I often have great ideas for what I’m going to accomplish in a day. The day starts off with a bang, getting the children through their morning routines and into a rhythm. My morning energy leads to noticing all the things I could do. As we enjoy our day together, meandering through what calls to us, the list of possibilities grows. I think of things that need to be done and tuck them in the back of my mind for those sacred hours after the children go to bed. I have big plans to mulch my flowerbeds, fold the four baskets of laundry or finally wipe that yogurt smear off my front window. Then dinner happens, the children go to bed and I am faced with a messy kitchen and no energy for the now crumpled list that lies in the back corners of my mind. The garden waits, the laundry waits, the yogurt smear waits.
It has taken me three children to realize that there will always be more work. “Catching up” on the laundry is futile. No sooner is the last load done, folded and put away, that it happens for someone to have a leaky diaper, requiring a full bedding change. It doesn’t seem to matter how many days I experience the same pattern of setting goals for my evening hours, only to find myself reading instead. I still keep trying. Perhaps this is the human spirit or just my way of being able to continue the journey. I like to think of it as creating a vision, but responding to change! Regardless, I no longer feel guilt over self-preservation. My evening often has a yield beyond accomplishing domestic tasks. Without some down time in the evenings, I find I’m not refreshed enough for the next day. I’ve pushed through too many nights of staying up a bit too late in order to try and ‘get it all done’ to know that it leaves me strapped the next day. What was a beautiful home the night before only explodes again because I lack the energy to sustain it.
My messes, like the weedy perimeter of a garden holds the sustainable growth for our future.