Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 109: Notebooks, Chaos, and Balance

Notebooks are my salvation... and my downfall. I've been trying to jot down my random thoughts, to-do lists, ideas, discipline issues with the kids, and a host of other mundane, but oh-so-necessary, tasks in notebooks because I forget things so easily these days. Do you see the problem already? Notebooks is plural. My notebook situation has become as bad as my mental situation -- the thoughts are now strewn around my vehicle, living room, kitchen, bedroom, school room, and a few other places that I can't remember (I bet I made a note in a notebook.). Instead of collecting my thoughts in safe place, I've scattered them to the winds of my life. In short, the only improvement is that I now usually know that I'm forgetting something, but I still have no clue what.

How does this relate to my worth? Good question. I've noticed that I am very hard on myself for not remembering things. Just yesterday I was exasperated with my nine year old for not telling me he was done with an assignment (you know what I'm going to say next, right?)... and when I huffily asked him why he was playing instead of telling me he'd finished, he and the fourteen year old both quietly said that he had told me and I had responded with, "Good. I'll be right with you." (This is the part where my head hits the desk and I begin to groan and sigh.) It's so easy to beat myself up over this -- it's hardly the first time it's happened. But before I get to far on berating myself for being inattentive, or side tracked, or whatever, I also have to take note that the boy told me while I was in the middle of teaching the teenager and the little kids were playing loudly in the next room. Multitasking anyone?

My working theory on this constant state of forgetfulness is that multitasking creates chaos. Don't get me wrong -- a certain amount of plate spinning is required in life (think of the circus act where the clown runs back and forth to spin plates on the ends of sticks... plates that he has to keep spinning lest they crash). This goes back to what I said before: I am worth my sanity. There is only so much a person can do in a day. There are only so many thoughts a person can follow in a given period of time. Motherhood is all about constant interruption and correction and somehow finding joy in between. No matter what role I'm playing, there are only so many plates I can keep spinning at once.

Maybe this means I'm worth taking myself less seriously? Oh, I'm not saying I should ditch any of my responsibilities or let them all go to pot. It just seems logical that there must be some line in the sand that I've crossed... a line between joyful living and overbearing burden. I really do think there's a way to build a fence on that line so that a balance can be struck. How to do that? That's the question of the day.

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