I am a planner. I live and die by the plan. So, I sat down in the first few days of 2016 and wrote out a plan. It was a beautiful plan. And it went out the window about 30 minutes into the first day.
I was so proud of this plan. I worked out how I was going to stay caught up with laundry, keep the house clean, workout, do devotions, spend time on hobbies, and have quality time with both my husband and kids. It was shiny and sparkly in its perfection. I happily set out, all prepared to live out this gorgeous plan I had made. And then I remembered something. I have three kids. Three slightly demanding kids, who say "Hey, Mom...." so many times in one day I've been tempted to keep count just to see if it really does reach triple digits, or if that's only in my mind.
The beginning of the day started out fine. I got up early. I started out with my quiet morning time. I was having a lovely time with my coffee, cozy blanket, and my thoughts, which for once were not being interrupted. I happened to glance at the clock, and realized that time was moving along, and I had to jump in the shower. Rats. I had more stuff I wanted to get done first. 6:10 in the morning and I was already falling behind. I rushed through the rest of the morning, realizing as I ran out the door (late) that I hadn't started the laundry. Midway through the morning I began to get hungry. This was when I remembered that I had jumped in the shower before packing my snack. When I got home that afternoon, I had hungry kids who all wanted my full attention, backpacks to go through, coats to pick up off the floor, and once again the laundry got neglected. By the end of the day, I was staring at "the plan", wondering what on earth had gone wrong.
The answer was actually very obvious and simple. The plan didn't stand a chance against the realities of life. Life is a force that moves over, around, and through everything. It doesn't stop just because the clock says something specific should be happening right now. It marches right over everything in its path. But it also has a way of smoothing out barriers. Wrinkles that keep us from being able to see clearly.
I still have it. I keep it handy, in plain sight. I aim for that lovely "dream day" every day. But not once has it happened yet. I'm trying not to get discouraged about that, because one thing I'm learning right now is that life doesn't have to be picture perfect to be beautiful. The life I have doesn't include smooth-sailing days. It just doesn't. But it does involve hugs, and kisses, and crayons. Handprints and coffee cups. Smiles and funny faces. Music. Dancing. And so much laughter. Wonderful spontaneous things that aren't planned out. I don't schedule them in. And sometimesthose things throw off my schedule. But I'd rather have a day that went completely astray because of life with four precious human beings (including the husband, who is pretty important to my sanity), than a day that went according to plan from beginning to end but didn't have the light that my family brings to me.
Even knowing all this, however, I still get annoyed. Frustrated. Exhausted with trying to get everything done, and then looking around at a house that needs so much more. It really is never-ending, and it can be so overwhelming at times. That is why I made the plan in the first place, after all. I keep reminding myself that it's not the end of the world if the laundry goes from washer to dryer to clean basket to dirty hamper and back to the washer. It's okay if there are crumbs on the floor. It's okay if it's not perfect. It's real, and real is beautiful.
I am so glad you are here! Welcome to my blog. This is your space, too. My name is Amy, and I am no stranger to the ups and downs of life. Join me as we search for beauty, authenticity, tell our truth, and hold space for each other in the messiness of life.