The Chaos

The Chaos

Monday, October 29, 2012

Planned to Unplanned

I haven't given up on this blog.
Nor have I given up on the notion of writing a book.

Things have just been put on "hold" with the business of life. And that's okay.
And that's the lesson I want to teach you today.

As moms, we spend so much of our day running from chore to chore. We write a to do list in the morning and we busy ourselves through the moments of the day, anxious to scratch off each item in sequence. We rattle over our children's pleas and laughter. We fret over schedules that are ruined. We refuse to sit idly because there is always something that needs to be done. Well maybe I shouldn't use the pronoun "we". Maybe you have never felt those things but I know that "I" have, or at least I did.

There were days that I would spend eyeing the clock with each passing hour, stressing over the moments that had passed that were unproductive and longing for the moments that were yet to come. My life has always been about the next big thing. When I was a kid it was all about looking forward to birthdays, holidays, trips, and summer vacation. When I got married and started having kids it was about due dates, birthdays, family trips, school events, and church activities. My calendar has never been empty and each Monday would begin with one thought on my mind "what do we have planned this week". My life has been one gigantic countdown to the next thing. Just like a to do list, I check off the events and look for the next one to occupy my thoughts and preparations.

All the while, I have had so many amazing moments pass right before my preoccupied eyes.
And therein lies the lesson.

I began working outside of the home and my perspective took a hard punch to the gut. But in a good way, if there is a good way to be punched in the stomach that is.

I began looking at my "to do" list in a different way. Instead of what I can get done, it was what I can enjoy. I have found myself looking forward to the down time, the moments in the morning spent in jammies with my youngest two kids. The evenings spent on the couch with my husband. The afternoons spent in transit to and from activities that have sparked amazing conversations and laughter with my school children. I have found myself taking time to stop looking for the next thing and instead enjoying the time that is now.

I think that I have always had that realization that my kids will only be young once and that I should enjoy each moment. My overall personality has never allowed me to forget that simple truth. But life has a way of making you so busy that it's hard to see past the haze of the weekly schedule. But we cannot allow the events and chores of life to hinder our participation in all that IS life. Because life isn't what will happen next week. Life isn't what will be crossed off on your to-do list. Life is what's happening right now. And our children deserve our nows, not our laters. When my children are grown I want them to have memories of time spent laughing, talking, and hugging. If I keep scheduling life away, all we will have to show for our time together is a crumpled old calendar with smeared ink and good intentions.

That's not to say that we don't have plans and that we don't have routines. Because we do, we thrive on them in our busy house. But what I am saying is that my life doesn't have to revolve around them. If the laundry doesn't get done, if we don't make it to every party, the world will not come to a stop. In fact our world, our family, will be a better place because we didn't take ourselves so seriously because we allowed life to happen and didn't attempt to schedule it instead.

I guess becoming a working mother has lightened up my perspective on this life as a mom and wife. And I'm enjoying the moments that are off-schedule as much as the moments that are on.

And speaking of "on schedule". Look for a post coming soon about 30 scheduled acts of kindness. I know that seems contradictory to everything I just wrote. But it isn't. Because even though I might make a schedule, I won't fall apart if it doesn't all happen according to plan. I have learned that the beauty of a plan is the fun that happens when it doesn't work out quite as... well quite as planned.

Join me as we live through all the planned and unplanned life moments.

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