Travel well

Monday mornings present an interesting juxtaposition of thought for me.

On on hand they are an opportunity…a new beginning and fresh start.  A chance to write down that to-do list and accomplish…whatever it is that needs doing.

On the other hand, Mondays can just be frustrating.  So much to do and so much undone from the week before.  The feeling that this week might be just as difficult, or more so, than the week before.

The latter thought process is not helpful.  It is self-defeating and starts the week off with negativity.  Nevertheless, the thoughts are a reality and cannot be ignored.  Sometimes life can seem to be an endless loop of beginnings and endings and not much in the middle.

So, today I shall acknowledge that sometimes life is frustrating.  And that sometimes the end of my week does not meet the expectations of the beginning.

And I shall continue to try and live in grace and hope…and be grateful for the opportunity a new week provides.  I’ll make a new list and continue to be optimistic about the possibilities that this week of my life might offer.

I will attempt to live through the ups and downs that these days of my life will certainly serve up.  I know in advance that there will be failure and tears and happiness and beauty.  I will travel through the challenges and dwell in the good.  That is my plan for this week.

And now is the time to share the news that I have been alluding to over the past several weeks.  I can share the part of the story that is mine.

Our son, Jacob, has joined the Army.  He completed the last of the process and was sworn in last Wednesday.  He reports for training the middle of this month.  There is much I could write about this journey.  I shall keep it simple.

I am his Mom.

I love him.

I am proud of him.

I am afraid for him.

This decision has been a long time coming for him.  I have watched him carefully consider it.  Research it.  Carry it in his heart and revisit it from time to time.  This is what he feels called to do.

I believe in him and am in awe of his ability to listen to that “voice” that is guiding him.  I have struggled my whole life with finding my way.

I read a quote the other day.  I can’t remember where.  “To find your purpose, follow your passion.”

He is doing that.

Travel well, my son.

May we all find our passion and our purpose and travel well.

 

And now…today

Two more layers done.  I kind of hate it at this point.  I walked away rather than paint over it.  That’s not an uncommon reaction.  Today was the easiest day to work on it so far.  I really have missed making stuff.  It’s been months and months and months.  I kept saying that I would get back to it when I got this or that done.  As I’ve discussed recently this and that never get done.

I’m not really a flowers in a vase, still life kind of artist.  We’ll let it “simmer” overnight and see what happens tomorrow.

Decluttered today:

  1. some old seeds
  2. 3 shoes (a pair and a shoe and interestingly enough, the random shoe is not a mate for the odd shoe earlier in the week)
  3. a favorite t-shirt that was more holes than shirt
  4. a stack of old artwork that my kids made – I saved my favorites
  5. an old journal that is not filled with happy memories

I’m going to count today a success.  I made a little money and I made a real dinner for the family.  The trash is out before the trash men are pulling into the cul-de-sac tomorrow morning.  I didn’t yell at anyone and used mainly kind words.  I had to drive the dying car without air-conditioning and it made it where it was going and back and I didn’t melt.  I worked on some art and decluttered and cleared off a surface or two.  My youngest and I did a bunch of school.  Oh, and I deposited the money I made in the bank before we were overdrawn.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  Most of the day, I didn’t feel like it was a good day.  But I’ve been regularly reading a friend’s CaringBridge entries and she is relentlessly looking for the bright side.  If she can do it, then I certainly should be able to do so.

So today, I have been trying to live in gratitude – in all things and in all ways…grateful for a car that serves my needs if not my wants, grateful for a small paycheck that was just enough, grateful for excess that allows me to have trash, grateful for people in my life that I love even if they drive me crazy sometimes, grateful for the opportunity to homeschool and spend time with my daughter, grateful for my talents and the desire to use them, grateful to have choices, and opportunity and wise friends.

And that was today.

Late and Quiet

It’s late at night here at home.  The family is asleep or at least quietly in their space(s).  I’m wandering through the house shutting out lights and taking an inventory of the weekend’s activity.

By the looks of things it was a busy weekend indeed.

There is not a tidy spot in the house.

We had a big family breakfast and the dishes aren’t done.  Everyone was running around doing their own thing so the rest of our meals were “grab and go”.  Those remnants and dishes are all over the kitchen also.  On the bright side, the fridge and pantry are still clean.

I don’t do laundry on the weekend so there is a mountain in the laundry room.

It’s difficult to fit an apartment worth of stuff into one room, so my daughter’s stuff is still all over.  She’s sorting out the “need now” from the “need later”.  Half-empty and half-full boxes are waiting for those decisions to be made.  The stuff from the guest room needs a new home as she transitions the room back into hers.  She’s working two part-time jobs so progress is slow.  In short, there is stuff EVERYWHERE!

I figured out a storage solution.  We have a storage space in our classroom/studio that will work.  It was filled with all the paper documents from our small business.  It was moved here when we were still actively involved in it’s day to day operations. Sixty boxes worth.  That needs to be sorted into keep and shred/recycle. Right now, it’s stacked everywhere other stuff isn’t stacked, waiting to be dealt with.

As you can imagine, there a lots of stacks.  It might be more correct to say that there are trails through the stacks.

My house is a maze

All in all, my home is once again a mess – a total disaster.  Boxes everywhere, piled laundry, dirty dishes, stacked counters and tables, messy bathrooms, and an art project or two.

Initially, I was upset and frustrated.

Then I had an epiphany of sorts.  There is a better way of looking at it all.  A choice – an intentional choice.

Today is done – the end of a good weekend.  There is evidence of that good weekend everywhere I look. Meals shared.  Creative projects worked on.  Memories made.  Time together.  Everyone is happy and healthy.  No disasters or drama.

Just a mess – my family’s mess in our home.

Could we learn to better pick-up after ourselves?  Yes.

Should there be less stuff to deal with? Yes.

Is our life perfect?  No.

We are a work in progress.  I am a work in progress.

Tomorrow, I will get up.  Start a load of laundry.  Make breakfast.  Tidy the kitchen.  Supervise some schoolwork.  Take my son to work.  Pick up my daughter from work.  Clean a little bit.  De-clutter a little bit.

I’m going to remember to eat healthy foods and take a walk.

I’m going to hug my husband and kids and tell them that I love them.

It’s not my purpose in life to clean and maintain a perfect home.  Nor is it a priority to de-clutter and have the “right” number of possessions.

Those are just tasks towards a goal.  A comfortable home for our family to live and thrive and grow in.

There is definitely work to be done.

But, it will never be “finished”.

There will be another meal (and more dishes), a new day (and a change of clothes), more projects (yea, creativity!), and eventually someone will move out or back in.  We will re-arrange, re-prioritize, pursue new interests, change, and grow.

It is my purpose in life to love and care for my family (and myself).  I also need to make art, but that’s another blog post.

As I have been writing this, today has turned into tomorrow.  Sunday has transitioned to Monday.

Time for reflection makes way for rest…for it is a new day, a new attitude and a new opportunity to make positive changes.