Tuesday, April 4, 2017

In the Scheme of Things

*could alternately be titled Things I Just Don't Care About Anymore or Bigger Fish to Fry

I do realize that the majority of my posts lately (since last summer) have been about cancer. I feel marginally bad about that. But, only marginally.

Because a cancer diagnosis rocks your world. And fighting the fight against cancer completely changes your life. There is a definite before and after. The relatively easy, care-free before. The horrendously hard ever-after.

Your life changes. Your approach to life changes. A lot of it is simply being in survival mode. But, some of it is that you come to realize that there are important things, and not important things. And there is no need to sweat the unimportant.

In the scheme of things, some things really don't matter all that much. They are not worth the extra mental energy. And they certainly aren't worth a burden of guilt.

That ever touted "mom guilt". I'm just not buying it.

Things like....

Sugary cereal. The past 9 months my family has single-handedly kept box tops for education afloat. Between Lucky Charms and Cheerios, we are funding school(s). I'm doing my part. In all seriousness, we actually haven't eaten that much cold cereal, but we've eaten a ton for our family. And, I'm okay with that. My kids eat tons of fruit and vegetables, so sugary cold cereal a couple times a week will not kill them. It has been totally worth it, for my peace of mind. The same goes for pizza, and Stouffer's lasagna, and store bought bread, and Aldi's simmer sauce. Sanity and rest in this season made the decision a no brainer. Taking the easy path occasionally on these few items has allowed me to parent much better on other fronts.

Dyed Hair. Last spring I dyed Meres' and LC's hair. And, I got some flack for it. Which I actually thought was kind of ironic because women dye their hair every day of the week, and everyone is polite enough to not notice. I guess it only crosses a line when it is blue or pink? Anyway...pink hair is nothing when lined up against hair loss from chemo. It becomes a total non issue. Meres is going to the salon next week, and guess what? She is planning to get streaks of color in her hair. It is beautiful and it is her personality. Her "boy" hair has been hard for her. Sometimes people equate hair color with rebellion, but today it is a whole lot deeper for her than that. Today it's a way to make her feel beautiful, and I'm all for that.

Cinderella dresses. The girls got princess dresses from Disney World. And Meres, especially, has been wearing hers everywhere. To the grocery store. To the salon. To the dentist. To school. To church. And frankly, I don't care. Before cancer me would have wondered about the appropriateness of wearing a glittery princess dress to church. After cancer me really doesn't care. There are bigger fish to fry. I'm just thankful that she is healthy enough to be out and about, wearing a princess dress. Yes, I'm sure there is more appropriate church garb, and she will eventually be wearing it to church again. But, for now, I just smile in her glittery wake, and I thank God for her indomitable personality.

Drama. When your child has cancer, there is enough drama in your life. It truly is a life and death struggle, and there is no room for trumped up drama in your life. Politics, elections, protests, just don't matter nearly as much. All the social media back and forth this past year, it only made me think, "you are so blessed to have nothing more urgent to worry about than ____." I'm also done with relationship drama. When a relationship is sapping energy and focus that is needed for God, spouse and children, then it is time to let it loose. Especially when you try and try, and just dig yourself deeper. It is super sad and hard, but sometimes necessary.

See, it's not that any of these things aren't important. Eating healthy is important. Dressing appropriately is important. (hair color is NOT important.) Elections and voting are important. Relationships are very important.

But, in the contexts I've listed, these things are just not important to me, right now.

And, for the record, important is rather subjective. What is important or non-important to me, could be the exact opposite for you. Which is quite right and good.

For me, this year, it all has boiled down (once again) to priorities. My first priority is my relationship with God. My next priority is my husband-loving him well, meeting his needs, and cultivating our relationship. My third priority is my kids. Parenting to the glory of God. Educating them, and tending to their spiritual growth, and caring for their health.

That's my filter. There is no perfect formula that works best for all time and in all life seasons. It requires flexibility, and grace, and reliance on God for direction and filling in the gaps that I miss in my humanity.

What is just not important in your scheme of things today?