The Blessings Crowding My Brain Edition
The early part of this week left me feeling as if I were suffocating under a growing list of “to-dos.” Each task I accomplished added three to the list as I realized yet something else that needed to be done. From meals to chores to decluttering to blogging and writing – I felt the weight of the many little straws threatening to break this camel’s back. I’ve tried to re-frame my discouragement with gratitude in terms of the blessings in disguise.
Bills and Taxes
The bills never stop coming, do they? Online billing is supposed to simplify this process, but while I don’t have to use as many stamps as before, I find myself logging into and out of accounts, checking balances, scheduling payments, and discussing (via text message) with my husband where the money is going to come from. Top that off with the incomes taxes due, requiring multiple reports and paper shuffling, and I’m pretty tired of dealing with money issues. It’s my hope that the taxes will be filed before this blog posts, and I won’t have to worry about income taxes for another year.
Blessing: My husband has had uninterrupted employment. We have a roof over our heads and are able to afford all of the necessities and then some.
Books and Blogging
Just when I thought I’d be catching up on reading and plowing through that to-be-read pile, I seem farther behind than ever. Review copies, library loans, evaluation copies, beta reads, children’s read-a-loud books, and more are piled on the end table, my Kindle, and our iPad Mini. Luckily, many of the books tie into blogging.
Blessing: I am able to read, and it brings me both knowledge and great pleasure. I’m privileged to have made many author friends and am grateful to be able to help promote their books.
Social media fasts look more appealing all the time. I’ve tried to pare down both the groups to which I belong and the number of notifications I receive, yet it seems there’s always more “stuff” to attend to. That’s in addition to the recent explosion of vitriolic political posts that have made many people weary of scrolling through their feeds.
Blessing: It’s easier than ever to connect with family and friends near and far and share glimpses into each other’s lives.
Menus, Recipes, Groceries & Points
In other words: food. For several months, I eschewed menu planning and paid the price with frequent, sometimes daily runs to the grocery store. Life is smoother if I plan a menu, build a grocery list, and get most everything necessary for the week in one shopping trip (timed for when both little kids are in preschool). This, however, means more time spent sifting through recipes, searching cupboards, and making lists. My attempt to stick to my Weight Watchers plan means I spend even more time typing recipes, scanning bar codes, measuring food, and recording points.
Blessing: We have healthy food readily available and the knowledge and means to prepare it safely. We do not go hungry.
Our home has never recovered from the lack of attention it received during my pregnancies. To compound the problem, with each child, more stuff enters the house. Add to that a husband who accumulates a lot of things and a house we never intended to stay in beyond having one or two children, and the attention this home needs seems insurmountable most days. I suppose if everything else stopped, and I didn’t have to deal with the other six takes listed here, I could make some real headway. As it is, I often feel as if I’m taking one step forward and two steps back. Change in this house has become almost urgent, and yet we make little to no headway.
Blessing: We have four walls and a sound roof. Our small home fosters sharing, cooperation, and togetherness as well as the need to adopt a somewhat minimalist lifestyle.
Our kids aren’t over-involved. At least I don’t think so. None of the four played sports this season, although baseball and softball seasons are on the horizon. We have a once-a-month 4H club meeting, two ballet classes each week, and Boy Scouts. With my husband and son scheduled to attend the National Jamboree this summer, Boy Scout commitments have exploded. Add to that school-related activities and it’s enough to keep us busy.
Blessing: We have four healthy, social children who love to learn and enjoy physical activity. They have a plethora of opportunities to discover their interests and talents.
My memory must be faulty, because I don’t remember life being this cluttered when I was a kid. Runs to the post office, the library, the tailor, the dry cleaner, various doctors’ offices, haircuts, and on and on. As soon as an errand is struck from the list, another one is added.
Blessing: We have easy access to all sorts of medical professionals and other services. Now that I have almost nine hours each week that are kid-free, I can accomplish much more much more quickly. (It’s amazing how things speed up when you’re not constantly unbuckling, re-buckling, and dealing with a million kid questions and requests.)
Are there any blessings hiding in your burdens?
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