If you are a baseball player, perhaps in the World Series, for example (way to go, St. Louis! sorry, Texas friends), this might not be a good idea. But here on Day 28, with only three days left of this 31 Days project, that is what I'm starting to do. I've lived under strict orders for this month, kept things regulated and regimented (or at least it has felt that way for a slacker like myself) in order to get the tasks accomplished. But I know this isn't regular life--not quite.
Regular life has to be a little more flexible. However, I don't want to slip back into old, lazy, chaotic habits. May it never be! I want to finish this month at a place where maintenance is not difficult. I want to arrive at a new 'normal' wherein a couple of hours of cleaning on a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning gets the house looking great again. I want to be at the point where, if anyone drops by unexpectedly during the week, I don't panic and scramble as I see them pull up the driveway, park, pet the crazy dogs and make their way to the front door. No, I want to greet them at the door before they have to knock, invite them in, and put on a pot of tea. I want the house to look like it is lived in--not spotless, but not grimy and buried in endless clutter either. I want our daily routines to be second nature and our commitments to not be overwhelming and impossible to keep up with. I want to go to bed with a clear head every night, knowing that I went through the day as a grown-up and my responsibilities are being taken care of.
I am almost there.
This weekend is a final push to get the clutter out of my house and my mind. But at the same time, I'm starting to loosen my grip in anticipation of finishing this task and balancing out into a normal, flexible lifestyle again. Does that make any sense at all? (Maybe half of my chaos comes from believing my own faulty logic! heehee) My bedroom is coming along nicely downstairs, although I never did feel comfortable taking 'before' pictures there. Sorry. It's a space I share with my husband and I felt compelled to respect him and his stuff there, for some reason, more so than I did in the common living areas of the home. I might take 'after' shots; I might not.
I could have spent a few more hours working in the bedroom this evening, but Andy and Tano went to a concert and that left my Ellie and me to go do something fun on our own. I couldn't stay home and clean house. I just couldn't. For her sake. We went to Missoula and had a simple Mama/Daughter date, doing some of our favorite things together and even writing an article about them on a laptop together while we sat at dinner.
Look for a post entitled "Taco Bell Ministry" sometime after this 31 Days project is over. I'll link to it here once it's written. I can't believe my good fortune to have a daughter who is suddenly waking up to the idea of writing, but now she is suddenly wanting to read everything I write, like old blog posts and really old hand-written journals--not sure I am ready for all that...
So, now It's getting late. I'm still blogging. There are a few dishes to wash up in the kitchen and a bit of clutter here and there. I never did sweep today. I need to go stoke the fire in the wood stove and then maybe I'll put in a bit more time on the bedroom. Tomorrow is Saturday, after all, and I could sleep in just a little.
Incidentally, I'm sooo glad my kids are no longer little enough to need me first thing in the morning. Come to think of it, I am now the one who has to drag them out of bed, having put in my time when they were little of them being up at the butt-crack of dawn. Sorry, that was crass. Accurate, though. Moms of little ones: It does get easier. The issues you deal with get bigger and with more serious consequences, but at least you get more rest so you are not dealing with things while sleep-deprived. Does that help?
So there you go. I'm ramping up for a strong finish, but I'm also winding down to find a new, maintainable and flexible 'normal.' I'm loosening my grip, but hoping not to loosen it so much that I drop the ball. I've come too far to go back now. It's like my running shoes: I paid too much for them to not actually run.
Which reminds me, I should run in the morning.
Rest well, friends.