Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Game

My daughter asked me why I hadn't put her vitamins into the days of the week container for her.  I replied "Because, I can't get ahead of the game."  She asked, "What game?"

This simple question of a 4 year-old has me thinking.  Most of her questions are simple.  "Why?" is a simple question, it just doesn't have simple answers. D tends to ask "why" until I am explaining things at a junior high science level.  Only then does she seem to understand and stop asking or maybe she finally looses interest.

But this question "What game?" is causing me to ponder on life.  Why is it a game and why do I feel I need to be ahead of the game?  I've always enjoyed playing the games that mimic life: Barbies, dolls, Sims, The Game of Life board game.  I enjoy reading made-up lives in books and sometimes I even enjoy reading about real lives. I've given life to one child and am growing another right now.  I seem fully emerged in life, so why do I feel I need to be ahead?  I need to learn to be in and with life as it happens.  This is a very tall order for me.

I am trying to have a new outlook on life, a life in moderation.  I tend to be the person that does everything all at once.  I don't clean all week and then I have to spend all weekend cleaning.  I don't cook the meals I plan, so food spoils, then we have nothing to eat and I have to do a ton of shopping.  I read a book as quickly as possible, in a few days usually.  The same goes for my knitting; I usually don't start projects that will take too long.  I need to be done.  I crave a finish.  Now instead, I am trying to do a little each day.  The past two weekends the whole family has cleaned and cleaned.  This was not my regular cleaning, but a deeper clean than what I normally do.  I might even do a deeper "spring cleaning" if I feel so inspired, but unlikely.

I am now cleaning the kitchen (almost) every night,even though I just cleaned it. I am emptying the dishwasher, even though I don't like it, but I hate the back up of dishes more.  I ask D to pick up her toys and she does.  I think she might get overwhelmed with too much to put away, just like I do.  I am finding that doing the thinks that makes my house tidy doesn't take that much time.  It takes way more time to think about not doing it. After cleaning a little, I have time to do fun things like: help D learn her letters, look at family photo albums and tell D about when she was little, pet the dogs, have family movie nights, read, knit, spin yarn and get D to shower and in bed on time.  (I probably need to add to this list blogging so that I can have a few more updates, maybe 2-3 a week.)

So far so good.  There are still some nights I want to do nothing, being a pregnant working mother does wear a person down, and so I do very little, but doing just a few things makes me feel slightly accomplished and satisfied that I am succeeding at life.

How do you feel accomplished at home?  I have such a hard time feeling this way.  The list of "to-dos" seems to be never ending.


  1. I totally relate! I suffer from perfectionism and impatience--but somehow I also procrastinate. Go figure. I am trying to embrace the concept of "good enough" by asking myself what needs to be perfect(ish) and what can be good enough. Most housework can usually be good enough. But I procrastinate because I don't want to do whatever it is (work or housework), because it's either hard or boring. But I know I feel so much better when I just do things. I try to focus on how good I will feel when it is done rather than on how much I don't want to do it. A couple of Lents ago my discipline was to "be a good steward," especially of my time. It was a good practice because it made me think about how I was spending my time, but of course I got out of the habit. I should get back into it. Lent's not over yet!

    1. We are so very alike...perfectionism and impatience, that is me.