One foot in front of the other

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, October 4, 2010 at 12:29 PM

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I've had this post fluttering around in my mind for a couple of weeks now, but I haven't quite been able to pin it down to write it.

Maybe that's because the photo at right depicts a half day's worth of dishes. That was Thursday. I didn't get them all done until Sunday. I didn't get the photo uploaded until just now.

And I've been trying to organize my thoughts, so that I can say what I want to say about my life, honestly, but to convey the peace and satisfaction that support the drudgery, chaos, and hilarity of my life every day.

Because I find, suddenly it seems, that I work longer and harder than ever before. There is, literally, no end to my labors. I don't even think I find the halfway point most days. When I think about what I accomplish on any given day, it sounds trite, stupid, small, like nothing. Boring, mind-numbing, relentless.

But mostly, it doesn't feel that way. I have to admit, it really doesn't.

I like doing what I do. I love the freedom I have to take a day like today, and stay in my pajamas until dinnertime, crossing tiny-yet-annoying tasks off my list. I love my silly, wild, brilliant children. I love making our home.

I've been trying to come up with a frame, a way to tell the story of my life right now. And I think the best way to do it is just a list - a list of things that bring me joy, satisfaction, even adventure, in their way. It's the same way I structure the days that are hardest, the way I remind myself at bedtime that I did live that day, I did *do* something, I do just keep moving forward.

One step, one day, one moment at a time.

- reading stories on the blue couch
- organizing legos by color in tidy bins
- a new stack of library books
- getting all the laundry done in one day - yes, even the sheets
- having dinner in the crockpot by noon
- reaching the bottom of my mending pile
- a full fridge, pantry, and a meal plan
- being clean, dressed, and fresh toenail polish all at the same time
- going to get free donuts after we pick up Dev from school (45 minutes of no fighting, no mess, and listening to our beloved audiobooks)
- rolling the trash and recycling to the curb
- rolling them back to the house
- naptime
- bedtime
- budgeting
- putting the mail away
- cutting the kids hair
- making chore charts
- remembering to give the children their allowance
- getting a big bad stain out of Eve's favorite dress
- finally remembering to buy batteries
- letting go of Huge Complicated Family Theme Halloween Costumes and embracing Simple Just-As-Fun Every-Man-For-Himself Halloween Costumes

I keep track of all these things in my mind, and sometimes on paper, the way people tally their days in prison or on the wall of the cave on the desert island where they are stranded, to keep themselves from going crazy.

But I can truly say that I love it.

Comments (3)

Love your list....but the last line says it all!

Well put...it is so hard to quantify what we do. But I love it too.

I wish sometimes I could say this to you, and to all wonderful mothers I know, with a megaphone:

You are amazing. What you do is amazing. It is so much work and requires so much effort to be a mother, but you are doing it fabulously!!

I think you know that many a family out here employs full-time nannies, cooks, landscapers, pool men, pet-walkers, personal assistants etc. etc. to accomplish all the many tasks you attend to as one little lady on a daily basis. You could be a CEO of The Dixon Household LLC and provide a handsome income for a dozen or so staff members and still have plenty to do yourself!

I love that you paint your own house. I love that you make your own meals. I love that you make your son's own birthday banner, birthday cake, invitations. I love that your down time is spent thinking back fondly on the fun things you did with your kiddies that day and what more you can do for them. I think sometimes every mom needs the perspective of an outsider to see how very much they do accomplish, so here I offer it: you my dear, are super human.

And you LOVE your kids. That is the best part of all.

You are doing ever so much better than you think, Rachel. It may feel like one foot in front of the other to you, but from here, it is a ballet masterpiece.

Keep on dancing, sister!