Thursday, March 21, 2013

Three Things Thursday

Thing preface:
Between a nasty cold and allergies, I've been swimming in Kleenex and sleeping only thanks to Benadryl. But I'm better and my head doesn't feel so foggy, so I'm back and here goes:

Thing one:
The UPS store is amazing. I don't remember the last time I walked in one, but I had something to ship through them this week and within seconds of entering, I was offered a bottle of water (why yes, thankyouverymuch) and noticed they had Legos for kids to play with. Add to that some helpful, kind employees and yes, I will be using them again.

Thing two:
I finished the Hunger Games series in about two weeks. Good stuff. Can't believe it took me so long to get on the bandwagon, but I finally did. Everyone said the last book was their least favorite, and I have a feeling it had to do with the fact that Katniss doesn't end up with the guy they wanted her to, but my problem with the last book was that it got a little too Sci-Fi for me. Seems like all my well-educated, well-rounded, ultra-witty English professor buddies can't get enough Sci-Fi, but it's just not for me. Maybe it was all the Star Trek episodes I watched with my dad when I was little, but futuristic alien space explosions make me the opposite of excited. That being said, I lost half a night's sleep finishing Part III of Mocking Jay, so clearly it wasn't all bad. :)

Thing three:
Between watching Argo (incredible, based-on-a-true story movie) and reading American Sniper (fascinating memoir of America's #1 sniper), I'm apparently going through a shoot-'em-up phase. In tune with the good guys, the bad guys, and how to take the bad guys down, I'm more and more grateful to live in a country and on a street where violence is not normal. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

One Thing

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm addicted to productivity. For over a week, we were either without Internet or without wireless, and today we got it all back. All day I thought about how I could watch a show on hulu from my couch again, and true to form, tonight, my little productivity demon feasted as I simultaneously returned emails, worked on a NYTimes crossword, and had a conversation with an old friend on Facebook (after watching an episode of New Girl). On my couch. Ironic, right? Because I wasn't really doing anything. But I do love some good multi-tasking. A little too much.

On top of being a productivity addict, I'm also a planner. If I could, I'd plan every second of every day right now, although I know at the end of it, I'd be bored because I wouldn't have anything else to plan. 

Enter motherhood.

Motherhood, where productivity looks totally different, if it's existent at all. Daily, I have to stop what I'm doing (dishes, laundry, whatever's on my "plan" for the day) and let it go so I'm more present with Moo. And I fight it every. single. day. 

Motherhood, where plan A rarely happens. After 31 years, you'd think I'd be okay with plans B, C, D, and Z, but no, no. I go into an internal (if not external) tizzy when plan A--MY plan--doesn't work out. Reality check: plan A is a myth. Embrace it, girl.

Since I've been a stay-at-home mom, God's provided me with outlets for my gifts and goals for me to work toward. I've been able to edit blogs, be on a search committee, tutor elementary kids in reading, and been present for friends in need. It's all been very good and rewarding, but I'm also realizing that it's become an idol because now I'm in a stage where I don't see what the next thing is outside of being at home with Moo. I don't see the outlets, and that leaves me feeling trapped--suffocated, even. It's not that I don't want to be home with him; it's that if I'm honest, I don't feel "productive" unless I'm doing something in addition to investing in him. I know that's a complete lie, that investing in him is completely productive and worthwhile in a long-term and eternal sort of way. But it doesn't feel that way and I'm fighting to believe the truth. 

Of course, I know it's good to have outlets for myself and not let motherhood entirely consume me. I'm not an idiot. But I do think that having a season of just pouring into my child and not necessarily doing anything else is okay, and even good for someone like me who really can't stand the thought of only doing one thing at a time. I recently read a blog post by Sally Clarkson where she said that if she could just do ONE THING well, she would love Jesus well and love Him in a way that her children would see it. If nothing other than that happened in her day, it was worthwhile and productive. I want that ONE THING mindset. I need it.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Forced Internet fast (and how I survived it)

Our Internet stopped working two days ago,  so after spending nearly an hour (seriously???) on the phone with a very nice lady named Sophie at AT&T, I had another modem shipping to me in a day or two.

No problem, right? 


I'm embarrassed to tell you how much I missed my link to the outside world. It's not that I spend hours and hours on the computer all day, but what I realized in its absence is that I spend spare moments throughout the day checking my email, reading blogs, looking on Facebook for five minutes. And all those little minutes add up. And distract me.

I was amazed at how much I accomplished and how many worthwhile things I did when the Internet wasn't an option. I wrote five letters one afternoon. I read World Magazine. I cleaned my house and put things away that had been sitting around so long I didn't even see them anymore. I cooked dinner ahead of time so actual dinnertime wasn't so hectic. I worked out. 

It was almost magical. 

We have Internet back now, but our wireless isn't set up yet, so I'm writing this from the hardwood floor of our guest room where our Ethernet cable is. And it's sort of wonderful having the Internet available but not easily accessible. It's forcing me to do what I wanted to do after reading Jen Hatmaker's book 7, which was to set aside a certain time in my day for the computer and not touch it the rest of the day. Clearly, it took a mandatory break for me to do this and realize the benefits, and I'm hoping this is the kick start I need to quit dabbling all day online and make space for REAL things in life.