Well, the last two days have been blissful. There has been a lot going on and not all of it good, but I’ve been home with my boys. I’ve definitely missed that. Even the craziness of it all. But today I did something that just hasn’t happened in a while. I sat down and did laundry all at one time. I know that doesn’t seem like much to most, but for me, it was a big deal. Maybe a bigger deal than it should have been truth be told. I even found myself enjoying doing it which, if you know me at all, you know is not like me. I found some contentment from doing something so “normal” and it made me start reflecting on why. I thought I would share since it seems to (maybe) wrap up what the last few months have been for me.
In August, I went back to work after 6 years of being home with my children. I went back to teaching music. As much as I love it, the whole act of going back to work and not being home has been overwhelming. I found myself having to juggle everything even more than I already did of course, and I found I was no longer as good at the juggling act as I had been. Things started falling through the cracks. I started having to depend on Michael to help out even more. I would have complete breakdown moments over the smallest things, which seem HUGE when I am in the midst of the meltdown moment. The pressure to be everything to everybody has gotten to me. I quickly realized I had to bring in some outside help every 2 weeks in order to keep the house maintained the way I like it to stay-neat and tidy. And by doing that, I quickly felt like a failure. Yes, I had brought in help before, but that had always been because I wanted a break or was focusing on my writing, not ever because I just couldn’t keep up with it. All of the sudden the guilt I had from going back to work was magnified 100 times because I now couldn’t deep clean my house when I wanted to! I’ve been doing laundry in spurts-drop a load in the washer in the morning, switch it to the dryer in the evening, fold it…. whenever I could get to it?! It’s been driving me crazy. So, today I sat down and folded laundry (a mountain) and got it all done at one time and it hit me-I’ve been frustrated because I feel like everything in my life is functioning in spurts. I am a goal oriented girl and I have an immense amount of focus. Because of that, I hate to be interrupted. I have to make an effort to stay in the moment at times and I’ve had to learn that things happen in life. But lately, no matter what I’m doing, there is an interruption. I have so much on my plate that even my mind feels like a constant interruption. I begin trying to think and plan one thing and then another thought interrupts it and I can’t focus. I don’t do well with not being able to focus. Even as I write this blog, I keep catching myself thinking of the next thing I have to do and have to make myself focus on what I am doing right now. It’s not how I’m made-to feel scattered-and I don’t know how to function well in that state. So today, as I’m folding laundry uninterrupted from having to do another 10 things, I realized why I have been crazy person Kelly lately instead of bubbly person Kelly. My brain is tired. My body is tired. I’m having to learn how to function in a new way of life-a way that is extremely uncomfortable for me.
When I was home, and not in the workforce full-time, I know that I grumbled about even having to do the laundry. I would get frustrated when I would need to stop what I was doing to get Zach’s plastic purple bat down for him, which happened daily-sometimes a few times. Now, sitting there today doing the laundry, I realized I would give you anything in the world to be interrupted to get his purple bat down for him. But I’m not home this year. I took it for granted when I was home. I would get frustrated because it felt like everytime I sat down at the piano to work, one of the boys would walk up and want to talk to me or have me show them what I was doing, how do you write notes on a staff, etc. Now, it’s been since August since I’ve had any time at all on the piano to write or even think about my own music-and I miss those interruptions. Those sticky fingers on my piano-that never touched the piano unless I sat down and had work to do. I grumbled. I took those moments for granted. Funny, but I find myself looking for those moments now.
I love what I am doing but I miss what I use to do too. And I’m realizing that each moment, each interruption, is precious and important, especially when it comes to my family. I don’t want to take anything for granted and then not have the chance to ever have moments like that again-because they’re 20 and away at college, or 30 and walking down the aisle ;-), or having families of their own. I want them to know that Mommy always has time for them and can always be interrupted by them. I struggle with feeling like my life is just one big interruption right now because I am pulled in so many directions, but I realize there are different types of interruptions. I want the kind my boys give me. I want to have to stop and kiss their boo-boos or get the purple bat down. I miss those interruptions, but I am aware now and trying really hard not to take it for granted. I urge you to cherish those moments, those precious interruptions.