Monday, December 19, 2011

Done, Completed, Finished

Quiet...sigh.=)  It is after 8:00 on a weekday morning and my kids are just waking up. You got to love Christmas break! I love mornings. I used to wonder if I was a morning person? Does it count if you pick up an early morning habit by default? My dad got us up every morning at 5:15 for family devotions. This started when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, and continued the rest of my unmarried life. Now I get up early to swim, and run (when its a bit lighter out that it is currently), and to have a cup of coffee and a chat with Brian. I love the quiet of the early morning. I love the stillness of the world. There is little in the way of traffic sounds. And everything seems clean, and bright with new possibilities.
Today I am contemplating my day and week.  As I was reminded on the radio this morning, only 6 short sleeps until Christmas. (I am thinking they had better be "long" sleeps. After all, it is break.) I'm sitting with my notebook and bright pink post-it note.  I've made my list, I've checked it twice. Now we will get down to it. Today I am cooking a turkey. I love turkey, and I love turkey dinner. We will have turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry jelly. Delicious! And then we can have leftovers for the next few days. Turkey sandwiches, hot turkey sandwiches, turkey/broccoli/stuffing casserole. Truly the leftovers are the best part of cooking a turkey. I also have some sewing still to do. Elsie's "2-hour" jumper is on the agenda for today. And those blankets. Hopefully I will get one started, if not finished today. I also need to make bread. We seem to be moving through loaves faster and faster. And some paperwork. And wrapping. And taking each kid Christmas shopping. And cleaning the house-especially the jobs I skimped on last week.=) And more baking. All little enough things. If I can do a couple a day, it will all get done.
So I read something cool, and uber encouraging this weekend. About lists. Obviously I'm a list person. I always have lists. It keeps me on track-knowing what needs to be done. And the accomplished feeling of the scratch marks. But what about when I can't do what is on my list? When I am going and going, but my list is not getting done? When things that are happening don't merit a place on the list, but are still taking up time and effort? That can be rather discouraging! But the revolutionary idea is to make a list of what you HAVE done. Wouldn't that be encouraging! Like, this morning I've taken the BFF to the airport, swam, had coffee with Brian, started laundry and done my devotions. That's a lot accomplished already...but none of it is on my day/week "to do" list. How about things like making breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bathing kids. Feeding an infant over and over and over again. myself and to my kids. Doing myself and with my kids.
I think moms sometimes feel like we aren't getting anything done. It can be so discouraging. And we want to be the Proverbs 31 woman who has it all, sewing, garden, shopping, cleaning, home industry. And she is pulled together. Not in sweats and curlers. Showered and shaved. Make-up on. Beautiful inside and out.=)(btw, those are my additions to the list, but don't we all think that too?) This is the ideal that we have been raised on, and that our husbands have been raised on. I think it is a great goal. A wonderful ideal. And it can be such a burden. And in addition to that, we all know its a heart thing, not just doing all the right things.
So, let's give ourselves a break this holiday season. Make your "to-do" list. And then each night, make your "done" list. And be content with somewhere in the middle. Be encouraged. Be flexible. Be willing to let go. Are the kids going to remember the cookies, or the "perfect" gift? Are they going to have a picture of their mom running around like a crazy woman all the time? Or can we give them memories of just hanging out with their mom? Of a mom who took time for them?
Abundance of appetizers at the BFF's
Good food and good conversation were had
by all!

We had bruschette, roll up, green bean bundles, ricotta dip,
asparagus rolled in proscuitto, crab rounds, stuffed japelenos.

A lot of the Christmas carols and poems have the underlying idea of stillness, quiet and reflection. If I could put that on my "done" list, that would be awesome.