Monday, August 25, 2008


Could someone please come bang on my door and scream "SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY" at me?

I'm overdoing it. As usual. Saying yes when I should say no. Agreeing when I should decline.

Why do I do this? I'm not eating well because I'm too busy. I'm definitely not sleeping well because I have too much on my mind.

Wanna know what's on my list?
1.) Make some baby gifts.
2.) Tag M's old clothes for consignment.
3.) Go to WM to get the things I need to do both of those things.
4.) Write lesson plans, grade papers, actually do a little teaching some time.
5.) Track down some e-mail address to get in touch with some friends.
6.) Grocery shop so we can actually eat healthy around here.

And on, and on, and on.

Does anyone notice anything about spending time with M? How about H? How about cleaning up the house? Doing laundry? Running the dishwasher? Throwing the ball with the dog? Vacuuming our house?

I was reading something over at Marie's and this unbelievable yearning came into my heart. Just throw it all away. Pack up the family and GO. Find a quiet place. Find a place where family is the only thing, the most important thing. Don't meet the neighbors. Don't register for a telephone. Don't forward the mail. HIDE. (That's not at all what I'm suggesting Marie did. I just yearn to be where she is!!!)

But the reality is that I can't do that. Running away is not in my future. I love my job. I love my friends. I love my family--my parents, my brothers, H's family.

So I need to find the balance. The balance between the tug and the pull. The "I need yous" and the "these are your responsibilities." How is it possible that one woman has so many RESPONSIBILITIES?? For those of you with children in school, PLEASE thank your child's teacher tomorrow. Teaching has the ability (capability) to suck the life out of the teacher. If we don't control it, teaching can overtake our lives. The reality is that I'll never be caught up. There will always be more to do, more to give, more to plan, more to grade, more, more, more.

I'm not having a pity party. I just needed a place to get all of this out. To see it in black and white. To remind myself that my priorities are within these four walls. My family comes first. Everything (E.VE.RY.THING.) else comes in second or fifth or tenth behind H and M.

Sometimes I feel desperate. Sometimes I need someone else to help shoulder the burden. And when these sometimes come, it feels good to have this place. And it feels good to shake with the responsibility of it all while saying I WANT TO RUN AWAY. I don't want to be responsible. I don't want to be what I am to all these different people. I just want to be me.

So I will continue to strive to simplicity. To come home and play instead of work. To cuddle instead of sew. To whisper instead of run.

Simplify. Simplify...I hear it in the distance. It's calling for me, wanting to embrace me and wanting me to embrace it honestly and truly, for once and for all.

Edited to add: I finished tagging all of M's clothes for consignment. I'll work on toys tomorrow or Wednesday. What doesn't get done, DOESN'T GET DONE. It feels GREAT to say that. The clothes were the most important thing to get ready. Did I mention my husband ROCKS? He went to WM for me and helped me hang all the clothes. It's raining now. I'm going to snuggle with H and go to sleep.


Maggie said...

Hang in there Natalie. One thing at a time -- eventually the important things will get done and the rest will fall away.

But ugh - the beginning of the year is overwhelming I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Natalie, how I can empathize with you! I am glad to see your update. Please let me know what I could do to help!
L. Turner

Christina said...

I hear you. I am feeling the same way right now. I have work piling up so high I can barely see over it, and it's stressing me out to no end. We will make it through, tho!

Arizaphale said...

you have just described my life which is why blogging has had to take a back seat and even reading the blogs of the bloggy friends I love....