Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Juggling Chaos

I have a precious friend who once said that she needed a business card that explained her job title as this: "Managing Crazy, Getting Sh*t Done."

These days, mine would look an awful lot like that but I would change it to this: "Juggling Chaos, Getting Sh*t Done... Or Maybe Not."

Yesterday was a typical day for us.  Julianna and I drove to Hillsborough to get a copy of a form we needed for her adoption.  Then we stopped by our attorney's office to sign some paperwork, then home for a missed nap time.  (That always leads to a super fun afternoon!)  E got home from school, the mail came with a random check for Mom from an account we knew nothing about, so I began the investigation to see what was going on there.  Then when Dan got home I passed off kids abruptly, ran to the bank, then took part in a Grief Group at Hospice for people who have lost their parents.  I cried with strangers who became friends and then ran back home- getting gas on the way so that AAA didn't have to show up on the side of the road.  I walked in to find an anxious daughter who wasn't able to finish her homework on the computer because she'd lost the privilege of the computer for making a poor choice.  So as I sat down on the couch, I caught Dan up on it all and I cried.

I cried because I'd had a conversation with my brother about when to scatter Daddy's ashes.

I cried because the people at Hospice "get it" and have brought up so many things in my heart.

I cried because a friend unexpectedly lost his Dad yesterday.

I cried because our house was trashed... and I'm tired of it.

I cried because I just plain miss my parents.

During my productive morning, I juggled our chaos and I got stuff done.  A lot of it, actually.  So when I hit the moment that I just couldn't do anymore... it was okay to not do anymore.

We are raised to be finishers... we want to complete the task, mark it off our to-do list.  I am this way as well.  But I am also a starter.  I have a bazillion started projects downstairs- books I didn't finish, things I wanted to paint, old stationery projects uncompleted, half done scrapbooks... I am a pro at starting.  Finishing, however, is not my strong suit.  Don't believe me?  Check my college transcript for the dates between Freshman Year and Graduation...

In this season of grief and exhaustion, my Juggling Chaos is never harder than when it's trying to determine when to be productive and when to rest.  I teeter between excellent self-care and slothfulness.  I hover over the line of giving myself grace and giving myself permission to do too little... or sometimes, too much.

In between picking up forms and signing things yesterday, Julianna and I stopped at a park to play for a bit.  Near us was a woman sitting alone on a bench who was wrecked with sadness.  I'm not sure if she was suffering from mental illness, or if a situation had left her incapable of anything than sitting on that bench and crying.  Her sadness was palpable... maybe I picked up some of it along the way.  As I pushed Julianna in the swing, I prayed for the woman.  I prayed for myself.  I prayed for the pain and the drowning feeling of the Chaos we both were feeling.  All while I pushed Julianna "higher, Mommy... higher!"

Maybe my Chaos will get better today.  Maybe it will get better next week.  Or maybe it won't get better at all.  I don't know what's next for my schedule, my laundry, my bank account, or my heart... but I do know this:  Not one thing got knocked off my To-Do list yesterday while I was pushing this little girl on the swings.  But nothing on it was more important than pushing her, either.

So here's to being a finisher of the important things.  And a juggler of everything else.

And the wisdom to know when to stand back and just push the swing.