Monday, May 18, 2009

Time Out. Go to Your Room!

I sent myself to my room last time I got too grumpy. It works better for me than for my six year old because I'm not mad at myself when I get to come out again. 
People know that I have allot on my plate, and maybe can't figure out exactly what needs to change when I'm not up-beat or sociable. It's only because I haven't had a "vacation". 
I should probably take one about every other month. I'm not sure how often I really take them, but I know how refreshed I am when I do. 
My oldest daughter treated me to a mini vacation in the form of some thick easy read books, and I wondered how many other parents/couples out there take these sorts of vacations?
I never have to leave home. I just plan out a few days of easy prepare food, neglect the housework and say no to packing the schedule. I say yes to early morning walks. I say yes to plays, movies and late night glasses of juice. I say yes to unplanned trips to the park or canyon drives. Sometimes its cottage cheese and grapes at the park for breakfast. I can call or write to someone I need to keep in touch with. I say no to cleaning the car, the carpet and the pet.  I say yes to reading all night, dancing, and laughing until 1:00 am with teens. I say yes to silly jokes, laughing at myself and chocolate. I stoop to really listen to little ones. I imagine myself a child, an adolescent, a senior citizen depending on who it is I'm taking to. (Sometimes the senior citizen needs to talk to a little kid!) I stop and put a hand on the shoulder when a child tells about their day. I think, "I have time for this". I buy lemonade from roadside card tables. I share childhood stories about myself. I allow myself to think of loved ones whose faces I will not see again. I ignore slights and irritation and the clock. I say yes to standing on a wet hill in the gray dawn until the wind picks up, the morning chorus crescendos and the clouds turn from rose to amber. I make sudden stops near baby lambs, new foals, feed bread to ducks or detour to see the baby chicks at the local feed store. I pet the cat. I nurture people and plants. I put fresh flowers on the table and put on makeup and curl my hair. I smile allot. I decide to see myself as new, lovable and beautiful. I take extra time in my conversations with God. I read uplifting poetry or scripture. I look up at the stars. I let the little kids sleep in my big bed and rub lotion on their feet. I stay up late just to sing to them and rock them to sleep. I build puzzles, read stories and play games. I look at peoples eyes. 
I make sure I know when I'm coming back from vacation because then I set the alarm clock, plan ahead, keep the schedule, prepare healthy meals, clean house, take the car for an oil change, cut grass, bake, wash the dishes, sew, mend, iron, mop, clean the garage, go shopping, wash clothes, go to work, answer the phone, write in events on the calendar, attend community functions, problem solve and schedule dentist and doctor appointments. I'm not certain that my days are less full, but the mental vacation means they are less stressful. 
Sometimes I can only take a half hour vacation. Sometimes its using spare change to pay for a massage from one of the kids. Sometimes its a walk; sometimes its a movie; sometimes its a book; but my bio-rhythm requires a time out to stay sane. 
If today feels like a Monday, maybe its time to schedule a mini-vacation! 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I suppose it was silly to start a blog and then only write in it once a month. 
Paper organization is only one of my handicaps; not being a skilled juggler is another. Juggling the little one at home with two elementary kids and four teens leaves me feeling sure I've missed an important deadline, let someone fall through the cracks, or am falling asleep when I should be doing... something..., but what? I love being the mother of this bouquet of children, I'm just not very confident at it. 
There are sleek, cool, glamorous moms, perfect makeup, cell phone in one hand they can smile as they pull the homemade casserole out of the oven at 5:57p.m. with the other, walk to a ready laid table and stand back as the five kids breeze through the kitchen door at 5:59 with clean hands and faces. Dad calls, "Honey, I'm home" and walks straight to his place at 6:00 p.m. sharp. These moms can explain, "Its usually like this, if I keep a schedule, everybody knows what to expect, so its not stressful." I always wonder where I was when heaven handed out basic skills? Definitely not in that line. I wonder what was I doing when I missed that disbursement? Probably admiring the sports fans mothers or mom's with fourteen kids and Phd's. I walk around with a chronic sense of being less competent and prepared than the average female. I realize that to admit that means I need a daily therapist. But I have one, my kids. When I'm sure I'm rowing my boat merrily, merrily backwards, they say, "Just look at the scenery! No body else gets to see the world like we do!" When I'm cross, they look down and droop, but always offer a helping hand. If one is slamming doors, another is sure to spring up to me with a delighted, "Look what I made for you!" I close nearly every day wondering how I got blessed with the most amazing kids I know. How, why, what, I could never tell anyone. I have been awestruck from the first minute until now. I only know I have to do everything I can to keep them as happy, as trusting and eager and innocent as they were when they first held my finger. 
Even though its past Mothers' Day, Hooray to mothers!  You are my daily inspiration. I watch each one, and I ask what is she doing so right? Can I do that? Thanks for letting me learn everyone!