3 S.R. Johannes: At the center of a busy life

Monday, December 07, 2009

At the center of a busy life

As a mom, sometimes, I forget to stop and breathe.

Because there are so many thing to do as a mom.

doing the laundry, changing sheets, folding laundry, putting away laundry, stacking laundry in baskets and leaving in the bedroom until *someone* else puts it away.

unloading dishes, rinsing dishes (yeah right), reloading dishes, wishing I'd bought paper dishes, buying paper plates, feeling bad about environment and go back to dishes.

reorganizing kids closets, cleaning out old toys, reorganizing new toys, returning toys back where they belong, yelling at kids to return toys where they belong, threatening kids to return toys where they belong.

buying dog food, feeding dog, taking dog to vet after he eats a pound of chocolate, letting elderly dog outside in the middle of the night to pee - twice!

taking care of hubby, making hubby take care of me, managing an extended family, managing a British family (oi!:), getting together with family before family has withdrawals.

giving baths, forcing baths, taking a shower, skipping a shower, wishing for a shower, refusing to shower.

shifting kids from one place to another, carpooling, playdates, afternoon activities, planning family activities, allocating equal Mommy Time.

get an idea, write a book, rewrite a book, tear up a book, envying someone else's book, curse my book, love my book, cry over my book, get a rejection, get an agent, rewrite book, and rewrite book again.

preparing for school, packing lunches, giving money for lunches, forgetting lunches, forgetting homework, doing homework.

cleaning out old sizes of kids clothes, buying new kids clothes, attending kids school activities, volunteering at school activities.

planning menus (yeah right!), cooking...OK FINE!...microwaving, wishing I was organized enough to crockpot, grocery shopping, wine shopping, chocolate shopping, interim shopping, drug shopping (Oops, I mean drug store shopping!)

taking care of house stuff, bringing in the mail, sending out mail, recycling junk mail, taking out the trash, recycling, bagging recycling, paying bills, filing bills, hiding bills, forgetting bills, ignoring bills.

scheduling cleaners, calling yard people, calling car people, begging babysitters, begging mother to come down.

staying on top of holidays, moving shelf on an elf, filling advent calendars, buying presents, returning presents.

awarding stars for good behavior, awarding red stickers for bad behavior, keeping track of stickers on behavior, ignoring tantrums, having tantrums, yelling at tantrums,

going by the bank to take in a check, wishing I had a check to take in, spending money, balancing checkbook, wishing I hadn't spent money, wondering where money went.

going to the bathroom with bystanders, cleaning the bathroom accidents of bystanders, teaching kids to wipe, teaching kids to flush, stocking diapers, smelling diapers, running out of diapers.

scheduling dr appt, handling impromptu dr appt, tending to the sick, feeling sick, stroking hurt feeling, hurting happy feelings, attending to boo boos.

yelling at kids to ask for peace and quiet, wishing for peace and quiet, hiding in closets for a moment of peace and quiet (everyone does this right?)

With all that - there is little time to breath.

There are so many things to do as a wife

There are so many things to do as a daughter, sister and friend.

There are so many things to do as a writer, a critiquer, a blogger, a tweeter, a facebooker, a myspacer, and a goodreader.

There are so many things to do to change the world.

Then, there are those moments - that in reality probably come to us in every second of every day - but I miss them because I'm so busy I forgot to stop, grab it, and press it to my heart. I forget to hold it in my hand before kissing it back to the wind.

Sometimes I don't relish in the moments of joy that fly by me at the speed of light. I guess I don't open my eyes in time to see the drops of happiness wrapped in a picked leaf, a drawn picture, or a hug.

Sometimes I happen to get lucky and accidentally sit still in the small moment that I realize is perfect. Before, I mistakenly push it aside as the world blows another obligation or problem my way.

Sometimes I get tiny but memorable reminders, in the shape of a flower, or a note in crayon, a book, or a sappy song.

When the universe nudges me quietly, suddenly giving me the sense, the urge, the need, the ability...

To stop...

To breathe...

To love...

To laugh...

To live...

To just be...

And remember to cherish and be grateful for the things at the very center of my busy life.


43 comments:

Lisa Schroeder said...

Yes. I know you've heard this before, but it goes by SO fast. Cherish this time. The time when a simple leaf is like magic. And write things down they say that you want to remember. I didn't do that nearly enough, darn it.

Karen said...

Great post and BEAUTIFUL family picture!

Catherine Denton said...

Okay...you made me cry. That was beautiful. Thanks for awakening me to those moments.

Lisa and Laura said...

Great picture of the fam! You guys are so cute!

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Your family is adorable!

V. S said...

Your family is beautiful and you should be very proud of yourself for juggling everything that you do.

Kelly said...

Ah, your harried life of a mom sounds like mine!
Your family is beautiful, Shelli!
Enjoy the holidays with them!!

Kimberly Derting said...

Aww, Shelli, that was so sweet. I need to go hug my kids now!!!

Larissa said...

Great post, Shelli!

And also, that sounds EXACTLY like my life! LOL. (except I don't have an agent yet)

I just posted a funny moment between my husband and my son on my blog because I don't want to forget it.

Thanks for the reminder!

storyqueen said...

That pretty much says it....
(Cute fam pic!)

Shelley

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

That post was a glorious deep breath. And that photo is fabulous!

Susan R. Mills said...

Yeah, I'm crying now! Thanks a lot. :) You are so right to think this way. I wish I could go back and slow down time, and to breathe, but it's too late. I'm trying to do it now, though. Family comes first. Love comes first. The laundry, the dishes, the homework, and, yes, even the writing come second.

Kristi Faith said...

Shelli,
Great post. I think mothers everywhere are like, "WHOA! She WROTE it all down?!?!" LOL

Uhm, and I hide in the closet too, or sit in the car. :0)

Christina Farley said...

What a post. So so true. And the family picture is lovely.

Sally said...

beautiful post- beautiful family

and I do believe that your writing keeps you awake in your life- appreciative of the moments- noticing

It does go by fast- I'm dealing with (and loving) college and high school years now-this post will help me keep remembering all the moments...

Christina Lee said...

the first part of your post made me feel exhausted (do we really do all of that?), and the second part made me pause and feel guilty for something I didn't take time for yesterday. So I vow to do it differently today--thanks for the reminder :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Breathe? Oh is that what I forgot to do?

I just read your interview by Realm Lovejoy. I can't wait to read On The Bright Side. And I love the picture. Boy is she talented. I wonder if I could do the same on my blog. Hmmm. Maybe not. My five year old draws better stickmen than me. :(

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

Wait, we're supposed to breathe? I knew I was doing something wrong. ;)

What an attractive family photo!
~ Wendy

Shawntelle said...

I could have written this... Word for word. Sometimes its hard to remember everything we do as a parent. We juggle home, work, and writing.

Nice family picture. =)

Irene Latham said...

What a beautiful family! Definitely not something to take for granted. xxoo

Natalie said...

Your family is gorgeous. I'm right there with you with little kids and a thousand things to do. I have to remind myself to slow down sometimes.

Corey Schwartz said...

Love the post and the ADORABLE family photo!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Whew! Okay, Shelli, now I need a nap (and it's only 8:26 in the morning here). You are so right about all of it - esp. the bathroom part and the toys part and the needy hubby part and the.... :)

Darling photo!

Katie said...

Whew! I was already tired before I read this, now I need a nap :-)

So true. So true.

gorgeous pic btw!

L. W. said...

I was thinking what Katie was thinking. I felt exhausted and overwhelmed (oh, the laundry and the dishes and the . . .) which means you hit the nail on the head because that's how mothering is sometimes. So, I loved your reminder at the end. Thanks.

Alyson Noel said...

I LOVE this post!
What a beautiful family you have!
:)

Rebecca Knight said...

I once heard that a full time mom/dad puts in 90 hours a week... now I think it may be 100+ ;).

Kudos to all your moms, and thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us!

Danyelle said...

Beautiful thoughts, Shelli. I think that there are never enough hours in the day to do all that we need to. That's why it's so important to do the most important, and to enjoy those small moments of perfection. :D Thanks for the reminder! :)

ElanaJ said...

What a gorgeous family!

And I so hear you on everything else. I was going to write a post like this for next week, but I'm too tired. Maybe I'll just link to yours.

Shannon Messenger said...

Shelli-OMG-I can't believe I wasn't following your blog (I really thought I came over here and followed back!) *Wrings hands* Can you ever forgive me? I mean, you leave such awesome comments on my blog and you write such amazing posts, and here I am all lame and not clicking the follow button. Le Sigh. Anyway, I have corrected the problem, now. Hope we can still be blog friends. :)

Shelli said...

Lisa, so true

karen, frankie, VS, Kelly - i think they are adorable too :)

lisa/laura, katie, kim, christina - we forget the la familia sometimes dont we?

larissa - ill check it out thanks :)

Catherine and Susan - aw - im glad it touched you - though so sorry it mad eyou cry.

Elana - hilarious!

SHannon M - oh please! since you read my posts - you know i dont get wierd about those things. whoever wanst to follow can (and CRURSE THOSE WHO DONT! JK!!;)

Shelli said...

story queen, Danyelle, irene, christina lee, tricia, sally - thanks!

stina - thanks - thats at least one copy ill seel someday - Ill hold you to it!

wendy, corey- thanks :) I think so too.

shannon O, LW, Shantelle, natalie - i know right? its exhausting

Rebecca - so true! at least!

Kristi - Im a geek that way.

sally - awwwww :( i cant imagine.

jdcoughlin said...

I am so living that life, too. And most days it is just like that moving from one thing to another with only the time in between for breathing. But those beautiful babies are worth it, the love they are given and the love they are giving, that you have a husband that supports you and encourages you. I was having dinner with mine last night, and my son said he loved his life, that he wouldn't change a thing. And all I could think about is how lucky I am to be his mom.
Keep up the dream!

Amy Tate said...

I love this post so much that I've printed it!!!!! Going to the bathroom with bystanders takes the cake, doesn't it? My daughter still follows me, and now that my son is ten, he slides notes underneath the door.

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Wow! I had to catch my breath! Life with all its chaos can get the best of you. Thank God we can rest in him and enjoy our time with family. Loved this post Shelli!

Jackee said...

I've been thinking about the same things too, lately. Thanks for sharing, Shelli!

Kelly H-Y said...

Awesome, hilarious, and oh-so-true, and what a great picture of your beautiful, precious family at the end of it all! Loved this post!

Jenna said...

Oh, I had to share this with my mother. She and I both loved it. Great post, and I love that picture. :D

Hardygirl said...

Sob!!

sf

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Beautifully written!

Gail said...

Wonderful post, heartwarming and true.

I hope you're considering that beautiful photo for your holiday cards:-)

Solvang Sherrie said...

Great photo and great post. Happy holidays!

Melissa said...

Great post! (it's made me a little teary-eyed)

PS - my verification word is "amiss"

Hmmm . . . . That's gotta mean something, I think.