So, we have been busy lately. That’s just a given with Christmas fast approaching, a fairly last-minute move, two toddlers and a husband working three jobs. Some days are great and some days…well, some days I am sitting at my sewing machine, crying and eating dark chocolate chips straight from the bag. What makes the difference, though? Lately, I have been pondering that question a lot, and trying to figure out what are the key ingredients to a good day. Because, honestly, on the surface, the components of good days and bad days look the same to me. And since I have a whole life to live, I might as well figure out how to live it successfully, right?
Here’s the thing. Both kinds of days are busy. The good days may even be busier than the bad. Both days include toddler-dom (the only way I know to describe the random expression of excess energy that is produced by a less than mentally mature individual). And chores. And sometimes headaches. So after a lot of thought and prayer, here are a few things that seem to determine what makes a good day for me.
1. Bible time. Sometimes I have a good day without a good Bible time, but I NEVER have a bad day that began in the Word. Simple, but true. In fact, it really amazes me how that works. Typically, on a bad day, I got to bed late the night before and felt justified in sleeping in, only to wake up to the mental chaos of trying to run a household without first ordering my heart and mind.
2. Outlook. The same pile of chores can look so different with a good attitude, you know? There is no magic button that fixes my attitude, however, so this is a choice I need to make for myself, consciously and daily.
3. Plan. When I have a bad attitude, I often fail to plan well because I feel like, “It’s not going to get done/work out anyway”. Or, I get so focused on the chores that I only partially plan. For instance, I know exactly how and when I will accomplish the cooking 3 meals, doing dishes, catching up on laundry, grocery shopping and wrapping Christmas presents, but I forget to factor in the toddlers. I have no idea what I expect them to be doing while I’m busy being super-woman. When I have a mental list of activities I can direct them toward, my own chores go so much more smoothly, and I quit freaking out because William is playing in the toilet and Lil J is sticking his toy into the light socket.
4. Flexibility. Because it’s life. And stuff happens. And sometimes that means that in spite of vacuuming three times already, my husband just tracked mud through the house and now the carpet looks gross, and I have to roll with it.
5. Priorities. I like perfection. I like all the toys neatly arranged in their bins, all the books sorted by type, all the dishes clean at once and my children sitting next to me on the couch entertaining themselves while I enjoy a cup of freshly made coffee. But reality is, toys are for playing, books are for reading, dishes are for using and children are for learning, and none of that happens when everything is kept in a state of constant perfection. Full bellies, learning minds and happy hearts need to take priority over my OCD tendencies. When I manage to remember that, we have an amazingly good day!
So, those are a few of the things that come to mind when I compare the good and the bad in my life.
And now, my William is telling me he is tired and needs his Mama to quit typing and focus on him, so…. here I go!