I don't know what happened. I thought I was managing 'it all' with the 4 kids. It was hard, but manageable. But then the weight of school just slammed down over my shoulders and all of a sudden I just cannot manage.
The driving. The reminding. The meetings. The lunch making. The costume wearing days. The field trips. The homework duotangs (for kindergarten and grade 1?) Oh yeah, and there is the potty training toddler and nursing baby who needs naps at home every 2 hours.
Somehow I didn't realize just exactly what this transition would look like for all of us. We had the little commitment pebbles here and there already. We thought it looked manageable. On paper, it all works. Everything is something good, something worthy of time, something that represents our values as individuals and parents.
But then, the pebbles became a heap, and suddenly look more like a mess. For the first time perhaps in my life I am starting to truly recognize that there are very real limits that I cannot work around.
Limits to my emotional capacity. Limits to my energy levels. Limits to my ability to be all things to all people. Limits to my hours in the day.
People, we are killing ourselves in this culture. Killing ourselves, trying to do it all. I found myself, last week, driving from pick up to home, to soccer, to dropping off at a church function etc etc. When did my schedule start to be the boss of our lives? When did our activities start to choke out intimacy and connection and breathing?
I feel like I need to pile everything up again and clear the decks. Just throw it all down and ask myself some very hard and real questions. Who exactly am I doing this all for? And who is actually benefiting?
It's hard because we want to teach our children so many things, so quickly. We want them to 'get all the experiences' and 'all the training,' and by golly we need them to learn discipline and stick-to-it-iveness. Heaven forbid they don't turn out to be the best soccer player in the world, the best at music, the best at everything (?) But then, when we're full throttle, eating meals in the car, unpacking, re-packing, driving here and there and exhausting ourselves, it starts to look like a whole lot of needless busyness.
Busyness. There is that word again. We have endless 'shoulds' because of so-and-so, and that-thing-I-read, but really? Busyness isn't cool anymore. It's just not. This dream of busy and satisfied is simply a false god for me. I mean, it just doesn't satisfy. It's no longer a good excuse for me, or a good response to a question asking how I'm really doing. It means, for me, that I am not thriving and not saying no when the life of my family depends on it.
So here I am. Flailing. Doggy paddle style. Stepping back, stepping down, simplifying, and back pedaling.
Anyone else feeling like you need to re-evaluate all the things that are filling up your schedule?
Where did september go??