Thursday, January 27, 2011

what works

my friend jeanni, who is often in my thoughts, used to tell me we all had to do our work. i spend a lot of time thinking about my work...doing my work. i spend a lot of time talking to my friend lana as we plan out how to accomplish and balance our work...our successes, our failures, our feelings of being overwhelmed or under appreciated, our moments of humility and empowerment, being tired or feeling frighteningly capable. my work for the last number of years has been managing a family while my spouse goes to medical school and completes a residency. i have homeschooled our four when we started and now five children. i have moved to two different houses. i have started a homeschooling co-op, run two half marathons, worked with high schoolers at my new church, helped out and coached robotics teams, paid bills, hosted birthday parties, managed doctor appointments, attended dinners, funerals, weddings, birthday parties, taken the car in when it needed, bought all or most of the christmas gifts, tried to stay within my budget, made arrangements for when i didn't, joined a book club, sent out christmas cards, transported a high schooler to and from a technical college for a semester, made that high schooler a transcript and gotten him into high school when he was ready, taught many different classes at the co-op i started, made it through the first year with a new baby, made it to park days and play dates and other social functions for my kids...i have done a lot. yet somehow, i manage to feel, on most days, like i haven't gotten much of anything accomplished. this is something i am determined to work on...because yesterday, i ran across one of my many notebooks i use for list making. and as i looked through this notebook, i realized...i had, indeed, accomplished almost everything on those lists. and i realized that while i try to manage my life, i am often looking at what i need to do, and rarely at what i have done. and so i carry around that feeling of not getting much done and rarely the feeling of satisfaction at what i have done.

tonight, i went to book club. it was the first time in many months that i had actually read the book. and we discussed it. and talked. and visited. and it occurred to me tonight that i have been a part of this book club, a part of this group of women, for almost four years. i realized when i got home that i have spent four years getting to know these women, sharing space and life with them. i still go to book club feeling like the newbie...and i am still the newest person there. but i have been there for four years! i don't know why that surprised me so much. but maybe, after typing the first paragraph, i'm starting to understand it.

my spouse finishes his residency in five months. five more months, and then he begins a job. a job that doesn't require us to move. a job that will allow us to begin paying off the considerable debt we've acquired on this leg of the trip. a job that will give him regular hours, allowing us to begin to settle into a routine. not that we haven't had routines in the last number of years. we've had dozens of dozens of routines. we've been flexible and adaptable and, more often than not, accepting and maybe even positive. but we've always been looking to the next step of it, preparing for the next move, open to the next round of interviews and opportunities and situations.

so tonight, i am learning to take what works. accept it. let it be. do it. it doesn't sound nearly as monumentally relieving as it surrender a bit. but it was. at night, i usually make plans for what i need to get done the next day. last night, i prepared myself for dropping off the high schooler and then taking our seven year old to the eye doctor. i worked through my anxieties...or acknowledged them at least...and mentally prepared myself for what i needed to get done, my appointments and what they required for me, and made note of the time frame i needed to work in. we made it there. we made it through. lana and my sister were there for me to work through the information from the eye doctor, the plans to be made for the next steps, treatments, my feelings, etc. i am forever grateful to them for their patience and love. tonight though, when i began to make my plans for tomorrow, i made plans i have not made, consciously, in what feels like a really long time. tomorrow, i am going to spend time with my kids. my thirteen year old has some stuff to do for co-op. my other guys, i'll play with and maybe even read to. i don't know. it's open. but i will spend time with my kids. these beautiful people who have traveled along this very intense time with me. who have taught me to keep loving, forgiving, and enjoying the good moments as they come. i can't even describe how right it feels. this doing what works. i am grateful.


1 comment:

LanaTron said...

"dozens and dozens of routines" LOL

Been there, done that.

Love you.