This week is my “rest” week. (If a mother can ever call any week rest while homeschooling five children). As in, I literally worked myself to getting an infection last week and now my body needs to recover. This week, I’m forced to slow down. Sleep longer. Just maintain the home, rather than improve it.
No worries, this is a welcome change. Next week the projects will resume and I will again get to create a list of sorts.
My exhaustion has me wondering if every mother is feeling the lack of mental space to keep a blog running these days, or whatever other hobbies they may have. Having my kids around 24/7 with no sport or music programs, no public school, no church events or parties for the past three months was, in some ways, a welcome break from the normally busy schedule. But if you’re slightly introverted like me, any people, even your own children whom you love will drain all energy for other things.
Is anyone else out there, like me? Completely mentally drained?
Last week I shared that I haven’t found energy for reading, writing, running or other hobbies because of projects. But with more thought, I think it’s also been draining to have my kids around without any breaks. I feel rather uninspired to write about anything.
Now if you’ve followed my blog of any amount of time, you would know that I’ve homeschooled for seven years prior to this year (this was my “break” from homeschooling year… LOL!!! But apparently I’m not allowed to stop homeschooling.) I’ve already had my kids home for much of their lives, however, this has been different. It’s that kind of situation where they have nothing else.
Just me and their Dad.
They’re bored. I’m never bored. I’m too busy homeschooling, gardening, cooking and cleaning to feel out of sorts. But I’m trying to sympathize and hang out with them. When I’m tired of being their entertainer, I find them chores to do. And though life is slowly returning to normal, there is an unusual amount of white space on their calendar where their lives are concerned.
I’ve been spending money to help with the boredom… we renovated the bathroom, we purchased a dirt bike and a hot tub this month, plus tons of extra supplies for our pool. The hard-earned/slowly saved money was originally supposed to go to our first ever HUGE summer vacation, but since the borders are closed, we are bringing the fun home.
Someday, we will travel. This year we make the best of our situation. On the bright side, the hot tub will hopefully last us for years to come… vacations come and go so quickly.
Alright… now to deeper matters:
Yesterday, my husband asked me a question. It’s a question I’ve always hated, but I humoured him and answered it anyways.
If you were given a million dollars, what would you do with it?
I hate this question because it stirs up unhealthy pride/greed in people. I feel it in myself. Because there’s two ways to answer: I either list all the things I’ve wished for in my life but could never afford, or I act all spiritual and generously give it to those in need. I didn’t want to answer the question, and I told him so, to which he replied: “You are such a ‘Debbie-downer’, it’s just a fun question that reveals a lot about a person’s interests.”
So fine. I answered it.
- I want to go back to school to become a nurse.
- I would pay off our mortgage.
- I would hire someone to give me a magazine perfect yard and finish off our projects because I love to host family and friends.
- I would consider adopting two children (of course, HE would have to agree with that one haha).
- I would give 10% or more of it away, because I have found that giving brings me FAR more joy than spending money on myself.
He was surprised. He honestly thought I would travel the world. But as much as I DO like travelling, I don’t like being a tourist. Meaning, I love the places, and the people. Not so much the luxury. Whenever I am served by others, either in restaurants or on a resort, my mind wanders to the verse:
“For the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
And I feel guilty. Because I know very well I’m not here on this earth to be waited on. I’m here for the very people who are serving me. To care for them. To show them kindness and bring them joy. Ultimately to show them the love of the Father.
Maybe I am a Debbie Downer.
Yet… I just want to live with purpose! And purpose means radical, right?!?
Hmm… but often, it’s not. The longer I live, the more I am learning that a fulfilling life starts with the small things. In fact, the small things are very often more important than the big things.
How do I treat those who serve me?
How do I treat my own family?
How am I talking to the people around me? With respect?
Yesterday Ryan asked me a question and I said nothing because I wanted to think about my answer for a bit. Which was very unlike me, if you know me at all. I respond first and think later. But an hour later, after I had carefully thought through my feelings and reasons for them, I responded gently, without picking a fight.
He smiled and said, “I respect that, you know. When you think about it and respond thoughtfully. Now I can understand your feelings about it and I’m good with doing things your way.”
And I’m like, “Wow! Why haven’t I done that before?!?”
So… small things. That’s what will make me a loving person. Not the big “save the world” attitude that I so often push myself to have.
A small thing: we ordered limestone to build a pad for the hot tube and pool, but my family scheduled a visit during the time I had planned to work on it. At first I found myself getting so worked up. Why did it have to be that particular day? Why not a better time? But, I took a breath and I pushed off my schedule to “window” visit my elderly grandpa. He beamed when he saw us all there. I cried half of the time. It was SO worth it.
Such a small thing, but it made the world of a difference to him.
Life Lesson: I don’t have to be everyone’s hero. I just need to love in the little moments. Pause to think before I speak. Switch my schedule around to make room for someone else’s.
THIS is true greatness.