Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wanna Swap? by Angie Ledbetter

It was a typical weekend full of “do this” and “do that” things. Let’s see...Friday started off with the awful 5:30 alarm clock. (Which reminds me, why am I always in the best sleep right when the alarm rings?) After morning carpool, I had 9 hours of working a school fundraiser. Next, my sister and I set up for a surprise 70th birthday party for our wonderful mom, and started early Saturday morning getting the final preps done. Afterward, there was clean-up to do and then home to my blessed bed. Sunday, I had “kid stuff” to do and a baseball parents meeting. Did I mention my house is still decorated for Christmas and the tree is still up? My carport looks like a bomb went off in it.

This morning, the alarm started my treadmill all over again and I started to throw a minor hissy fit when I saw all the clutter and chores gone undone all weekend by the kids (and myself). This led to thoughts of what other people must do on their weekends. My mind, selfish critter that it is, immediately conjured up all sorts of restful, fun, and relaxing events they're pursuing: movies, a weekend getaway, leisurely napping, dining out with friends, playing board games or poker...oh, the list was endless. Then I stopped to really think. Do others really, truly spend their weekends in idyllic ways? Probably not. Definitely not those with kids.

More than likely, they’re doing the same kind of things I am. They caught up on chores that slid by during the busy work week; they visited sick or elderly relatives and friends; they grocery shopped; they moved a parent into assisted living; they pined for loved ones out of town; they attended long days of school baseball or basketball games; they helped an ill friend; they worked a weekend job; they dealt with chronic pains or new ailments; they cleaned the yard. Maybe a few did get a shot at some real R&R for a change, but so do I.

In reality, there’s not a single person I’d change lives with. And that fact should shut my whiny, unappreciative brain up for a day or two!


Kathryn Magendie said...

I think about that sometimes. Instead of trading, I think, well, how do I change what I got to where it settles on my shoulders better? course, that said, there are some things that can't be changed, but then maybe even that's a copy out for me *laugh*

Nannette Croce said...

What is it about the weekend that feels so sacred? I remember when my daughter was a baby how cheated I felt because she couldn't tell a weekend from a weekday and woke up just as early and just as hungry, and needed a nap at the same time on Saturday and Sunday as she did during the week.

You've got the right idea. Realistic expectations are the first step toward gratitude.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Great food for thought, both of you.

Anonymous said...

Well sweetie, I can relate. I do have my tree down but not all the decorations back in the attic. I also see clutter from things not done, but I learned a long time ago to just enjoy the day. it doesn't matter what you cleaned or didn't, what matters is the day you spend with your loved ones while they are here. My husband always used to tell me I lived in ABC order, because I couldn't handle anything out of place so I would constantly run myself ragged, but at the end of the day everything was in ABC order! I was totally exhausted but my house was in order. Then my mother had cancer and she came to live with us so I could care for her. My ABC world was crumbling around me and I had the hardest time handling that. I couldn't let go, I couldn't accept I wasn't wonder woman after all. At the end of the day I was exhausted, and nothing was in order. I had to let go. Then one day I looked in my moms eyes with my 2year old son next to her "reading" her a story from his book and realized this is what it is all about. Not the clutter or what we didn't get done. If any one comes over, I'm sorry for the mess, but I'm spending time with my family while we are all here. And you know what, I do take those naps in the afternoon on the weekends now, that at one time I would have thought I would die before I would let that happen. So i can tell you there isn't anyone I would wanna swap with.

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