Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is Ignorance Bliss? (a wednesday brain ramble)

I don't know if I have a thing against the word "balance" because I truly believe it doesn't exist or because I'm feeling left out because it doesn't exist for me. I have information overload. I know too much about the "ideal" and I can't seem to fit it all into the puzzle of my life.

I should spend time with God.
I should spend fun time with my kids.
I should spend time reading with them too.
I should exercise and eat right.
I should spend time alone with my husband.
I should get out more and spend time with friends.
I should to educate myself about the world around me.
I need to make good decisions. I should probably take time and think about some of those big ones too.
I need to find time to work from home.
I need to make sure there are clean underwear and clean dishes every day.
I need to feed us every day. more than once.
I should get enough sleep.
I should save my loose change
volunteer at school
practice spelling words
donate at church
get involved in my community
bridge the gaps
pay the bills
feed the children
save the whales
support our troops
wash the sheets
stop and smell the roses

Have I run out of time yet?
No matter, I've run out of energy.

Why do I always have to go an compare myself to what other people are doing? What others say is the best thing? We're told that we need balance and not to put all our eggs in one basket, but then we're also told not to do too much or take on too many things. Believe me when I say that I DON'T. We really don't do a lot of "extras" around here... not many sports, no music classes or dance lessons, very little volunteering. I don't hit the gym, no one is in a book club or the PTO. I'm pretty sure it's about priorities, not balance, but I still can't figure it out. I am also aware that this is a season of my life. I'm at home with three young children and that's just a huge chunk of my daily focus, as it should be. So why am I left feeling like I don't have it together or I don't do enough for others or I'm somehow not managing my life the way I ought to be? Is it because I know what OTHER people, with OTHER kids and OTHER budgets and OTHER situations are managing to do? Or is no one managing it and I am just led to believe by the media and the "experts" that they are? Our world is made so small through media and internet and social and psychological knowledge. And a whole lot of good can come out of that. A WHOLE LOT. But then, it can also bring with it a whole lot of guilt and confusion over what is and should be important at any given time.... at least for me. Sometimes I long for less knowledge and understanding because it seems that it brings with it a whole lot of decisions and responsibility that I'm not always up for. There's an old Keith Green song that I grew up listening to with the lyrics "just keep doing your best, pray that it's blessed, and He'll take care of the rest."

If only I could hold on to that.


Melissa Crowe said...

So well said. I wish I could comfort you, but in this case I just totally agree with you, and I'd cheapen your honest words if I tried to talk you out of them.

Here's what I've been thinking of doing: buying a ramshackle farm house in the middle of nowhere and hiding from the world.

Anonymous said...

You stressed me out with your list! I would go with Keith Green. Oughta, shoulda, woulda is a heavy burden to bear. Thankful that I have friends that are messy and imperfect to travel this road with.

Dana - Old Red Barn Co. said...

I don't know how old you are E. I'm closing in on 39. When my children were young and at home, I would often feel just like you are. I would feel less than. Less than perfect. Less than able. Less than capable of even beginning to be able. But as I've gotten older . . . and my children have gotten older. . . I've begun to find my way. I do what I need to do for me and my family. I have let go of much of my need, desire and guilt to do and be what everyone else is. . . or leads you to believe they are. Achieving what is good for YOU and YOUR FAMILY is enough. Totally and completely enough.

Jen said...

I wish I were there right now so I could hug you! I could have easily written this post this week. I am so overwhelmed and stressed, and feel like the tiniest thing going wrong could send me completely over the edge. Listen, our lists ARE ridiculously long. If you break it down like you did, or even more ridiculous, like I once did by the amount of hours each things takes, it is enough to overwhelm anybody.

Aging Mommy said...

If you let it, the guilt at not being this idealized perfect mother and wife takes over your life. I've been there and done that - still not completely over it, I still feel guilty if I let my daughter watch an extra half hour of TV just because I want to get something done etc. But you have to not compare, figure out what works for you and your children and not set yourself a long list of tasks, just pick a few things, the things that mean the most to you and work at those.

No one is perfect, no mother is perfect, no marriage, no anything.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

The other ladies are correct. Aging Mommy hit it right on the head about picking the most important things.

I burnt myself out when I was younger trying to keep up. And all the time I was fitting it all in there still was always something that was neglected. I am still nearly always behind. And it does get to me, so I have no room to talk but when I feel like you do, and I do right now..
Think about one thing at a time. Allow yourself your time. Dishes can wait sometimes when you are working on a quilt. Loose change makes a nifty vaccuum hose clearer.

Time just being with your husband and kids is the only thing that will matter in 20 years.
And you can multi-task by talking to God when you get around to the dishes. I've done it for years.

Scented Sweetpeas said...

Blimey, you are one human being, you can't expect yourself to do all that and stay saine. Be easy on yourself. x