The recent ice storm in all its beauty and devastation made me realize how fast paced all of our lives are even if we think they aren’t. Living without power has its wicked way of slowing daily life down to a halt in some areas. Think about it, didn’t life just get a little simpler at home? For me, it boiled down to just the basics. (Funny that I say “boil” because I had to do lots of that!) I won’t say that I didn’t miss having hot water come out of my faucets on demand. I did and badly! But, those 12 days sans electricity were somehow relaxing. Yes, really. I’m not so sure why except that I just kinda took a mental load off myself by giving myself permission to just “get by” with exactly just enough of what I need to do and no more. I have to admit too that I loved having all my family gathered together a little closer. I know it was the gas fireplace that lured them upstairs in one room. This one particular evening was a nice “fuzzy warm” scene with all my kids from 20 years old down to the 2 year old and a couple of teen friends coloring with crayons and sprawled out all over the living room floor.
When the power was restored 12 days later, I was relieved and sad all at the same time. Hours later, I realized why the sad feeling…..or was it actually dread? I don’t know. All I do know is that I began this frenzy of cleaning and doing doing doing stuff that I hadn’t been doing while the power was out. By the end of that evening, I was exhausted and irritable and its all my fault. Who told me I had to “do” all that stuff anyway? I’m 40 years old and ought to have figured all this out by now. I am to blame if I live a life so filled with “ought-to’s” and “gotta-get-dones” that I’m burned out and drained. There are some days that end without me even doing one thing that I really wanted to do!
So, I’ve decided to give myself permission to just do what needs to be done and let the rest go for whenever. If you come over and find that my house is not up to Martha Stewart standards and you are offended, then you need to get a life. I’m not saying that the house is horrible or unkempt, but I know people that clean obsessively and would call “keeping house” a hobby. Thank goodness I’m not one of them. I’ve tried to be in the past and it makes me real cranky and hard to live with. “Cleaning the house while the kids are still living in it is like shoveling the walk while its still snowing”……….I don’t know who said that, but I agree! I’m old enough to know what’s really important for the moment and deserve to take a break from the “gotta-get-dones” by doing more “wanna-do’s”. I’ve caught myself here in the last few days working up to a nice little frenzy over my to-do list, but I’m putting on the brakes. There is always time for those things, but there may not always be time for what’s really important. You know……like spending time with family, watching the sun set, doing what your passionate about or drinking coffee and talking to God before the kids wake up.