Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gone too much

It's Thursday and this is my first day in over two weeks where I haven't had to go somewhere. (I though perhaps I would get to stay home last Thursday, but I made a trip to the ER instead.) And my house is looking the worse for it. It's not that I'm gone all day, for the most part just an hour or maybe two each day, but it adds up.

I have discovered something about myself. When I'm home, I have a rhythm to my day. I can move from activity to activity without rushing and generally manage to accomplish the things I had planned. (Maybe I should have written 'thing', because really if there is more than one item on my to-do list, I won't be getting it done.) But when I'm out, I lose my rhythm. If I know I'm going to be leaving in 15 or 20 minutes, I am hesitant to begin something that I know will take longer, so bigger projects aren't started. Then when I get home, I find I need a re-entry time to collect my thoughts and reorganize my thinking for being home. I don't just move from being out and being home very easily.

For instance, I have been out for a couple of hours and get home at 4pm, I'm never quite able to just jump in at 4:05 and start where I left off. Usually, there are various minor crises involving children that I must attend to, or a child or children really need to tell me something that they have been saving up since I left, or I need to put things back to rights after having been gone and the masses have been entertaining themselves. Plus, since I am a natural introvert, if I have been interacting with people, I just really need to rest. I love talking with people, but it takes its toll and I find it very tiring.

Now this month has been particularly busy. There have been more unexpected doctor (and vet!) appointments than usual. Plus, I just haven't been keeping tabs on household items very well, and several times have had to run out for vital things which have run out. It all adds up, just like the laundry piling up in my basement. When I finish this, I will go throw a load in and straighten up the kitchen. Only then will I feel able to really work on something. Next week doesn't look much better, but I have high hopes for February.

While each person is unique, I'm sure I'm not the only one to function or feel this way. It's taken a long time for me to realize my own personal quirks and to stop feeling bad about them. Our society tells us so often that unless we are always occupied, then we are lazy or not pulling our own weight, but I don't believe it. Anymore, at least. And the occupied part of it always involves being out of the house... going to classes, working, driving your children to sports, going, going, going.

When I am away from my home too much, there is a cost, and that cost is the organization and peacefulness of my home. If I'm not there, I can't keep up with the things which need to be done. I feel as though I'm always playing catch-up and not only does my house not appear peaceful, it also does not feel peaceful because I have moved into frantic, always-behind-mode. It can become a vicious cycle. If your home does not provide you the peace and comfort you need to recharge and do what needs to be done, you will avoid it... often by being gone even more.

There's a solution, though. Trim back your schedule, it might mean saying no to things you know you or your children might enjoy. (I say no to quite a few things and will probably have to say no to some more in the near future.) If your home is really in chaos, it might take a real sustained and concerted effort to bring it back, but it can be done. Focus on one room at a time. For me, if my kitchen and laundry room seem neat and organized, I always feel as though I can handle things. And allow yourself to rest. Just because we think we should be doing something all the time, doesn't mean we should or that it is good for us. Resting is important, too.

So now that I'm rested (it's what I do during quiet time), I feel as though I can tackle my house after a morning of school. Maybe by the time I'm done today, people will even have clean underwear for the morning.

Today is Harvey's day. Please pray for this little one who so desperately needs the love of a family.

This is Harvey. He is 3 years old and is the size of an infant. Harvey is extremely malnourished and also has some cranial-facial issues. This little one also touches my heart since K. was malnourished (at some points in his life, rather extremely) and two of my children have cranial-facial issues. It is something that sounds very scary, I know. But my children are so much more than their diagnoses. This little boy has never known what it is to be loved and cared for. Doesn't he deserve at least that?

1 comment:

Ann said...

My house has been crazier than I like lately--I like it CLEAN and ORGANIZED :-) That doesn't always go well with a houseful of kids! Like you, I try to just focus on the basics when in survival mode--kitchen, laundry, entryway and bathrooms. If I can keep those up I feel like I am still in control--even if the piles are pileing up!

In terms of introverts, have you read the book Quiet? It's great!

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