Natural Selection

I like to say I'm a Darwinian gardener; if an ornamental plant can't make it in my yard on it's own without any babying by me, it needs to wither and die peacefully. Eventually, I'll notice the brown spot that used to be green and yank what's left of the plant or bush from the flowerbed.

Plants that serve a higher purpose - like tomato plants or shade trees - I'm willing to devote more time to their care. There's nothing quite as tasty as a fresh tomato sandwich on a hot summer day, especially under the shelter of a swaying tree.

As April draws to an end and May threatens to explode off the calendar page, it's days already so packed with events and obligations, I find myself wishing I could dispassionately apply the same sort of natural selection I use in my gardening to all of my commitments...and to my dreams.

The blogosphere has been besieged over the last few months with posts by moms about finding balance as a mom in this new millennium, some arguing that it is possible, some stating that it's a big lie.

I think we all define balance in different ways according to our means and situation. I don't work a job outside of the home, so that issue is off the table for me. But I find my time further and further obligated to volunteering and to all that comes with kids who are getting older and becoming more involved in activities. Gone for me are the days of parktime and playtime and naptime; I'm in a brave new world of mommying where overlapping schedules keep me hopping to the beat of the ticking clock.

With my time to pursue any of my passions or goals so severely limited, I find myself assessing what's on my plate and wondering what I should do now that I've heaped on one good thing after another.

What do I give up? I ask myself over and over again. Blogging? Writing? Running? Volunteering? They are all good for my body and soul.

It's hard to pick and choose from all that I see but I do have to face the reality of having only 24 hours in each day and the necessity for rest. Coffee, while yum, is no substitute for a decent night's sleep.

And peeps? After giving up sleep for the better part of six years, I'm not giving up on that.

Those need-to's and want-to's in my life won't simply wither away like a fickle flower; they are all healthy and vibrant.

I have to force myself to choose...or at least, to prune carefully.

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