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Just Keepin' it Real

 Do you ever have days that are just rotten? Yup. I know you can relate. This was Monday morning when I opened my daughter's backpack and went to make her lunch for school. "Oh yeah, I forgot to look through her stuff Friday afternoon when she came home." After the weekend, the orange peel and the frozen peas had long since lost their luster. 

My purpose isn't to gross you out, or to dwell on the negative. But sometimes moms have days that are:

  • grumpy
  • gritty
  • frumpy
  • frazzled
  • feisty
And I'm here to tell you and me both, that's normal. Sorry, but we all have our warts. One of the women who has inspired me is Shawni from 71toes and I especially love her disclaimer. She writes about a mothers' retreat where they talked about what makes moms spiral into depression or negativity. "The big answer from a whole slew of moms was that blogs are the problem." She writes:  "Despite my attempts to "keep it real" on this blog, somehow some people misconstrue the good stuff I write to mean that life is perfect all the time. And that just isn't true. They haven't seen the 90% of my iceberg that's under the water hidden from view." I really love that entire post she wrote years ago.

This quote by Unitarian Minister Jenkin Lloyd Jones rings true:
"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just like people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, and most jobs are more often dull than otherwise.

Life is just like an old time rail journey...delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."

For me personally, I've reached the point in fall semester where I'm doing too much for too many other people. I need to dial things back and just take care of me and my family. Today I ate ice cream for lunch, with a banana and oreos. Then I went out to eat all by myself, and ordered a fantastic salad and soup. But I ate dessert first because I'm in the mood to break all the rules. I took care of myself, took a nap, and planted flowers out front because that makes me happy. (Let's be honest. Cade did most of the actual work and dug holes for the petunias and mums.) Yes, in Texas you can plant stuff in October and it will grow all winter long. It's a fabulous thing. It's like all of nature sighs, "Phew, the heat of summer is over," and then fall comes and we can enjoy growing stuff again.

My good friend K just shared a fabulous bit of wisdom with me this morning: "When I start feeling resentful about service for other people, I know my self-care has been neglected." So I realize I need to say NO to stuff, and start playing the piano more. I need to make cookies and quit running errands. I realize there are a thousand emails I've probably missed, and nobody will die. The band boosters and faculty may think I'm a complete trainwreck, but they'll live.


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