The calm after the storm

Last Thursday brought a major (for Arkansas anyways) winter storm that dumped 10 inches of snow over a layer of ice and sleet, and sent our low temperatures plumetting below zero (-1! Felt like I was back in Wyoming. Minus the wind of course.)

And although it upset the (ever growing and seemingly endless) to-do list and threw a wrench in our renovation/repair plans, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. You see, I have been struggling since the move with this feeling that I just can’t keep up with the frantic, frenzied pace of my life right now. There is always something else that needs to be done, something else that needs to be fixed, something else that demands attention right now… Between all these and the day-to-day work of being Mom, and Wife, and Homemaker– well, it has really been taking it’s toll on me. Sometimes it’s hard to admit when we don’t have everything under control (surely I am not the only one!), but here I am admitting it. I don’t. Not even close. I’ve been letting those negative feelings creep in—those “I’m a bad mom beause my kids have been watching Curious George all morning and they’re still in their oatmeal-covered pajamas and I snapped at them when they got in the pantry and started eating sprinkles for a snack and then gave in and let them have them because I realized that the pantry is, in fact, empty of healthful snacks and it’s actually lunch time,” or the “I’m lazy because I didn’t cross off every one of the 413 items on today’s to-do list,” feelings. Here’s the deal. The kitchen is half-painted, the wall paper is half-stripped, the oven half-working working (we’re having the safeties rebuilt), the yard is half-fenced, and there is a half-built chicken coop in the backyard while12 chicks (thanks a lot, Katie!) not-so-patiently occupy one of the bathrooms. In the midst of it all, Stephen has been working lots of extra hours and Miles has started having some behavioral issues that concern me, so yes, I have been feeling overwhelmed. And then the storm blew in, blanketed us is white, and brought everything to a halt.

I woke up last Friday to quiet. Fresh, pure, clean, white, still quiet. I watched the boys’ awe-filled faces as the looked out the window at the winter wonderland surrounding us. I was reminded that there is and always will be, one thing on that to-do list that trumps all others. I apologized to my boys for not always keeping my priorities straight, then promptly bundled them up and enjoyed some good old-fashioned, to-do list-free fun. Sledding, snowmen, Christmas carols on Pandora, living room dance parties (waxed hardwood floors + woolly socks= pure fun!), Christmas crafts, creative puesdo-baking (who needs an oven?)…

No, I don’t have everything under control. Not even close. But you know what? I’m learning to be okay with that.

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