For weeks I have been trying to embrace my mess. To love and thrive in the chaos that is my life.
In my mind, there are so many things to say, to write, to share. I'm overwhelmed at where to start.
I'll start with summer and go from there.
I spent the summer in organized chaos. A sweet symphony of being over scheduled and overjoyed. It was a balancing act, trying to stay on top of obligations while still maintaining some spontaneity. We spent the summer dancing, literally, with both girls at the studio. School ended and recitals and competitions began. Then a full schedule of summer classes. I worked in between being at the studio with the girls and being home, but only part time which makes me incredibly happy. Part time has finally allowed me to moonlight as a sometimes working mom, bringing home "light" bacon, just enough to fund our Target addiction. We swam at my mama's pool. Sometimes all day, sometimes all night. Fresno boiled and baked us in the hot sun. Our bodies tan and sun kissed. Our ears plugged with chlorinated water and our hair tangled and crunchy. It was beautiful and glorious and exactly the kind of summer I have always wanted to give my kids.
I spent late nights with my neighbors and friends. Taking and laughing and sharing meals. Watching the Olympics and cheering for team USA and committing ourselves to insuring that one of our kids will be an Olympian one day and then we can all go and cheer USA together. Ping Pong or Women's trampoline has top billing in this house. Who needs gymnastics?
The Hubbs and I spent the summer trying to keep up with the girls and each other. Sundays spent lazily. Sometimes, most times in bed, watching movies with bad words and napping, among other things. There were no designated date nights. Just easy, lazy, summer nights, enjoying our company, our surroundings, and our shared sense of humor. There were heated political debates. We almost got a dog. We sent each other private messages on Instagram that were always inappropriate, but perfect if you know us in real life. Summer is our best season, it always has been.
Then school started and the organized chaos just became chaos. From school to dance to home to bed. On loop like some kind of video surveillance, titled, "Insight into an over scheduled life". This year I have a fourth grader and a first grader, which is hard for me to believe. Our homework schedules include 20 minutes of reading and at least 20 spelling words a night. The first week of school was rocky at best with a new dance schedule and back to school kicking us around. Exhaustion set in, and by the first Friday, we were fried.
When I think about this school year, I can see the road ahead of me. All I can see are bumps. A rocky road filled with a schedules and obligations. Not only have I committed my daughters to a hectic dance schedule but I've also committed myself. I don't always just drop them off, on Mondays and Wednesdays I sit for 3-4 hours at a time. I'm at dance as I write this. I'm going to email it to myself and copy and paste into my blog template later. If I didn't email myself my writing, I may never write, I'd never get it down. This year I'm also on the schools PTC executive board, serving as the secretary. Which means I'm at all events early; movie night, back to school night, open house, you name it, I'll be there. I'm still a Girl Scout leader and our scout year begins this Thursday. School has been in session for a month and I'm already thinking about June.
Not really. Just a little. With every bump in the road, there will be a blessing. I know that, I have faith in that. Blessings will come when I least expect them, when I think I can't take another step. I've learned that blessings always rise from mess and chaos. Little moments that make all the bullshit matter. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I overbook my life? It's nature. I've always been an "over booker". If over scheduling my life was an Olympic sport I'd be a gold medalist. I said yes to all of those things. I have committed myself to a busy year. Don't feel sorry for me, I want to do all of those things, I wanted to do them when I signed up. But I also want to be lazy. I want to watch everything in my DVR and sleep in on Sundays. And I will. Don't worry about me. I'm lazy most days. Laundry is rarely folded, dishes pile up. Please never stop by my house unannounced because my bathroom looks like a fairy tale wasteland with Lalaloopsy dolls in the bathtub and the remains of a murdered tube of toothpaste in the sink. Towels litter the floor because that's my life. Please always give me 10 minutes to pretend I'm the kind of mom who cares when mostly I don't. Little by little, toothpaste glob by toothpaste glob, I'm embracing my mess. Even when I'm embarrassed by the towels and the Lalaloopsy dolls.
With school back in session and something that resembles a schedule falling into place,I've been trying to get back into blogging. All summer I tried. But the pull. The pull to be with my family. My friends. The pull to watch new TV shows. The pull to spend all day at the pool. The pull was greater than the pen. I missed it, I did. When I found a spare moment, mostly late at night, I did write, a little fiction, a little fact. Mostly, I left it, the keyboard, the screen, and for the first time since I started this blog it felt right. It felt okay, like a relief to be able to leave it. To surrender and say, "I'd rather go to yogurt than type on that keyboard". I used to feel so guilty when I'd skip a post. I'd be mad at the world if I couldn't make it to the screen. It would feel like I failed. But in the last year something clicked. My blog, while fun and self serving, wasn't my only identity. My page views or lack thereof no longer dictated how I felt. The comments became non existent, no matter how heartfelt or how much I bled into the post. I got more interaction on Instagram and Facebook and so I started to post little bits there, but soon that fell off too. Soon I didn't know what every single person I followed are for breakfast or lunch. I didn't watch all the Fallon or Kimmel videos that were trending. Last night I got into bed and realized I hadn't been on Instagram or Facebook all day. Something that hasn't happened since I got my first iPhone and added the appropriate apps. Really, it was the first time in years. I was surprised that I didn't miss it. I was surprised that it didn't bother me.
This is me, currently, embracing my mess. Embracing my chaos. This is me as my patience is pushed to the absolute limit, because I am scheduled within an inch of my life. So overbooked that when I forget to buy new tights for ballet or realize that I forgot the spiral bound notebooks or HOLY SHIT WE ARE OUT OF TOILET PAPER, I lament and rant and eat chocolate. Messy happens, it's happening right now.
I never wanted to be "That Mom". The messy one. The late one. The crazy/bonkers/batshit mom. I resisted so hard that it almost killed me. Then I let go. I let all previous expectations go, and embraced the chaos.
This is me, I'm proudly, "That Mom", embracing my mess.
PS: After I emailed this to myself. Ran home to prep dinner so the Hubbs could finish it. Went back to the dance studio to get Daughter #1. We walk into the house and Daughter #1 exclaims that she forgot her lunch box at dance. I went back and got it after dinner. Because it wouldn't be a Monday without more mess.
PPS: Check out another Messy Mom on FX's Better Things. Click here for details!