Organization doesn’t come naturally to me. In fact, I have to organize my time for getting organized.
8 am: Get Organized Doing Stuff
9 am: Organize Stuff
10 am: Stay Organized Doing Stuff
11 am: Break to Run
12 pm: Prepare to Reorganize Doing Stuff
1 pm: Lunch and Focus on Organizing Stuff
2 pm: Stay Organized Doing Stuff
And I did fairly well with that schedule today.
I got all of my errands done by 10:30, got a 5K run in at the park, spent some time frolicking in the creek with baby Joseph, and then got home just in time to eat lunch and prepare to organize myself, yet again.
My goal today was simple: Edit the piece I’m working on for the Nashville Scene to prepare it for submission.
I gathered all of my things:
Laptop Battery √
and, of course, Baby! √
In three trips, I carted all of the above up the stairs and into the bonus room. I created a nice workspace atop our barn red, reclaimed coffee table and opened up my laptop. Peering around my screen to the floor in front of me where baby Joseph sat in a sea of Legos and other fantastic baby things, I smiled in his direction, at which point he made eye contact. Thus, he happily played for approximately .5 seconds longer until he decided he was famished and immediately in need of refueling.
Back down the stairs we trotted.
As we turned on the kitchen faucet and assembled a bottle—nipple into screw ring, screw ring onto bottle, and bottle capped…like clockwork—we chatted about the ducks we had seen at the creek and how gorgeous the weather is today.
NPR was muffled in the background behind our conversation. I faintly overheard the reporter talking about the casualties in Somalia…sadly, another atrocity to add to the old atrocities and the unfolding atrocities and the expected atrocities. Nothing feels safe anymore.
My heart tanked a bit and the smile melted from my face. I considered briefly whether or not I would be able to make it to the meeting at church tomorrow where we will go over security measures in the event of an attack during Sunday School hours…in our church…on this spot on the planet…where we have always felt, for the most part, as though we are safe.
The atrocities are so plentiful these days that I lose track of what is happening—when and where. My in-laws found out they will lose their insurance at the beginning of the year. My Facebook feed is full of #MeToo. That massive terrorist attack in Somalia. News is still flooding in about Las Vegas and the controversy over gun control. In an unprecedented event, Hurricane Ophelia slams into Ireland. Out-of-control California fires have left people homeless.
Did I miss anything?
It takes a hefty amount of mindfulness and self-awareness to keep myself from biting my fingernails down to nubs and developing hives all over. The world seems to be falling apart before my very ears.
As always as of late, I noticed my momentary disconnect. I quickly turned my attention back to the running water. I ran my finger beneath the stream to make sure the temperature was just right. “All righty, baby,” I managed to say as a smile reached back across my face. Joseph kicked his dangling legs against my sides and tightened up his tummy, which expelled a playful grunt. “This is just right.”
Back up the stairs Joseph and I trotted. We sat on the couch, and I slipped the bottle between his lips as I flipped on daytime television, which seemed to offer as much depressing information as NPR had down below. And so, I turned on The Good Dinosaur, a movie I hadn’t yet seen, but one the girls had raved about.
I watched my baby boy in my arms, his blue eyes becoming heavy as he drifted off to sleep. For a brief moment, I contemplated putting him down on the sofa and giving writing another shot, but, instead, I wrapped him up close to my body, admiring the way he still fits so perfectly to me, as puzzle pieces fill all of the vacant spaces to create peaceful and organized continuity; the wonders of Mommy and baby still colliding so beautifully…it comes and goes all too quickly.
Fifteen minutes passed and the big girls arrived home from school, filling the house with the sounds of heavy book bags hitting the hardwood floors and the kitchen being rummaged through for snacks. Joseph’s favorite time of day is when his sisters come in the door; the look on his face is always one of surprise followed by complete and utter happiness. Sure enough, at the first sound of Annie’s voice, his eyes popped open and his head darted up. A smile stretched across his face, his dimples creasing deeply into his cheeks. “There’s your girls!” I told him as I walked him over to his toys and put him down to play.
For a moment…a brief passing moment…all was well.
Reference the featured image above.
So goes the life of Mommy:
Dinner to Prepare
A Load of Laundry to Wash
Yoga to Get Ready For
Tomorrow I will write.
Today I have this.
And I want you to know:
I’m struggling, too, guys.
I’m right here with you…
Standing on this shaking ground.
Remembering to find my footing on firm foundation,
all in a single moment and within the same breath.
Feeling good some days is exhausting…
when you worry so much about what is happening.
It takes all of my power some days to stay resilient and focused on the good things when the world streaming through the speakers in my kitchen, car, and on the television is reaching apocalyptic levels.
Religious wars. A world in conflict. Natural disasters. People hurting. People dying.
Interfaith dialogue. Peace agreements amongst neighbors. Beautiful weather today in Nashville. People getting better. Babies being born.
There is still good.
It’s still there.
Self in conflict.
Self in check.
We must hold onto ourselves
…and one another.
Let’s hold onto one another.