Myth of the empty inbox

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I just figured it out. Before I had kids (a house, a husband, a bigger job, etc), I really COULD get everything done. I could focus for hours on end, get through my to do list and sleep until noon on Saturdays.

Those days are over. I just haven't accepted that yet.

THAT'S what's been eating at me. I keep thinking that if I JUST start my day a little earlier, (how is that possible when the wake-up-siren a.k.a. Victor starts waling around 4:30 each morning), stay at work a little longer, finish some errands after the kids go to bed, during naptime on the weekends, I can get through the list.

That's crap.

I will NEVER get through the list, because the list expands as soon as an item is checked off. There's the work list, the kid list, the house list, the friend list, the parent list, the siblings list, the outside-of-work networking list, the marathon list, the diet list, the things-I-should-really-get-ahead-of list and the me list (please note, NOTHING ever gets done on THAT list).

I got home from a business trip last night around 11. Took a shower, cleaned up a bit (really, why should I expect everything to be in order after I've been on a round trip flight for 15 hours), and got in the bed by 11:30. Then the racing began. I began to plot out all the things I needed to get done today, which order would be the most efficient in which to complete them, how I would set up for Saturday and Sunday's tasks and trying to plan ahead for family visits in the next 3 weeks. Then I began to cry.

So I began to pray.

As I prayed about my overwhelming to-do list, I realized that it was bourne from an abundance of blessings. NOTHING on my list had to do with something bad. I was busy caring for a full, happy and abundant life. A job that I genuinely enjoy, that provides for my family AND gives me the flexibility to actually spend time with them (if I weren't so busy trying to check things off my "to do" list!). Two happy, healthy, beautiful, intelligent, inquisitive, chatty and VERY active boys. A husband who is a true partner, lover, best friend, soul mate. A large extended family who have been my inspiration and support system in everything that I do. Outside interests that keep me healthy and sane. Friends who have been there for me every step of the way.

Yes, my life is very busy. My to-do list overflows because my cup is overflowing with and abundant life. I'm not any less busy, but now I can appreciate that the things that keep me busy are a blessing, not a chore. And I will NEVER get all of it done. I'm not ready to accept that concept quite yet, but I'm getting there.

I'm also (gulp) coming to accept that despite my best efforts to prove otherwise, I am indeed only human. I need sleep. I need food. I need moments of peace and stillness in my day. I haven't had enough of any of these things in a really long time.

So, I'm going back to bed...

Enjoying the ride

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I actually sat still and watched my kids today. Not watching to make sure that they didn't get hurt, or keeping them on schedule. Just watched them.

And they are HILARIOUS!

Angel has become a non-stop chatterbox with an amazingly vivid imagination, filled with funny ghosts and raining food and random references to simple phrases from the books we read (and more than I'd like to admit, the movies we watch over, and over, and over).

Victor has become a little comedian. He loves to make silly noises, stick out his tongue or play peek-a-boo (he really only knows how to say the "boo" part") and watch for your reaction.

They interact with each other like little old men. They are friends. They are brothers. They blow kisses and give hugs.

And they are mine.

What a lucky girl...

Superwoman

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Damn you, comic book super heroines. You have totally ruined the perspective of so many women - especially moms.

We think that we are supposed to be Superwoman. We get a thrill every time someone comments that they "don't know how we do it all." Sure, we may blow it off with something like, "Well, I just do my best" or "You just do it because you have to!" But, in the back of our minds (ok, sometimes the front of our minds) we're giving ourselves a mental high five. Yeah...I'm bad! I can juggle two kids, a husband, a demanding career, train for a marathon, cook for the week, balance my checkbook, be a good mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, employee, boss, mentor, coach and so on, and so on, and so on.

And then we break down.

It happened to me today.

I was so busy trying to do it ALL and be it ALL. So I have pneumonia. That's OK - we can still go to the children's museum. So I haven't had more than 3 hours of sleep per night in the past 3 weeks. That's OK - I can still do a few more errands and try to watch Law & Order before I go to bed. Stupid...

On Monday, it will have been 15 years since my sister Stacy passed away. I felt the March blues creeping in as the do every year, and like I do every year I forgot why they came. Time passes so fast. You try to fill your life with so much noise that you don't have to sit still and feel the sadness. I have a beautiful family, children of my own. Only now can I begin to fathom the depth of sorrow that my parents experienced when they learned that their second born was gone at the age of 18. I pray for them every day. I love them, and I hope to never truly know what it feels like to lose a child. Losing a sister is hard. I don't know how they can get out of the bed every day after losing a child. They are more courageous than I think I could ever be. I hope to never find out if I am that strong.

So, today I humbly yet boldly proclaim that I am not Superwoman. I am painfully, beautifully human. I am a mother and I try to keep it together for my kids, for my husband, for my brother and sister, for my team. But today, I am falling apart.

And that's OK.

I think I've earned it.