Friday, November 17, 2006

All Caught Up

Ah, life. So very daily, isn't it? Sometimes- only every now and then- I begin to think hard about all the tasks, great and small, which comprise my day-to-day routine, and I just sort of want to... Stop doing them. Because Lord knows, as soon as I do them, they're going to be undone in five minutes.
Example: Mommy unloads the dishwasher. Adelay stealthily crawls into the kitchen and yanks every single piece of Tupperware out of the cupboard as soon as Mommy turns her back. This happens- and this is just a rough estimation, here- about five bazillion times a day. Another example: Mommy mops the floor. Giant horse-dog Fonzie goes outside on the chain, manages to frolic in every single muddy patch in the entire backyard, then comes inside and, despite having his paws wiped obsessively by said Mommy, proceeds to leave footprints like dirty little connect-the-dots all over the house.
And it's not just the fingerprints and grime that appear the second you put your Windex down. It's not the laundry hampers that are mysteriously full again as soon as you congratulate yourself on getting that last load of clothes put away. It's not even the way the food you've just begun to unpack from the grocery bags starts disappearing down people's throats before it ever makes its way to the cupboard, or the way the baby's neck is smelling oddly like sour milk an hour after her bath.
It's bigger things too. You know, stuff that actually matters. Like how, just when the relief of having Addy well and healthy again was starting to sink in, she spiked a fever. Or how, just when you get some giant bill finally, finally paid off, Christmas is here yet again, and with it another joyous season of wracking up debt! And even the way that little grudges against your spouse, if they aren't spoken and dealt with right away, despite the inconvenience or discomfort of it, will build up until they overflow in one giant, destructive volcano of reckoning. It's always something, is what I'm saying. There's always something to which you must attend, something that's slipping or getting away from you.
So, what is my point here, besides of course shameless griping? It's this: don't you wish we could be rid of the whole necessity of staying "caught up" on things, just for a little while? Stop juggling all these balls? That we could freeze things for a little bit, maybe sit back, have a glass of wine, and just enjoy the fruits of our labor (i.e., money, healthy babies, happy marriages, and even clean bathrooms) without the constant awareness that we have to keep that fruit in the air or it's all going to come crashing down around us in a horrifying fruit salad explosion?
Oh well. Such is life, or something like that. It's all about maintenance. There can be no letting it go, aside from the occassional ignoring of the dishes in favor of a movie and my dear friend, the sofa. Because, as everyone knows, the planet will go spinning wildly out of control if we let go of our tight, controlling hold on that scrub brush, right?
Aha, you say. This whole entry is one giant rhetorical question. And you would be correct in saying it. Because what I am trying to remind myself of every day, every single moment I spend sighing over the tedious to-do list in my head, is this: it would all go on without me. Maybe the laundry wouldn't be folded, maybe dinner wouldn't be ready, maybe there would be mud just floor to ceiling, who knows... But the world would not end if I weren't here, cleaning it. No one would die of overexposure to dust.
So, sure, the big things (marriage, kids) it is fine to keep up with, no matter how exhausting. But that's a lot of balls in the air, what with money and health and jobs and church and school and the house. So if you've gotta drop one of them somewhere, I vote for chores! Hey, it's not like they're going anywhere.


Musings of a Mom said...

I wonder about this too. I want to drop the balls! I'm tired of them! But you know when I really feel like I'm on the right path? When I don't plan ahead, but I ask God in the morning, what do you want me to do today? Usually it's just one thing. Then when I end that one thing, I ask again, or I just let my life lead me. Sounds strange, and it rarely happens properly because my lists get in the way, but it's good - exhausting but good. I go to bed with a good kind of tired - like the kind you get when you do a good deed all day and you are really tired from it, but you're not emotionally tired because you know you did right. Like I said, it doesn't happen often, but when it does happen, it's usually not because I planned it.

desperate housewife said...

I like that kind of tired, too. Unfortunately, my kind of tired is usually the "if I have to wipe that highchair tray one more time I'm gonna scream" kind of tired. I need to just let it be dirty and do some good deeds! I'll still be tired, apparently, but maybe I'd be a little happier about the tiredness!