I had a day last week - mind you, it was still July and still technically the laziest part of summer for my family - where I was overwhelmed. Not by the day in question; it was late in the evening, the kids were tucked away in bed, and my day as mom was winding down.
What flummoxed me, what absolutely floored me as the weight of it settled onto my shoulders while I set the delay on the coffee maker for five am sharp, folded laundry, and carried random bits of toys and treasures upstairs to the respective kid rooms where they belonged, was the list ticking through my mind of what needed to be done tomorrow.
There were the must do's.
The wanna do's.
And the what-am-I-gonna-do's?! as my mind ran through all the waiting, patient cajoling, and sibling-feather-ruffling and feather-smoothing that would be a necessary part of my plan for the day if any of my must do's much less wanna do's were actually to be accomplished.
Somewhere between the top of the stairs and the linen closet upstairs, between the mental chasing of my tail and incessant list-making, a thought solidified and rose to the top of the bubbling chaos:
Girl, you are allowing yourself to be defeated by a day that hasn't even happened yet.
And I stopped, finding calm in the eye of my self-made storm, realizing how this was both true and ridiculous at the same time.
I read this post at Conversion Diary earlier this week; as the lazy hazy days of July gave way to the increasing tempo of August, the questions that Jennifer outlined keep coming to the forefront of my mind.
The question that has popped up the most is Q2: How does it impact your primary vocation?
For so long, I've held in my tight little fists this great desire to write just one big thing, one defining work that would outlive me, one that would endure time.
And then - this simple question that I read in a rush stops me, catches me, reminds me.
My life isn't a zero-sum game where one part of me must be reduced to a negative number in order to balance out the part of me that right now must be increased and then increased again as I give freely to those that need me. I see the word primary and I remember the necessity of priorities, of embracing one vocation as first and most important while the other vocation sits patiently for me, still there, still breathing, but still.
Their faces are a freckle continuum: one a sea of spots, one a smattering, one bare except for a few.
They are my one big thing.
They are the work that has defined me.
I dare to hope that the love that pushed me through the exhaustion of the early years, the love that now delights in the wonder of watching them bloom will endure time, shining from them into the world.
And I remind myself to stop striving, stop pushing, to just stop and breathe deeply the small moments of peace that punctuate this busy life.