Friday, April 8, 2011

The sand beneath my toes

I'm so glad I asked you not to hold me to great productivity, because my genius Monday and Tuesday gave way on Wednesday with the gritty feel of sand under my feet on my freshly-mopped floor. I worked like a madwoman all day Tuesday (all day! 6am-bedtime!), and first thing Wednesday morning, I walked through a little sandpile where my daughter had taken off her shoes from school and deposited part of the playground on the tiles.

Housekeeping with children in the home is like shoveling snow during a blizzard.
And it's about as rewarding.

I am sorry to say I was completely useless for the rest of the day. I kinda enjoyed it too. The breakfast dishes were still sitting around on the counter when Hubby came home. Oh, the shame. And oh, the spiral! By the time night fell, I had worked myself into a right funk about the pointlessness of my days, of how all the work I do doesn't matter to ANYONE, the children won't eat the food I cook SO WHY BOTHER, etc. (crazed look intensifying, volume increasing, Hubby's eyebrows raising...). Then, I scooted off to yoga despite my desire to curl up and sulk and had a full-blown attack of claustrophobia (complete with unstoppable tears) during an intense breathing exercise. Oh my.

Time to hit the reset button.

When this week started off, I thought it was high-time I try to do a project I've had on the back burner for over two years. It is called "A Week in the Life". During that week, I am meant to record everything, every little nitty-gritty detail about our days, what we do, where we go and who we see, what groceries we bought and how much they cost, what we ate, photograph it all, etc. Although our daily routine seems oh-so-routine now, it will be completely different in a year (or 5 or 10...), so it would be fun to have this record. If only I could commit to doing it.

On Monday, I gave it a serious go. By afternoon, my attention wandered and I fell off the wagon.

On Tuesday, I tried again, just as seriously. I did a fabulous job all day long! I cleaned, I baked, I sewed, I mothered like a pro (complete with art projects!), photographing all the while! Watch me go!

On Wednesday, well...did you know sand beneath your toes can cause you to trip and fall off a wagon with a resounding thud? Beware.

In retrospect, I'm sure this attempted project accounts for my impressive productivity. I was recording! Surely this is a "normal" week! I think now perhaps it was a bit too "normal" for me to handle. I went overboard (especially on Tuesday), throwing my week's worth of energy and enthusiasm into the first two days. I wasn't jotting notes; I was writing pages. Losing enthusiasm for my daily grind was inevitable because I was focusing so much on the grind, and I lost a healthy dose of perspective too.

Hubby managed to thwart a total meltdown on Wednesday night just as I was working myself up into a "everything is pointless" frenzy by pointing out that what I do everyday is under- or just un-appreciated because I am always here doing it. That is a gift. What I do everyday is the most important thing I can do. I am here for our family--yes doing the un-fun grind but also just here with my children and my husband, making the life as smooth as I can.

There is no value high enough for that, despite a tantrum or two, even when those tantrums are mine.


  1. Oh I have those "no one appreciates me" moments but it our house usually no one notices! Only kidding! Hope you haven't completely lost the urge to create - I'm looking forward to your creativity at our Crafternoon tea tomorrow - however I will totally understand if you only want to drink tea and eat cake!

  2. Definitely haven't lost the urge to create this weekend! I'm looking forward to it (though there will definitely be cake-eating involved)!

  3. Jennifer, if ever you feel un/der-appreciated at home again, please know that you and your blogging are appreciated fully by me!!