And that's my problem, I have a thought, "Add this to my shopping list/calendar/to do list" and before I can write it down, I forget. Both to write it down and to actually do it. Oftentimes, the reason is a kid's need. But if I'm being honest, many times it's also just me being distracted. So I'm making my way through my days getting the stuff done that needs to be done (eat/wash/school/buy food/sleep (ha!)/repeat) but never making any headway on those "things that need to be done" (see above). The treading water metaphor comes to mind.
This is why I'm so grateful for the time my husband gives me on Sunday afternoon. I can do my "Scholé Every Sunday" or just catch up on that nagging stuff. Unfortunately, more and more my Sunday afternoons are spent doing business, and less and less being spent on scholé.
I've already cleared some commitments off my plate - ones that clearly needed to be passed off for my health and family's happiness - but once you've done that, what else do you do? Just wait for the baby to start sleeping through the night? For the oldest child to turn 10 years old (the year when it supposedly "gets easier" according to this story) Ever since my 40th birthday this past February it's become a more and more urgent thought that I need to "get on with this" and not wait for some mythical day where everything's perfect, and the meaningful things in life happen consistently and with a cute mug of tea in hand.
(Though if the meaningful things do happen you can still have the cute mug o'tea)
I guess what I'm trying to say here is:
1. I feel old.
2. I feel tired.
3. I feel bogged down with the demands of life.
BUT I'm going to try very hard to not let these thoughts get me down.
It's also why I was so very grateful to find Ginny from Not So Formulaic and her Lenten study. Her insight that "our Lenten obligation is in many ways met by the vocation of wife and mom," was the grace-filled word that I needed to hear. Lent this year arrived in the thick of all the feelings that I already had about not doing enough. I was (am) living in survival mode, and now, somehow, I have to do more? Pray *more*? Give *more*? Fast *more*? Well, yes... but No. I'm already fulfilling many of the obligations of Lent simply by being a mom of littles who are still quite dependent on me for everything. Instead, I needed a mind-shift: Lent is about "remembering ourselves back into the love of God" (a line from Laura at Mothering Spirit - who also spoke grace-filled words that I needed to hear). And remembering sounds like a spiritual practice that I can do.
So this Lent I've tried to remember the things that matter and move forward no matter how imperfectly I ended up doing it. Some weeks I woke up early and prayed a rosary (half-asleep with a recording - but a bad rosary is better than no rosary, right?) Some weeks I served my family by actually filling out the meal plan in advance. Some days I was able to fast from complaining (and some days not so much). Every Sunday of Lent I've done my "Every Sacred Sunday" journal and a little reading before doing the fiddly business of errands and such. Upon reflection, I see how God has used this time to lift my head from staring at my feet on the treadmill/waters that surround (choose whichever metaphor you prefer). It feels like coming up for air and finding myself inside the glorious lightness of grace.
God is good.
So good that as Lent comes to a close I'm finding myself thinking that the things I've "given up and taken up" I will continue to take up and give up. I'm not looking forward to Easter so that things can go back to normal. (Or as my son asked earlier this week, "When Easter comes can we give up Lent?") I'm looking forward to celebrating the Life Abundant that Jesus Is. You've read it here first: this year may go down in the books as the year I learned that Lent need not be dreaded. Which is good, because dreading something takes a lot of energy and now that I'm on the other side of the hill the words of Kimberly "Sweet Brown" Wilkins come to mind...
"Ain't nobody got time for that." 😎