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The Disease of Being Busy…

“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence and honest purpose, as well as perspiration.” Thomas Edison

Like the majority of people, I am busy. I have 4 busy children, a house that needs tended to, and I have a full time job. I have to fit in orthodontist appointments, teacher meetings, sporting events, dinner plans, and somehow have to manage to keep my own appointments in the process. The concept alone is exhausting.

“Life is short”, we all say. We have to fit in as much as possible, and stay as busy as we can, while we can…right?

The thought process of that statement is genious. It seems to make perfect sense! That is, until something happens that proves you are a complete idiot.

Recently, I have been so busy and tired that Ive begun to whine about it publicly, irritating my own self in the process….. BUT this month, in addition to all of the busyness of my various undertakings, this was happening….

Starting about a month ago, I began to notice a small leak in my back tire. At this point, I would spend the $1.00 to fill it with air, in hopes that the temperature was to blame for the deflation, instead of the 100,000 miles that had been placed on it.

4 days later, I would spend it again….

Losing track of days and money, I would randomly fill this tire with air again and again, between toting my children to their desired places, taking my pets for their vaccinations, and grocery shopping for the umpteenth time. I would get to that tire when I stopped being so busy.

During a 3 day stint at work, after having to start the process of filling the tire daily, the reality began to hit me that the dangers of this tire may have started to outweight the importance of my busy IMPORTANT tasks.

I was running late to work on the third day…as usual. This time, I not only noticed the tire light on again, but also my gas light. Being to busy to stop, I went ahead to work.

After saving lives all day, I walked out of the hospital tired and aching…longing for that well needed glass of wine, and a foot rub that was unlikely. I knew I should have stopped at the gas station then, but I was just too tired. I decided to chance it, and try to make it to the station closer to home.

Half way home, I began to worry. I sent a quick text to my loving companion, to notify her that she may have to come fetch the pizza I had bought for dinner, on the side of the highway. I also asked that in case that were to happen, that she please bring a tire iron and a few gallons of gas.

Luckily, I found my way to the exit, riding out the last of the trip on only a rim and fumes. After rocking my body back and forth quickly, in a head banging sort of fashion, I eked my way directly in front of the pump. I then scoured my car for any remaining change, and went in with nickles and pennies, to ask for 4 quarters to fill my tire with air.

The gentleman inside smiled and said “Ma’am, this is kind of a fancy air pump, are you sure you know how to use it”?

Irritated, I scoffed at him. Having used every air pump in Indiana in the last month, I said “Sir, I have used half of my salary the last month on AIR, that we breathe for free. I could have bought 4 tires by now! I think Ive got it”! Geez, couldnt he tell I was BUSY!!?

Still, another week and a half came and went, and I was just as busy as ever! In addition to my regular chores, I had wine trip to get to, and a country concert…oh and dont forget about the poolside lounging, and the multitude of naps I needed to energize myself, before and after my “real” task oriented projects…like piddling…

I headed to work yet again, and this time I had to stay late. I wouldnt get home until midnight, and I had to be back at work at 7am the next morning. Again, my tire light was on before I left that morning…. I didnt even check it. Instead, I parked the car, and went into work, knowing that at midnight tonight that tire would have taken its last flat.

As though the tire could read my own mind, I came out to find that it sat nicely on its rim. I should have changed the tire at this point, to at least the spare, but I didnt have time to deal with this.

So instead, I naturally drove my car to the nearest gas station. Not knowing where that was, I relied on the GPS, which took me to one of the top five places in the city to get yourself shot! I was too scared to put the fix a flat in, because I didnt have time for my flesh to burn off my bones…and because I had trouble finding anyone who spoke english and/or anyone who wasnt at risk to show their underwear further, if bending over…So I did what any other foolish woman would do….

I filled that tire with an unknown amount of air, and drove it home with the hopes it wouldnt blow out on the highway. As luck would have it, I made it safely…

Today, 3 of my 4 tires are new.

Sometimes our “busy work” is an excuse to ignore more important things. I find myself saying “I dont have time”, more times than not. The true reality is….We have the time for what we think is important.

Life is short…We SHOULD fill it with what is important!…..But do yourself a favor and stop and check every now and then, just to remind yourself what is REALLY important!

Safe travels my friends….

 

 

 

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Uncovering the Calm in the Chaos

The flavor was bursting in my mouth, though I was certain it was the idea surrounding the food, not the food itself. It tasted earthy, as though I could almost taste the soil upon my tongue, yet it was a taste so wonderful, that it left me smiling from somewhere deep down in my soul.

Now that the spring time has arrived, and is in full force, our busy lives have just doubled. With four kids, we stay pretty busy most of the time anyway, but the spring just seems to bring about more chaos. The only great perk to this increase in busywork is that with the increase in sunshine…comes more energy to conquer these things.

We have to worry about end of the year partys, graduations for every grade, and for most parents, this is a time when every teacher assigns the biggest end of year project, that no one has time to do. Our children are figety, and ready to be done with school…..AND what that means for the children in this particular home, is that I get more phone calls home from the principal.

If thats not enough, the spring sporting events start, leaving us traveling from one sport to the other, with lawn chairs, winter coats, tank tops, water bottles, coffee mugs, sunglasses, gloves, umbrellas, fancy jade HUNTER rainboots, and a small flask filled with cheap liquor, to get us through the day. There is simply no way to be ready for the weather this time of year.

Then, after we fit all that in, we still have to clean up our yards, open our pools, plan our summer vacations, and still find time to grocery shop, pay bills, cook dinner, clean the house, get homework done, and hope that all of our children will survive the season, without having to unleash the wrath of our tightly wound, stressed bodies, while keeping a smile on our faces.

Our weekend was busy as usual. We had birthday slumber parties, gifts to buy for slumber parties, and bags to pack. We had people spending the night, leaving the dreaded question “Are we allowed to drink wine or arent we”! Saturday, the kids had a 5k to run for their school, and we immediately followed that up with my sons baseball game. After freezing our asses off there, my mom and I vowed to drag our old and tired bodies to shop at the Dress barn. She had daisy dollars burning a hole in her pocket, and we needed dresses for our upcoming graduation parties, and other summer gala's.

Today, we tried to tidy up, for the upcoming week. We needed to mow, pull weeds, pot plants, and still had to arrange to take our overnight guest home. In the middle of the day, I had to take my son to the entire opposite side of town for his last Choir performance of the season. They had to be there 3 hours early, and because I wasnt willing to waste my day away, waiting for it to start, I drove home in between. That meant I instead, I wasted two hours driving in the car. Brilliant!!

We finally got home around six, and then dinner and school projects still prevailed.

The thing is, in todays day and age, our lives revolve around our children. They have to be given the best of every opportunity, or we feel like we are not doing our jobs. Often, I find this whole idea absurd, and refuse to live my life, basing it on what practice or game we have to get to….Life is more than all of that!!

Yet, my actions speak louder than words…..

As I listened to the end of my sons concert, the conductor gave a small speech before the last song. He was informing us all about the importance of camps for our kids. Of course they had one to offer, which was astronomically priced. This made me think about all of the people that I know, that spare no expense to send their kids to camp. Though I have considered sending one of my children a time or two, I never thought it would be worth the money for the time spent!! They dont even get to stay the night at any of these camps…..and many of them encourage me to stay and watch my childs growth in the community!!

How exactly does this benefit me???

Well, the other day, while visiting the inner city with some of my friends, we stopped at the public library. Not to get books, but to utilize their bathroom. While waiting in line, we noticed that there was a flyer for a summer camp for kids. They had to be 11, but the entire 6 week camp, was only $30!!!

Immediately we giggled, knowing this was probably a camp to question. Many people pay 15 to 20 dollars a day for childcare…..Was this a dream come true?! It certainly seemed like it had a lot to offer! They just must not have a lot of overhead costs right? Well, I havent ruled it out entirely, as three of my children will be over 11 soon… For a mere $60, my kids could get the camp they've always thought they dreamed of, for the ENTIRE summer!!

Regardless of whether the DREAM camp happens or not, it is clear that I too, cater to my childrens needs and desires. Despite that, each of us got something accomplished that we wanted to do this weekend, and now it was time to relax a minute before bed…..

When we got home from the concert, the rest of my family had already eaten without us. There were two plates left to the side, for my son and I to heat up, and we sat down to eat together. In our periphery, we noticed a plate of fresh vegetables, and a strainer that held lettuce. It was a type of lettuce that we dont often eat. Right about the time that we were going to get it, my other children busted through the door, excited to see if we had eaten the lettuce from our very own garden!! The excitement on their face was enough to make me smile. As I ate the earthy foliage, it gave me a little nostalgia for the simpler things in life. For no other reason, except that we each played a role in what we were eating, it was the best I had ever tasted…. and I knew to them it was too.

I felt grateful to have found a bit of spring calm, in the midst of all of the chaos…..

 

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Laughter Therapy

WE all three turned our heads in unison, and all of our stress, all of our anxiety, and all of our frustrations turned to laugher!

Each of us has our own set of stressors that we deal with on a daily basis, and some days seem more packed with stuff than others. I am no different in regards to that. Dont get me wrong, I do find plenty of time to play when the kids are at school, but other days, I have to fit in the things that I neglected on those days.

Today I had a lot to fit in. I was determined to go to the gym, since I had done little in the form of exercise, since the mini marathon, 2 weeks ago. I had to go to the grocery store, because our cabinets were completely empty, and I really needed to clean my house badly. I needed to do about 4 loads of laundry, have dinner made shortly after the kids got home, and I could have desperately used a nap.

Before I left for any of these tasks, my buddy called asking me to move some of the last of her things into her new apartment. Even knowing I had so much to do, I told myself that I could clean this house any day…and it will still look the same in minutes. She needed my help.

I threw a load of laundry in, I made it to the gym, and I bought groceries and put them away by noon. I didnt have time to shower, before I was off to assist my friend, and I admit I smelled of a mixture of rain, urine, and a hint of paprika. Still, we stayed completely on task and used our complete 2 hour timeframe wisely. As a matter of fact, we finished right in time for me to leave, still leaving it questionable as to whether I would make it in time to pick up my kids.

Feeling rushed, unclean, and in a frenzy, I quickly gathered my children and headed home to start dinner. Tonight, 3 of our children had events that started around the same time. Usually, its 3 childrens events, divided by two parents, but today it was 3 childrens events and me. Luckily, due to rain, one event was cancelled immediately after school. That left two…

Dinner finished in just enough time for me to load the boys in the car to head on our way. My plan was to drop one off at his game early, then turn around and drive my other son to his practice 45 minutes away…then come back to the game. However, I was feeling nervous because the sky was dark. I was worried that the game would be cancelled, I would be nowhere near him, and I would be the horrible mother that left her child behind, with no umbrella!!

Just prior to reaching the ball field, the game was thankfully called off….Now there was only one.

However, we were now traveling on a road that was completely out of the way. It took us what seemed like forever to make our way to the highway, and I was growing very frustrated. As I traveled down the ramp to the highway, I noticed that the traffic was at a stand still. I could have cried tears at this point, though I felt silly for thinking this way.

We were moving so slowly, that is was becoming aparent that we werent even going to make it to the last event on time. I hate sitting in traffic, especially when its 5:00 and when I didnt have time to get gas! We snail paced it along, randomly watching ambulances and road side assistants trying to make their way through gridlock traffic. I tried desperately not to panic about the gas, or simply flip out, due to the drama that seemed to be closing in around me. The boys were quiet for the most part, except for a random comment that alerted me to the fact we were going to be late.

I was trying to get into the left lane, but I knew that as soon as I did, my lane would start moving. Finally, when I couldnt take it another minute, I veered my car into the left lane, feeling good about my decision. One minute later, we saw the holdup….

WE all three turned our heads in unison, and all of our stress, all of our anxiety, and all of our frustrations turned to laughter. Beside us were vehicles with flashing lights, following behind a white deteriorated mini van. Her windows were down, her front tire was flat, and she was leaning as far up as she could in her seat, chain smoking cigarettes, while driving as slow as she could on a bent rim. Every single person that passed her, watched her, knowing this was keeping them from their event.

My boys and I immediately started laughing. One of my sons said, “WHAT was that”? I laughed and said it was probably his biological mother. Clearly, despite each and every one of our own personal lifestyles, that add all the ingredients to create this dysfunctional family we live in, we are on a level to joke about the nature of such things…and we just kept giggling. We werent really laughing at the lady herself, but the situation….

I have no idea why the roadside people allowed for this woman to block an entire lane of traffic, during rush hour, while she went 3 MPH. I dont know why they didnt just fix her tire. I dont know for sure why the ambulance was on its way. I dont know why as soon as we passed her, the entire highway was clear, and I dont know why she didnt save her cigarettes for when she was at the side of the road, waiting for her tire to be fixed. I do know that this situation changed a stressful mama into a laid back one. It jolted me back to reality! So what if we had to sit in a little traffic?!… We didnt have any problems, in comparison to this poor lady!

That is…..Unless we ran out of gas…

I decided in the whole scheme of things, Id rather have my own stressors than anyone elses!!

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