Photo by Cafe Sheri
Now in Week 3 of my plan to find joy in a more balanced life, things are becoming more clear. You know, clear as mud. Pushing forth, trying to, as philosopher Lao Tzu asks, have "the patience to wait till the mud settles and the water is clear."
I hope you'll share your progress as well. If you're new here, you can join us anytime!
Thoughts on Week 3:
Week 3 was more erratic than usual since my family threw a 100-guest retirement party for my mom last Friday. Most the spare time I had this week was spent mentally or physically prepping for the party, which was a great success btw (yay, Mom)!
The elephant in the room this week and the entire month (scroll to the bottom for progress on my goals) is the lack of one-on-one time spent with the kids. Why can't I meet even a small goal in this area? What's my problem? Am I a horrible, selfish mother who refuses to put her kids first?
Of course, I know this isn't true. I help my kids when they need help, are emotional, hurt themselves, argue, have questions, even flip out. I take interest in their interests, limit their TV and video game time, and make gatherings with outside friends and family a priority. We also eat dinner together every night, and I carefully protect our time at home by limiting the boys to just one outside activity at a time.
So...what gives? Why do I feel so awful about this inability to sit still with my boys? Am I truly only capable of being reactionary?
Well, it's just that really. I am so busy working, juggling, and trying to keep work time from bleeding into family time (totally self-imposed, not work imposed) that I can't find a way to simmer my mind or body down long enough to sit quietly and read, do a puzzle, talk quietly, be still.
And honestly, I think this goal is more important for my own self-good than for the boys. They're fine. They're happy. I need to practice down time. I need to play and be still. I need to let myself. In fact, I bet if I actually let myself, a little time with my boys could have the same redemptive quality as a yoga session. Well...maybe not, but you know what I mean...
Joy Resource of the Week
Go read Andrea Scher's "on making a clearing" post on Superhero Journal, ESPECIALLY you busy moms who have had or are currently having the "hospital fantasy." You know, the fantasy where you wish you'd get laid up in the hospital (mildly, not in a life threatening way) JUST so you could leave all the demands and responsibilities behind and finally get some rest. Yep, I've had it too, but Andrea reminds us we *can* let go if we simply clear a path and let ourselves.
Go forth and seek joy, my friends! And let me know how it's going.
How is your joy progress going? What's working and what isn't?
Cafe Sheri's Week 3 Progress:
My progress on this month's goals. I am narrowing down next month's goals.
Marriage: Sign up for preschool's monthly Parents Night Out. (Completed!)
Kids: Sit one-on-one with each child for 15 uninterrupted minutes 2x a week.
- Progress: None that I recall. :(
- Bright side: Family movie night; however, I was on my laptop the whole time. Not really a bright side.
Personal Interests: Go on one photo-taking outing a month.
- Progress: I STILL haven't done this. Instead I pine away on Flickr, looking at everyone else's pretty photos and using the rain, wet, and my personal made-up failures as a human being as an excuse.
Work: Shower and/or get dressed to leave the house at the beginning of every work day.
- Progress: Continued success!
- Joy-o-Meter: This continues to feel good and worthwhile. Love it.
Household: File, recycle, or trash "the stack" on the kitchen counter once a week.
- Progress: Continued success!
- Joy-o-Meter: Still great!
- Note to self: Think really hard before re-subscribing to paper magazines next time around. Sorry, magazines!