Do everything! Have everything done!!! This is my wish today.
Well, mostly my wish. It is tempered with knowledge that there is no such thing as “done”, so maybe my real wish is that there could be such a thing as done?! Probably not, as that would mean the end of progress and I’m rather attached to that idea. At any rate, this morning I find myself looking around at the stacking projects, places to go, things to do and all the things I wish I could do, and I find myself rather anxious to be able to do it all.
Where did I hang my cape? Oh yeah, that’s a wish too. So where is my wand so I can do that wonderful ‘pull thoughts out of my brain and drop them into a pensive’? Even that would be most agreeable on a day like today.
This is the real game for me – balance. I know I can’t do it all, but some silly part of me still thinks it needs to or wants to. I suppose that’s not all bad, but it’s not all good either. I should be taking my own advice I dished out just this week to my 10 year old, technology loving, son. In response to his being “bored” and wanting to do something that required me to entertain or buy something more to entertain him, I told him the problem is that he has too much. Although, I swore I’d never be the parent that rehearsed how hard my childhood was – walking to school in the snow, uphill, both ways – I find myself unable to repress the recall button. I can’t help telling him when I was a kid you simply had to make fun up, you had to create your own games – mostly outside. There was no TV or movies on demand. You watched what the TV played when the TV schedule played it, and for kids you got a few hours Saturday morning for cartoons and about an hour after school before the news. At the time that was a curse, looking back it was a wonderful blessing. Today, kids can and do entertain themselves with all forms of media nearly every hour of the day. TV has moved into the mobile market of small devices they can wear anywhere further extending the reach of “always available”. What I tried to explain to my son was that you always think you want more, but if you get it, or if you had, it you’d quickly become bored because the real thrill is in the seeking and wanting. This is the advice I know I should accept as well. Even with all my noble intentions, the same truth applies. The trick of course is in figuring out how to channel the desire, motivation and energy into meaningful action. A trick that sadly, I am yet to master.
Take the current state of my yard and garden. Harvest is at my doorstep. The squash plants have gotten the upper hand, laughing at me in spite of my best efforts to avoid wasting any produce (another quandary of why can’t I just let it go?!). The corn is slower than expected and I see several stocks pushed over with some corn eaten by little bandits, aka raccoons, yet I know it’s only days before that’s ready to harvest. The peppers are ready to be used, but sadly the tomatoes aren’t yet – bummer. The first round of apples found a home – yay! There are many more left – boo! The weeds continue to make headway and the grass keeps growing despite how often it is mowed. And you know what? I’m at the point in the season when I just can’t make myself care enough to do things as much as I did earlier in the season. I don’t know if anyone else gets this way or not, but as I was perusing my pictures this morning I couldn’t help but note the difference in the overgrown look and unattended flower beds by this time of year.
Speaking of pictures, there’s another biggie. I dream of an organized (no duplicates!!) digital storage system – everything is tagged, dated, categorized etc. I extend that dream to printed books of valuable and meaningful photos all neatly lined up on my shelf. And yet, there are lots of duplicates, less order than I’d like, old stuff left to scan and books yet to be printed. Oh, and you know what else? After seeing my daughter’s Christmas gift of a really nice camera…I really think I’d like to take up that hobby! How’s that for adding instead of subtracting?!
The kids start school next week, and while I’m ready for the schedules again a part of me is dreading that too. I’ve enjoyed being able to go back to bed in the mornings here and there this summer. I dearly hate waking up in the morning and this year mornings will be earlier. And just like my daughter’s camera, I find myself wanting to learn more myself. I want to read more, tackle more subjects I feel I never really mastered in school. Perhaps even learn that Spanish I’ve never mastered.
How do you battle the balance demon with all these conflicting thoughts and feelings? I don’t think I have a great answer. I can hear the rhetoric sayings echo in the back of my head – “baby steps”, “stop and smell the roses”, “the joy is in the journey”, and so on. Somehow these things don’t seem to quick reach that itch, in fact in some ways they seem to inflame it.
About the only thing I can think of right now is to temper these feelings of frustration with a moment of reflection on recent successes:
Zucchini relish – check. Apricot jam – check.
The roses continue to bloom.
They may not be much, but they are something. They are proof that good things are still getting done even when I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of wants.
So if the thrill really is in the seeking and the wanting, I guess my life is super thrilling right now!