Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Good Intentions

I vaguely remember hearing the quote: "The path to Hell is paved with good intentions". Damn, I hope that's not true. I am filled with good intentions and exciting ideas, and grandiose visions of what I will accomplish. I usually start out strong, but invariably, life gets in the way and by the time I have a minute to get to my list, I am too fucking tired, it's ten P.M., and I am "just going to lie down for five minutes to rest my eyes". The next think I know the alarm is blaring. Yet, I really do have great expectations of myself, and even greater intentions. I will get the thank you cards out the week after the party. I will remember to call on all the birthdays, I will have empty hampers and full closets, I will do art projects and flashcards and engage in creative play and turn the electronics off.And the hardest one lately: I will keep up with my blog and write at least two posts a week.

It's not that I don't want to do those things (okay, I have never been intrinsically motivated to do laundry). Take this blog for example, while I am writing about writing. I love to write. I would say it feeds my soul if I said saccharine shit like that. I have been working on my first novel since my two and half year old was a newborn and I am maybe halfway through. I haven't written a word in weeks, although the ideas are going through my head. The same is true for this blog. I have started dozens of posts and I have dozens more in my head that I would love to just sit down and write, and I have every intention of doing so. I have great expectations but life gets in the way. Now before you cringe and close you laptop or put down your iPhone (unless your Julia and reading this in English class, in which case you should put down your iPhone young lady) I assure you my point is not to bemoan my busy life. Sure, I am as busy as the next person and my last few weeks have been a hamster wheel of birthday party planning and Vacation Bible School volunteering and setting up new cable services. While I am sometimes just too busy to get everything done, that's really not the problem. The problem is I often lack the focus to sit down and complete a task. I am the person who leaves the dryer open and half loaded with wet clothes and then remembers that I have to return a phone call. When I am making the phone call I will notice the dishes in the sink and start on those. Then the kids will start fighting so I will take them outside to get a change of scenery. When I am going to bed that night I will notice the laundry mildewing halfway into the dryer. By that time I am tired, so I will just rewash the whole load. Sorry, environmentalists.

I started this blog post six days ago. I am not exaggerating. But then my six year old wanted to show me the city he had build out of blocks and he wanted me to play with him.Then his brother started "wreaking the setup" so I had to break up a wrestling match and conduct a lecture on how we don't use our hands to express our feelings. By that time they wanted dinner, and Mom, is it ready yet? Yes, Sweetie, Mommy's clone cooked dinner while I was pushing plastic cars through a wooden city. Well, then the weekend came and my two year old who ironically had spent Friday afternoon in a children's gym (the only type of gym I frequent, incidentally) jumping and climbing,managed to fracture a bone in his foot by tripping on the kitchen floor. More on that story later, but the last few days have been spent largely in doctor's offices, and by the way, they don't move very urgently at urgent care.

Add all of this "excitement" to the fact that school is out and my writing time is as abundant as sleep for a new mom. And yet, I need to find a way to carve out time for it because it's my thing and we all need something that is ours, mom or not. I also need to make more time to do other things that I really want to do like calling friends. It's not because your not important, I promise. So what am I to do? Lower my expectations so I can meet them? Have myself tested for ADD? Get organized (ha!)? Stop putting off the things that are really important and fulfilling? The problem is that something is always being neglected. If I am writing then I am not engaging with my kids. If I am playing with my kids dinner is not getting cooked. Hence, my unrealistic attempts to do everything at once, which ends with nothing getting completed. This isn't my problem, it's everyone's problem. Yet I suspect I may struggle a bit more with focus and finding a balance, not to mention letting things go. I really do have the best of intentions, but unfortunately there are no effort grades. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a mountain of birthday gifts on my dining room table from my six year old's birthday party last week. I need to help him write out thank you cards. Now where'd I put that list of who gave what? Maybe I'll look for it after I dewrinkle the clothes that have been in the dryer for the past two days...

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