose' family drama free" card.  Let me tell you, it was a beautiful thing.  Seriously, Monopoly should look into adding one of those to the Community Chest.

The holidays really weren't amazing.  Somehow the rest of my family just extended this grace to not have to be around petty conflict when I was experiencing a hard and traumatic time.

That card expires after one year, apparently.

I'm back to deciding/defending what we'll do for the holidays.

It's the holidays and you are supposed to spend them with family. However, what this September 28th phone call says, though, is how messed up families can be.  We have to negotiate time WAAAAYYYY in advance just to make a couple of days barely tolerable (read: we walk on egg shells or avoid family... isn't that fun?).

What's with the holidays anyway?  It's supposed to be a cheerful time but look at rates of drinking and alcoholism during this season, will you?  It's anything but happy and I'm not just talking about my family.

I know there are no perfect families but I'm not sure why we force the issue at the holidays.  No one lets bygones be bygones.  I hate to say it but if we can't (or won't) solve conflict for 50 weeks, it's probably not going to get solved in 2 weeks just because we've declared this the season of Jesus' birth.  If we don't want to be around each other, it's okay.  Sometimes you have to just let people go NOT because you don't care, but because they don't.  I've come to grips with this reality.

I've had enough miserable holidays with estranged family members.  I've had enough negotiations of where we will be and who we will have to avoid while we are there (or who will avoid us).  This nonsense is ruining it for me.

Matt and I have a plan.  WE ARE NOT STRESSING OVER CHRISTMAS.

So, no more phone calls about the holidays, okay?  You do what you'd like to do (and let us know--maybe we'll join you).  The rest of the time we'll be at our house.  You are all invited.  Well, most of you.