Monday, September 6, 2010

Climbing out of the downward spiral

So often, we're down on ourselves for what we didn't do right, what we couldn't get done on time, what we wish we could do but don't. Inspired by a blog post at Mocha Momma -- a letter to herself at age 20, I recently asked my friends over at The 36-Hour Day: What do you think you do well?

My work-life juggle always ratchets up in the summer. Just a few weeks ago I had an almost-full house for a couple of months -- my in-laws and niece were here, too. Our big kids are teens and tween-aged now -- too old for the camp they used to love, but too young to spent large chunks of time on their own -- and while you might think that things get easier when kids get older and more independent, you'd be wrong (they just get different). My mother-in-law -- bless her -- kept the the laundry monsters at bay while she was here; I wanted to ask her how she manages to get the clothes so crisp and smooth and then I realized it probably has something to do with the fact that they don't sit in my room in a heap for two weeks before they get folded.

At times like that -- right now is another one -- I feel like the challenge is not so much trying to keep all of my balls in the air as it is accepting the fact that, at some point, I will drop them. Possibly all of them. And they will roll under the couch and hang out with the dust bunnies that I haven't had time to clean.

But that's not really my biggest challenge right now. My biggest challenge is not getting trapped in a spiral of I-can't-do-anything-right-ness. Because it's so easy to look at all of the ways I think I fail instead of focusing on the things I do right.

I maintain that my superpower is multitasking, and right now, I'm going to say that's the thing I do right. Because even though my sainted Mother-in-Law is back at her own home instead of managing my laundry situation, and even though my family room carpet is crunchy and I've got a full plate at work, somehow the rest of the balls still seem to be up in the air instead of under the couch.

What do you think you do well?

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