For me, survival mode means just trying to get through the day. There is no looking to the future a month, a week or even a day ahead. Do what has to be done now and just make it to bed time. It means buffet style dinner because setting the table it too much.
It means I can’t worry about the project due next week, we will just focus on the the homework due tomorrow. It means Dan needs a haircut and there isn’t any bread for lunches, and it means someone doesn’t have the right t-shirt for the field trip and I feel like a failure. At the end of some of these days I wonder why I even try.
The worst part of it for me is that my children are the ones who are most effected. Grades have slipped. Opportunities have been lost. Any self-improvement this year has been sporadic if it has happened at all.
These are the subtle consequences of war that nobody sees; nobody talks about.
Happily, that part is behind us now and we are looking forward.
Finishing up Christmas, being at the threshold of a hopeful new year and realizing that I am solidly in phase four, has given me an energy I haven’t had in a very long time.
The number one change made? Lists! I have a list of things the kids need to do before they get any screen time. Among other things, Dan needs to practice the horn, Gloria needs to knit a square for a blanket, Sara will finish one lesson of code. We were all spending way too much time in front of one screen or another and now that time, is just a little more measured. I feel like we’re all back on track.
Adding to that energy, is the excitement that Paul will be home soon. My mind is racing constantly with errands and projects that need to be finished before he gets home. I’m cleaning out closets and organizing drawers and making lots of trips to the Goodwill. There’s weeding and planting and cleaning up to be done in the yard. The carpets need to be cleaned and the baseboards need to be washed and if I showed you my “to do” list you would make fun of me.
Regina said, “Rachel, I didn’t think that Paul cares if all the cupboards are cleaned out. I think he’ll just be glad to be home.” “I know, it is mostly for me so that when he comes home I can relax and just focus on him and won’t be worried about all the little chores that need to be done.”
The funnest project I’ve started is redecorating our bedroom so that Paul will have a comfortable, peaceful place to retreat as he reintegrates with the family. He didn’t have that last time and I think it would have helped a great deal. I am working with Decorist and they have given me the best ideas and insights! I just order the print above (that they found) as part of that project. It is by Kimberly Blok and it perfectly sets the tone for the room I want.
What do you think?