Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Her Name Is Konichiwa

Do you ever feel as though like you're being pulled in a thousand directions? Do you ever wish that you could temporarily clone yourself? I don't necessarily dream of cloning myself - but, I do find myself in a semi-catatonic state with a starry look in my eye and drool running down my chin beneath an open mouth daydreaming about "Konichiwa". She's my house girl. You know, the one who washes all of our clothes and dishes, and does all the housework? Then at the end of a long, hard day she gives me and the master of the house a hot stone massage. Her presence frees me to do all of the fun things in life: homeschool the boy, work on my projects, learn new skills and hobbies, shop. Go ahead - wipe the slobber off of your keyboard now. I'll wait for you. Surely, I'm not the only one who has this fairy land in my head. But, alas, I do not live in this reality. At least there was always summer... Yeah, right. Whatever...

In my other ideal world, or the way it seems that my world used to be, summer is a time to slow down, relax, let your hair down and just breathe a little. It hasn't been that way this summer. It seems that I have stayed in a state of overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with all of these things that want my attention at the same. The garden needs tended. The vegetables need canned. The curtains that need made. The ceiling and furniture still needs painted. The jeans that need hemmed. The never ending mountain of laundry that needs washing. The meals that need to be prepared. Then the kitchen that needs cleaned in response to the meals being prepared. And that's only the inside of the house. It seems that all of these things pull at me so that I have a hard time remembering what's really important in my life. Lord, please grant me a Konichiwa. And bless all the little pygmies in Africa. Amen.

So, what is really important? Is it all of the tasks that scream at us every time we enter the room or walk out into the yard? No, chores, projects and duties aren't what's really important when it's all said and done. This is something I've been battling with lately, though. The most important things that I can tend are not my projects lists, but my relationships.

My husband works in a 24 hour emergency business. Last week was his turn for the pager. That means he put in 48 gazillion hours in a week. Whaaa, you didn't know there were 48 gazillion hours in a week? Well, that's what it felt like anyway. When your man is gone working 48 gazillion hours in a week and then spends the other 13.872 hours sleeping - well, let's just say you don't get to see much of him. I like to see LOTS of him. He is a pretty man, after all! So, he finally got rid of that blasted pager and had the weekend off. But...when Saturday morning rolled around I was feeling pressured. Pressured to get busy make 9,000 gallons of salsa out of the 22 truckloads of tomatoes that I had picked from the garden. They aren't going to clean and chop themselves, you know. My pretty man could tell that I was already feeling stressed. He knew those tomatoes needed dealt with. But he also knew something that I needed to be reminded of. He knew those tomatoes COULD wait just a while longer. He knew we needed to spend time tending our family before we tended those tomatoes.

He ever so gently said to me, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..." No. Wait. That's not what he said. That's what I would have liked for him to say. No, that's not true, either. I would have burst out laughing if he started talking to me in the King James dialect. He did say something to me along the lines of letting the tomatoes wait and that he hadn't gotten to spend any time with us that week and so it would be good if we could just spend some time together that day. He reminded me that the most important things aren't usually the ones that scream at us the loudest. It's the quiet things in our lives that are easily overlooked and shoved to the back burner that truly deserve the most important seats at the table of our lives. I don't want my dirty laundry at the table. I want my peeps there.

So, I have a challenge ahead of me. I still have a list of projects lined up for me to do during "down" time. I will always have laundry to do, meals to prepare and dishes to wash. I have come to terms with that. But, yesterday marked the first day of our new school year. So, I can now add teaching to the top of my list. With the holidays quickly approaching and extra curricular activities getting ready to start - I am determined this year to keep perspective. I will be striving to take it one day at a time and not let my messy house and dirty laundry keep me from enjoying every day and making time to nurture relationships with the people, family and friends, who are important to me. And, while I'm learning to keep perspective - I'll still be praying for Konichiwa. What's so wrong with wanting a house girl?

Have a great one!

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