September 1, 2009

All In A Day

I often set daily or weekly goals for myself that I have every intention of seeing through, but then I get distracted or lazy or just put off for tomorrow. I lay in bed at the end of most days beating myself up for things I should have done and didn't or, more often, things I did instead. I lie there exhausted, tormenting myself and feeling guilty for being so tired when I did "nothing" that I had planned to accomplish for that day.

Last night was yet another night of guilt and frustration with my lack of ambition. I didn't take that long walk with Seth that I had planned. I didn't call the new dentist's office and make the appointments we need. I didn't start back on Weight Watchers as intended by counting my points. I didn't list that pile of outgrown clothes and baby gear in my living room on Craig's List. After awhile of tallying up all the things I didn't do, I started to wonder what exactly I had done with my day and played it back in my head from the beginning...

I woke up at 7am, dressed and readied two kids for school, depositing them on the bus-stop by 7:30; cleared the breakfast dishes; dressed the third child; made four beds; ate breakfast. I watched the emotionally riveting movie Taking Chance with the husband; jumped in the shower, dressed, did my hair and make-up; headed out the door with my portable steam cleaner to help a friend. Before leaving, I emptied out the back of my car and removed the kids' car seats so I could lay the back seats flat.

Stopped on the way out of town to drop movies off at the library and buy kids' toothpaste at Walgreen's since my own children think the various regular toothpastes we have in this house are disgusting; was detoured due to an accident on the way to my friends house; finally got there to help carry exercise equipment out of her basement, random furniture across the street, and suck all of the rain water and stink out of the floor of her car; loaded about eight big bags of her garbage into my car to stick on the curb at home.

I drove home, unloaded the garbage while attacked by bees, put the rear seats back up, reinstalled the car seats, put all of the soccer gear and chairs back in my car; attempted to nap with husband while Seth slept, tended to my wifely duties instead; greeted Noah and Gwen when they got off the bus, sorted through the numerous papers in their school bags; worked on dinner; cleared the table after dinner; did homework with both kids; hosted a neighbor kid for a couple of hours before baths.

While the kids played with their friend, I washed a load of diapers; filled out our September family calendar; picked up the house; filled out a permission slip making sure to place the exact fee amount in a properly labeled envelope; brought the hamster out for the kids to torture; laid out jammies for after baths and the next day's clothes; broke up a fight over the hamster between the neighbor boy and Gwen, sent him home, Gwen to her room, and Sarah the hamster back to her cage.

I bathed and dressed three kids for bed, brushed three sets of teeth, cleaned six dirty ears, brushed three heads of hair; tried to get Noah's loose tooth to wiggle out; cleaned up the bath toys, hung towels, made sure dirty clothes found the hamper; dug around in the crawl space for Gwen's blue mermaid Barbie along with Barbie's dolphin sidekick that she had to have for show-and-tell; read to the kids, tucked the older two into bed, stuck a movie in for Seth.

I transferred the load of diapers from washer to drier; packed two lunches; watched Design Star; tucked Seth into bed; chatted with my friend a bit, checking in on her progress with her final day of moving; finished the very long book I have been reading for the past week and a half, pulled the next book in the series out of the nightstand; turned the light off to get 5 hours of sleep before another day of much the same.

I must remember to mentally replay my days like this when I am lying there feeling unaccomplished and lazy and wondering why I am feeling so tired. I may not have managed a single thing on my to-do-list yesterday but, honestly, when did I have time? Today is a new day and maybe, just maybe, Seth and I will get that walk in and, now that I am thinking about it, I know those dentist appointments will be made. If nothing else, I now realize that I have earned the right to my exhaustion at the end of my "unproductive" days.