Hello blog world! It’s been about a month since we last connected. I’m not sure what you’ve been up to (would love to hear) but I’ve been up to a whole lot of everything. I’d get into the specifics for kicks and giggles, but really, they’re not that important. Let’s just say that the amount of things on my to-do list is equivalent to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
I’m a Master at Being Super Human
I try to get as much done as I can, and some days I succeed in checking off every single item, but most days, I’m more like the tourist in front of that rickety structure, just marveling at the wonky design and hoping I don’t get flattened like a pancake.
Maybe if I put lights on my to-do list, the way that Italian masterpiece is illuminated at night, the hum drum of my daily life would feel more exotic.
“Hey, check out the dog getting washed in the strobe light in the 1950’s crap tub. Now that’s sexy.”
When my dog gets a bath on a Saturday, but I don’t, I know I’m doing too much. I want to stop, but like a tube of Trader Joe gluten free Joe Joe’s, sometimes I just can’t help myself. Busyness, and cream filled cookies, are addictive. In the moment it feels amazing, but the next day, you have nothing to show for it but a bunch of guilt and a massive hangover.
Shauna Niequest has a new book about this. It’s called Present over Perfect.
I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve read some of her other stuff. She’s kind of a genius at reminding us that, as women, we simply can’t be amazing at everything. Not unlike Brene Brown’s manifestos on shame research, Shauna is one of those writers that make you feel better for being human. She, like many of us, are in transition from being a human doer to a human being.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t keep up with the doing anymore. I want to work and market my book and love on my family and cook gluten free tacos from scratch while my kids hand paint pumpkins while listening to opera. But in reality, I have no idea what’s for dinner, I’m not sure if my son is preparing for a huge test or frying his brain on video games, and my daughter is reading Wonder for the fourth time because her mom still hasn’t gotten off her tush to take her to the library for a new series.
And guess what? That’s okay. Why? Because while I can’t do it all, I’m learning to be happy with what I can do. And it’s a lot.
Our house is decorated for Halloween. (Granted, the laundry is scary, but everything looks better with 99 Cent Story skulls and 1970’s painted pheasants.)
My kids like school this year and, so far, they still like each other. (Though they spend less time in the same space now that my son is a giant and has to lean down to talk to his tiny sibling only 18 months apart.)
The cake you see my daughter holding – she made it this weekend. It’s a double decker angel food cake with handmade orange frosting. I gained ten pounds thanks to her, but it was worth it. My point – she had joy despite a kitchen that would make Martha Stewart vomit. Like Niequest’s book, the kid was present over perfect.
I love my job at the Middle School. Yesterday, in fact, I ran into one of my students at Trader Joes. He’s a big, sweet dude with Down Syndrome, and when we saw each other in between the pumpkin spice coffee and the Chia Bars, we ran to each other as if in slow motion. It was hard not to smile. He looks like Fred Flintstone when he runs – feet splayed forward and arms shaking as if waving a giant drum stick.
“Mrs. Frazer!” he yelled.
“Sebastian!” I shrieked with delight.
We hugged and laughed and repeated it again at 8:30 this morning when he saw me after home room.
“Mrs. Fraaaazer!” he barked. “I SAW YOU AT TRADER JOES!”
“I knowwww!” I responded, equally tickled.
A few months ago I couldn’t have predicted this kind of magic, but there it was – flickering as brightly as a candle in my Halloween lanterns.
What if right now… with my over crowded house and the renter and the pitbull and the small paycheck and the non-sexy but so wonderful job… what if this very unperfect moment is the BIG THING! What if the laundry and the house cleaning and the bill paying are the BIG THING. What if tomorrow’s trash day is the BIG THING!
What if not screaming at my son for forgetting to take those cans to the curb for the gazillionth time is the big thing!
What if foregoing a night of writing that pilot script that’s going to take me away from my low paying gig (you know, the one I love and can’t stop raving about) and instead watching an episode of Once Upon a Time with my daughter instead is THE BIG THING!
I don’t want to miss it, folks. Not one second of it. Why? Because it’s BIG! And it’s chaotic at times. And it’s painful and beautiful and comical and depressing and absolutely hilarious in all of its bigness.
If you’re out there, wondering if “only I could get the tics to stop”or “if only I had some extra money” or “if only my husband could change”things would get better, may I make the suggestion that maybe, just maybe, you might miss out on the incredible growth that comes with your life exactly as it is right now? Your journey, people, it’s important.
It’s your story.
It’s your legacy.
It’s a BIG THING.
Until next time,