Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Best Laid Plans

Some days don't go as planned.  Sometimes schedules get changed, appointments get cancelled and days don't look like we thought they would.  It used to irritate me.  I've since learned to embrace that change.  Life doesn't always have to go my way.  And most of the time, I've found, it doesn't.

You know those small interruptions.  The ones you deal with throughout your day and cause you not to complete your to-do list.  Yes, those.  I've decided to stop getting frustrated about those and give them a new name:  Life.  

You see, those interruptions all put together add up to my life.  A phone call, a neighbor stopping by, a daughter who needs help with a math problem while I'm trying to get supper on the table, that's all life.  

The teacher in the classroom next door stopping by during lunch, the parent conference that didn't go as quickly as I thought it would, sitting up through the night with a sick child, yep - more life.

But what about my productivity?  I used to always get things done.  I was always early to everything and I always arrived with everything I needed!  What happened to all that?  Isn't that important?  Yes, and no.  Getting things done and being on time equate to diligence and timeliness.  Those are important character qualities that I aspire to.  The only thing is, sometimes one of my kids loses a shoe.  Sometimes someone melts down right before we walk out the door for church and it takes us a little while to recover.  Sometimes somebody does something they weren't supposed to do and character training takes precedence over making it somewhere on time.  

Irritation and aggravation used to be my best friends.  They would go with me wherever I went.  I did get more done back then but at what cost?  Too high of one.  It was costing me my relationships.  Once my kids came, something had to give.  I was stressing us all out.  I was putting more emphasis on our productivity and not enough on experiencing life together.

I took a step back, evaluated my priorities and chose to sit back and enjoy the moments that make up my day, rather than rush through them to accomplish more than I needed to anyway.  My kids won't know Latin by the time they're twelve.  They won't be top players on a volleyball team.  We might not even have clean socks at the end of the week.  But we did enjoy lingering at the table after supper telling stories about Grandpa's childhood.  We also enjoyed riding into town in our pajamas for a Sonic drink.  And the cutthroat Uno game really brought out someone's true colors (I won't name names, but she's a redhead).

Irritation and aggravation still rear their ugly heads around here from time to time, but they're infrequent visitors these days, rather than full-time residents.  Life is the little moments that make up our day.  These days I choose to enjoy them.  I hope you make it into one of our moments soon.  You'll recognize us.  We'll probably be laughing and the youngest may be missing a shoe.

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