Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Life on Hold

I'm not trying to go all "woe is me" on you, nor am I trying to play, "my life is harder than your life."  Because really, my life is not bad, it's just...difficult right now.  My real purpose here is simply to show you that when I say, "Girlfriend, I feel you!"  You know that I really do feel you!

Our house has been up for sale for over a year now. Literally half of our belongings are in a storage unit--you know, all that, "a cleared out house shows better" stuff.  I'm not the greatest housekeeper on a good day, so trying to keep the house show-ready for a YEAR?!?!  I'm about to lose my mind. Add to that the house in question is also under construction, (umm, sure you can see the house, please understand that there is no wall on the kitchen right now though). And now, just to add to the fun, my wonderful mom has come to live with us. So, seven people in a one bathroom house.

I'm a flexible, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda gal, so really, living life in upheaval like this is probably much less stressful on me than it would be on some of my uber-organized sisters. Or, (here's a thought!) if I were  a tad more organized, perhaps my heaved-up* life wouldn't be quite so chaotic?

Truthfully, the worst part of  all of this is feeling like we are living life on hold.  Months and months of telling the kids, "You can have that toy back when we move."  or "We will do this after we move."  "Sorry honey, that <insert child's favorite item here> is in storage."  Even the baby has picked up on this.  I asked him the other day to bring me his shoes so I could finish dressing him and he replied, "I got no shoes, they are in storage."

As you would imagine, we did a bit of painting and wallpapering to freshen up the house for sale. Now I look around and my "freshly" painted walls are dingy with the stray mark here and there.  My "new" wallpaper has the lovely addition of blue marks ALL over it, courtesy of the 2 year old.  The truth is, in a house this busy, paint and wallpaper that is a year old is not in any way, shape, or form, new.  I did try, for the first few months, to keep the walls clean by removing  access to writing instruments.  That was an exercise in folly.  Four children and we home-school; life without crayons is just not worth it.

I suppose in the grand scheme of life, being without toys or crayons for a while isn't cataclysmic, but when you are a child, a year+ is actually a long time.  And due to other circumstances and decisions that I've had to make during the past year, they have actually missed out on more than just a season without crayons.  Soccer seasons, dance classes, joining community theatre, signing up for various other lessons...always with the, "but what if we sell the house..."

Seriously, I am so OVER waiting!  I am tired of not living today but always thinking, "when we sell the house; when we move; in a new house we can..."

 Life is short, my children's childhoods are even shorter. Walls be hanged, the kids need to be able to color!
My goal right now is trying to prioritize,  what are the most important things to work into our "life on hold" and what can go on waiting?

-I've made the last few birthday cakes for the kids, even though my decorating supplies are, you guessed it, in storage. I've had to get creative and do what I can with a $9 beginner kit I picked up, but really, they only care that mommy made them a cake.

-I've let the girl's start scrapbooking again. Our bin of "nice" supplies is...not currently accessible. But we have discovered that with a little creativity, they can still have a lot of fun and make meaningful memories of their friends.

-I've broken out of my , "I'm not a good enough housekeeper/hostess," and we've had more people over during the past few months than we have in the previous 6 years all together.  You know what?  Either it's not as horrible as I see it, or I just pick really kind friends who are too polite to tell me about it.

-We filled the pool this summer.  We weren't going to, I mean, what if we sell the house?  But the kids were beside themselves with excitement and watching them swim like little otters all summer has been worth it.

-I've accepted that I might need to loosen my death-grip on unschooling and I've, gasp, ordered curriculum for the two older kids. Who knows, maybe they will not only survive the structure, it might even do them some good.

These things are just baby steps, I know that, but I do not want to realize a few years from now that I have wasted my kids' childhood days waiting for a better time to do things.

What is in your way?
What is causing you to look at someday instead of today?  
Do you need to re-prioritize things in your life?
Are you going through the motions and living life on hold?
Yes, we do need an eye toward the future, but not at the expense of the present.  God wants us to live an abundant life today.

*I was trying to work off of "upheaval" in the previous sentence. Instead it sounds rather Jonah-ish.  Words are funny sometimes.

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