I would like to report to you how I was able to effectively de-clutter my house and place Holiday-themed kid art in mailing tubes, each holiday designated by a different tube. Or how I finally turned those old sweaters we no longer wear into purses. And in between that, I found each and every one of the stiff-covered-in-mud dirty socks stuffed behind racks in the mudroom. But instead, I’m fighting the sleep deprivation of having my biological clock changed by Daylight Savings Time, and a very stubborn 6th grader who thinks he “needs a break after school” and won’t start his homework until 8 p.m. Just getting everyone out of bed these last 3 mornings has effectively wiped me out, for just about the entire day.
Instead there are dust bunnies on the top of the piano (send those Piano Guys over to pop open that lid and do a good scrubbing while they’re patting that paper snare drum.)
Laundry is piling up, and teenagers want to go everywhere, non-stop. I’m getting the clothes washed and dried, but they never make it out of the laundry room, in drawers, where they belong. And the kids, they actually have the nerve to ask me to take them shopping to get more clothes — for spring.
They say that daylight savings time is hazardous to our health, that heat attacks actually go up this week. I will add that having our sleep cycles messed with lowers our immune systems. So, that’s me. I came down with a troublesome infection, and spent most of last night at urgent care waiting on lab results, and waiting for my prescription to be filled. (That’s beginning to be the longest part of medical visits today — waiting on the pharmacy. Suddenly we have as many pharmacies on street corners as Starbucks, but it takes longer to get our medicine?) Needless to say, I wasn’t here to crack the whip to get that homework done — and Dad just assumed, this was all normal.
It was downright painful this morning, running upstairs, back and forth, reminding those kids to get up for school, while I packed those lunches, while Rosie kept trying to steal their sandwiches off the counter. Pushing them out the door was like giving birth one more time…
And, seriously, it’s going to get down to 10 degrees today?
So, how in the world do we find equilibrium now, post daylight savings time? Just to make the pain go away; giving us back our own routines, of when we like to wake, and when we go to sleep… and our bodies just doing it, and going along with it. Life is too hard, and we are too old, to forces our bodies to get out of the grooves we’ve made — and trying to lift our bicycle tires out of those groves, and make new ones. (How dare they take this right from us, twice a year?!)
Ann Voskamp says, “When you are a musician and you stop counting? …it’s like running around in the forest, in the dark without a flashlight.”
It is that old adage that I’ve written about so many times before, but I never realized until lately, that it was a way to sustain you… to keep you from creating new habits that go down dark alleys. It’s a way to turn your life onto a different road, the path less traveled, to choose instead, to ignore the bad, to look the other way, and find the — gifts? Even if the gift is simply, “I’m glad that morning is over!” And to savor the gift of wrapping my hands around this warm cup of tea and savor the taste so sweetly, and oh so familiar… and how just letting your mind go there, can literally take me back to my Grandma’s house, where we drank this same tea — and just thinking about her makes me smile. Now, that’s a journey I never would have taken this morning, if not for noticing my tea. I could have just gulped it down, and planned my counter-attack on that 6th grader – creating a war within me before it’s even started.
Start counting… the good… it’s a subtle shift… this gratitude thing… but it’s powerful.
Savoring this tea, thinking about my Grandma, are two things that can’t be stolen away by the stashes of socks lurking in the mudroom, the boxes I must de-clutter. And, that means I don’t have to “get-it-all-done” before I can go to this deeper place of contentment. But, I will say, that this “place” the tea has taken me to, does make the tasks of conquering those socks a little more approachable.
I hope you don’t make your gratitude journal a chore you can never get to — one that demands that you look for the silver linings in every situation — because you can’t make that happen. Contrived gratitude lists, for house, job, and car, don’t take you deep enough to the place where you are actually living. They don’t take you to the place where you want to be for your children, or yourself. Look down at your hands right now — and just let that “gift” float up and let it take you to an entirely different place.