May 17, 2011

Wanting More

this morning, I popped over to check on Ordinary Sara and her crew...and her post left me with a little bit of emptiness inside.

Rest assured, it's nothing serious, and it certainly wasn't her intention to make anyone feel badly...she's just not that kind of person...

Nevertheless...I read and am now sitting here, ironically enough, ensconced in my formal dining room, surrounded by piles of things on my dining table, an old dresser of my folks that was serving as our china cabinet/buffet/"we should really something else in this room so let's use this", and my snazzy new "real" china cabinet (I'll try to post some photos later this week). I need to get everything put away in it, and pack up that which will not fit, or that we don't truly need in a china cabinet (who keeps batteries in their formal dining room???). I also need to hang a bracket on which will rest the gorgeous wall-hanging quilt my mom made me...and there are photos that I should sort and get into scrapbooks, and laundry to fold and put away and, and, and...

Mrs Ordinary posted about her to-do list...or lack thereof, and talked about the simplicity of her life, and it just left me wanting that...

To not feel the incessant pressure of all the tasks that I see around me being more important than spending time with my kids. Whether that time be spent reading, learning, playing, or, yes, even doing work makes no difference.

I'm sitting here, wondering when I allowed that laundry list of "Things To-Do" to take first place? When did I decide that I could sit and read a book to the kids "in a little bit", or that we'd go outside "in awhile" to ride bikes or play in the sandbox? When did I become this task-oriented person?

I mean, I know I've always been a bit on edge about certain things, and if I don't police myself, can be incredibly controlling...but does it really make a difference in the grand scheme of things if my basement is alphabetized and categorized? If my laundry doesn't get put into the washer just because it's Monday?

Obviously, there are things that do have to take priority - I do have to make sure there is food for us to eat, and yes, we do need to wear clothing...and there are times that if the bill paying doesn't get done that it could potentially cause some issues...but really, truly...are things like scrubbing baseboards and washing windows somehow higher on some self-imposed list than snuggling with my kids and reading to them, playing games with them?

I think some serious shifting is in order, because really, when they're grown and gone, do I really want them to say "Remember that summer that Mom spent the entire time in the basement and we just watched tv and entertained ourselves? We didn't go to the zoo or the pool or get ice cream cones or anything? No trips to the library? Yeah...that was the BEST!"

There's a fine line between smothering and othering...and I find that this high wire act has left a bitter taste in my mouth today...

I think my list for today is getting revamped to look more like this:

While kids are awake:
  • log off
  • play games
  • read books
  • snuggle
Once kids are napping:
  • do other, less important things like fold socks, paint mom's new garden art thingy,
  • drink several more cups of coffee (like how that gets its own spot on the list?)
  • make dinner
I know I can't completely abandon the every day things that need doing, but perhaps I could be a lot more efficient at getting them done, and use that extra time to play with and love on my kids in tangible ways...

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