My Race – Lessons in Perseverance and Priorities

My house keeper comes every other Wednesday.  I greet her each time with a lengthy apology about why my house is in its current state.  Embarrassed, I leave her money on the counter and sneak out with the boys.  We come home an hour later, and her team has erased weeks worth of filth and grime.  It is a miracle.  Every time, it is a miracle.  Just a few short hours after we get home, when the smell of our botanical cleaning products has faded, it is hard to tell that she was ever here.  By the time the boys are in bed, the only evidence left is a master bedroom with a made up bed.  Everything else is a sh*t show.

Many well-meaning peeps have tried to comfort me by mentioning that this toddler phase is hard.  You are “in the weeds” they say.  It will get better they say.  I have even heard that I will MISS this time.  Yay?

Our brand of weeds seem to grow tall in cycles.  Just as we mow down one large crop of them, I can see more growing again, and we enter a new phase.

My current dream is to get to the stage where the boys can both get in the car on their own.  I imagine saying…”Ok boys, go hop in the car,” and having them be able to follow those direction and execute the command.  Leaving home on my own with both boys is a dance of grabbing one, and pushing the door closed on the other to prevent escape. Then, I go back in to rescue the one that has fallen to pieces on the floor because you clearly left without him.  While I am out, unless I bring the gargantuan double stroller on every errand, one of the two of them can/will RUN away.  They are fast little minions.

Just the other day, I did not have the stroller, so I popped Lucas in the ergo to run in and pick up Trevor from school.  So here we come out the school doors and Trevor takes off.  I run as fast as is possible with a kid strapped to my front and grab him. I am quickly faced with a decision about how to get them into the car.  I tried to trap Trevor in between the car door and my body while muscling Lucas out of the ergo and into his seat.  I realized after two jail breaks, that I should just get Trevor in first.  I walk around and use my leg to sort of scoop Trevor’s bum up while lifting his arms.  The whole process was crap, and I was sweating once they were both buckled.  If anyone witnessed…

Speaking of Trevor, his speech is coming along.  Slow, but steady.  He is also making progress in his gross motor development.  At a few months shy of three, he went down several stairs this week without holding someone’s hand, or a rail.  HUGE win!  If we just keep doing the next best thing for him, he will get there.  Trevor graduates out of his group speech class at age three, so we will have to transition him to a regular pre-school.  SOB.  I am still looking into which one.  SHHHHHHH, I know that I should have already decided.

Dave is traveling this week, and work has been crazy, and my nanny was unable to come on Monday.  Since it is now Thursday, it must mean I survived the first few days.  I have no memory of the specifics, with the exception of the clean sheets yesterday.  I remember those.

Overall, I am feeling out of balance.  My real food adventures have finally started to get easier, but they do still require more time than I seem to have available.  I have a few commitments outside of the home as well (besides actual work), and I am trying to fit those in.  It took someone asking me if I was ill for me to finally go buy clothes that fit.  I just did not have time to go shopping alone.

I read an article last week about being balanced as a mom that also works.  There were several tips that stuck out, but here are two of my favorites.

  1. Determine what is most important.  The mom suggested gauging your priorities by asking: “Will this be important in 10 minutes, 10 days or 10 years?”  If it will be important in 10 years, make that your first priority.  (Needless to say, I finished setting up college accounts for our boys that same week.)  I loved this so much that it is written on my white board at work.  I need constant reminders to have a long term focus.  Facebook, you are SO 10 minutes, Pinterest meal searching, you are pretty 10 days, but my faith and my family’s wellness (time with my boys, our health – including what we eat, and paying off debt) are the epitome of 10 years and beyond.
  2. Choose something to sacrifice.  It is clear to any visitor (including the aforementioned cleaning lady) that I am sacrificing the state of my home.  My close friends will also attest to my lack of response to phone calls, text messages and even emails.  I need to be stalked.  I am SURE that the author was not intending to indicate friendships should be sacrificed.  So, I guess I have to get honest about what else needs to go in order for me to focus on the things that fall into the “10 year” category.

I sat this week in the evenings while Dave has been gone, and reflected on priorities, and sacrifice.  It makes me misty, and so frustrated that my “want monster” keeps whispering lies.  His influence has led to my wants overpowering my needs.  It is causing the unbalanced feeling, and it is a daily or hourly choice to have a long term focus.  It is all a choice.

My periods of calm are merely water breaks in life’s race.  It is not the finish yet.

This is my race.  The one I was meant to run.  It is exhausting, and dirty, and it is hard to see the finish.  But it is mine.  I have everything I need.

“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”    Hebrews 12:1 – The Message


2 thoughts on “My Race – Lessons in Perseverance and Priorities

  1. Weeds often have blossoms and they perservere (sp) with little or no effort. They are strong and resilient and more. In the priority inclusions your friends and the friendships you nurture and develop, the real ones, will be there 10 years from now. Text, return calls and answer emails however brief.

    • Becky, thanks for the great reminder. I should have clarified that I am letting some things take a back seat that SHOULD be given more care, and letting things that are not as important become a priority. Good friendships are a rare gift!

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