Saturday, December 03, 2011

a lesson learned (I hope)

stop me before I volunteer again

Lately, I've been thinking about when I was a little girl. I hated being rushed. I felt like my mom was always saying, "Hurry! Hurry!"

I've hated it ever since. I don't like being in a hurry.

It turns out, Eva doesn't like it, either.

And now I know how my mom felt, why she was always needing to hurry me along.

No matter what time I get Eva up in the morning (and, oh, the irony of having to wake her now when she was such an early riser for such a long time!), I always end up hurrying her along to get ready for school. She is a dawdler par excellence. And I can actually remember being the same way—getting dressed at a snail's pace while watching cartoons.

I don't like being frustrated with her. I don't like starting off my day feeling irritable, and I certainly don't like sending her off to school in tears. So I'm trying to find ways to make our mornings smoother, a little better for both of us.

I've also realized lately that I have overscheduled my life.

This first year of having all of my children in school for a full day left me feeling like I could do anything. Not only that, but that I should do a lot of things—you know, because I finally have the time.

So, when I saw a need in Eva's classroom, I volunteered. I can do that now! When I was asked to be the accompanist for the school's jr. choir, I readily accepted. When they needed someone to be the art coordinator, I said I could do it. I finally have time to attend the stake Institute class! And attend the temple more often! And of course, I still have piano lessons, visiting teaching, my calling in Young Women's, etc. (And no, my cabinets aren't finished yet. Let's not talk about that.)

And now I see that, although technically I can do all of those things, I just don't want to. When I am constantly running from one thing to the next, my quality of life suffers. I'm sure some people love being super-productive every day and have their schedules constantly humming along, but I'm not one of those people. I do not function well if I don't have some time to de-compress, to read, to think, to plan menus and clean out my fridge and exercise and bake cookies.

Before school started this year, I had dreams of daily exercise, cleaning out my studio, sewing, and finally having a clean house. I've done fairly well on the exercise, but the rest has all gone out the window. I haven't sewn one thing or even spent one day in my studio! What the?!

I've been snippy and exhausted—not a very nice mom and not very fun to be around. Well, no more. I'm cutting back where I can and I am determined to take on fewer obligations for the next school year! I'm evaluating more carefully which things are most important to me, and which help bring happiness and balance to my life.

I hope I've learned this lesson. Please remind me not to volunteer for too many things if I forget!


Charlotte said...

I love this realization. The time after I left my downtown job was wonderful because I felt so balanced. I had enough me-time to study scriptures, exercise, and sew, and energy for socializing and cleaning. It was marvelous.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I loved this post Michelle. I'm like you, I do not like uber-business and cannot handle a packed schedule. I will remind you. (But I had no idea you had volunteered for Eva's classroom, the jr. high choir, and art coordinator!)

Jill said...

Even though I sometimes enjoy being busy I know that I really need to have that time at home or I get super irritable! I have been surprised that you volunteered for so much when this was your first year of kid-free freedom. Apparently you were blinded by the freedom. Do you have to do the choir and art stuff for the rest of the school year?

chloe said...

The first step is admitting it!

I am happier busy...
don't know why, but I get more done etc. When I'm not busy I just can't get up off my rear end.

I love that you know yourself so well & can see the benefits of that. I wish I could motivate myself better when I'm not forced to.

patsy said...

oops- that was me patsy

Miranda said...

Oh my goodness, Michelle, this post speaks to me. I do NOT like to be in a hurry and I do NOT like to be too busy. I agree that many people think it is super cool to be super busy but it is not for me. Good for you for resolving to take on less. I think it is a constant reminder that people like us need.

Liz said...

I love this post! I am definitely on board with you! I didn't take on very much last year when Jared finally joined the girls at school all day. This year is a little more (but mostly just coordinating through email), but I think I'm going to take a break from being a room mom for a while. Too much drama and work.

Denise said...

Don't ask me to be the one to remind you not to over-volunteer. I need some intervention myself.

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