Thursday, February 19, 2009

Living the day you're given

I had so much I wanted to get done today.

If you could see my house right now, you would totally understand and maybe even offer to help. I even had it all written down (one of my favorite things to do- lists!) and it was a beautiful balance of exercise, mundane but satisfying chores, and a few things that were actually very important. All of this needed to be done to make way for the second list I had made detailing the fun activities I had lined up for the weekend.

Then I heard the coughing around 4am. You know- the bad kind. From more than one bedroom. Then I started coughing. And shivering. And some other stuff.

So now, I am facing a legal and moral minimum of two days in which my kids must be kept out of school, and I have a decision to make. Do I rally myself as much as possible and get at least half of my "to do" list done despite the obstacles?

No.

I have been given a completely different day to live than the one I had down on that list. I have a day that I couldn't have lived otherwise- a day with two of my three kids within arms reach for hours on end.

To try to stick to that list would be a waste- in more than one way. Besides the fact that it will take me three times as long to do each item as it will be in a few days, I would be wasting something more- the day I was meant to live NOW.

Today is really just a dramatic example of something I'm discovering about every day - that if I stay in tune with the signals my own body, mind, and surroundings are sending me about the kind of day it's going to be, then I will always get done what I was meant to do that day.

Some days, I wake up with a complete burst of energy. Those are the days I should just knock out a bunch of mindless and tiring chores. Other days, I'm particularly introspective. Those are good writing days. When a bunch of friends suddenly appear, that's my signal to get "productive socializing" done that day (time is never wasted when it brings you closer to someone). Sometimes, my kids are unusually content to occupy themselves, and so I can tackle a project with more concentration than usual.

But I need to wait for these signals, and give up some of my compulsive control issues. Not always easy.

Yes, we all have things that must be done on a daily basis, but much of our "to do" list could be done at least weekly. That way, we can pick the right day and time and mood to match the task at hand. We will also find that if we do this, we'll also be doing more meaningful tasks because we're paying better attention to the true needs of the day.

It's the equivalent of swimming with the current rather than against.

I believe each day gives us the exact number of hours we need to successfully and meaningfully live that day. We just need to be sure we know what day it is.

Now I'm going to play with my kids.

-The Wasteless Mom

18 comments:

Lianne said...

Wow! It's like you've been in my house and in my head. You said just what I needed to hear! Thanks for a great blog!

kindnessgirl.com said...

I love this...I sometimes struggle with the living in the moment vs. keeping things going. Guilt creeps in so quickly.
We too had a sick day over here, I ended up playing war and go fish for hours. I can't remember the last time we did that, it was nice.

Steve Doyne said...

One of the greatest posts I have read anywhere!!!! Thank you sharing this day in your life and your beautiful thoughts about it.

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