I've been thinking a lot over the last few days. I feel certain I'm on the right track with this winnowing venture (at least the need for it), but what I've been thinking about is how swiftly and how surely I could get off course in the midst of it in all the places that matter. The path could veer so easily, with a trajectory and velocity a thousand miles from the original course and pace. In some ways I can tell it already has swerved. Maybe it's the discomfort of that truth that's gotten me thinking.
Ma Luffin' Mayun is a good man, maybe even the best of men. Last night, like every night, he put Little Big Man to bed with a story and a prayer, then met Brilliant Beauty in her room, read to her another story, and followed it up with some daddy-daughter silliness evident by the sounds of laughter wafting up the hallway from her room. Earlier in the day he apologized to me for his impatience at times; impatience with unmet expectations, with the kids, with the house. And I sat there and, first, thought that I certainly love this man who apologizes at all since I know so much apology-and-forgiveness is missing from so many relationships. It's not easy to stare an error in the face and then concede it to someone else. I want to be like him when I grow up.
But mostly I thought about the ways I had contributed to his lack of patience. Here's what I mean. By jumping into the winnowing at a certain place as opposed to another, addressing part of the problem but maybe not the most pressing part, is ultimately unproductive and stress inducing. My best "for example" is in the area of laundry. When I started on the laundry room last week it was because I saw there was a "bleed"* with our laundry; more accurately, a full-blown hemorrhage. But by my efforts to start at the wound site (i.e. the laundry room) instead of first cleaning away the blood (i.e. the dirty laundry everyone is stepping over and on in piles in their rooms), the wound just continues to bleed because I can't really see how to best tend to it. The basics, the essentials, were being pushed aside rather than properly dealt with. Pile two adults and three children on top of that and who wouldn't be warring with patience?
I do this so often. The living room is messy so I rearrange the furniture, the dishes need to be washed so I decide to start an organizational project within the cabinets, and so it goes and goes and goes. I always chalk this up to being idiosyncratic. Yeah, well, it doesn't fly. Clearly if it was working I wouldn't be seeking new, functional methods of organization in places where the only consistency is consistently falling short of good methodology. The simple truth is any chaos currently present in our home can't be precisely placed as being the fault of having three children or too much stuff or not enough time in the day. Misdirected efforts and skewed priorities are the primary culprits in the disorder I find myself dealing with these days. Owee.
So, if the us-es are the most important thing, my approach has got to change. I've gotten off course. The way back into order and peace has to always have the us-es as top priority. I mean, who cares if the jots and tittles within Quaint Cottage are taken care of if my peeps are insane with frustration and irritation and neglect?
Hurts so good.
*Let me say "sorry" to my squeamish homeys (read: SisterFriend) for the wound analogy.
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