The Little Engine That Should.

Every morning, I wake up and check out my mental to-do list.  I'm ready to handle whatever heads my way at school.  I'm ready to handle whatever it is that needs to be handled after school.  I've got chores and visions of afternoon homemaking in my head as I'm preparing for the day.  I've got errands that I want to run, phone calls I want and need to make, and emails and grades and decorating that I put on my plate.

I like the feeling of being productive and a day well-spent.  I want to see completion, I want to check boxes, and I want to cross things off.  I even have a phone and gadgets that will keep my to-do list, but nothing is better than pencil and paper.

The satisfaction of drawing lines through a list is one of my personal thrills in life.  

And then. . .noon arrives and I no longer feel the need to do anything except survive.  I start counting minutes between me and my long awaited couch time.  I no longer feel quite as nauseous, but man, I still just don't feel good at all.  Nothing sounds good for dinner or snack, my mouth gets a horrible taste in it (even after repeated brushings), and I just want to close my eyes and get back to morning when I'll feel good again.

My house is severely neglected.  I can't get caught up on the laundry, my sink constantly has dishes in it, my bathroom needs some serious attention, and I'm STILL not done with my decorations!!!!  I step over toys and piles and laundry and around the boxes of Christmas decorations waiting to be put out and head straight to the comfort zone.  I'm in my pjs most days before sundown.  I seriously consider hiring a maid, and then realize that I've got to pay for other things very soon and moan at the situation.

My girls, ever the sweet children, have been neglected because I don't have the energy to keep up with them.  It's all I can do to listen to their stories, and check their homework, and make sure we have enough clean clothes to make it through the next day.  There have been many mornings when they still have uniforms in the dryer as I'm leaving for work because I didn't complete the laundry the night before.  They understand, but I feel like the worst mom in the world at times.

And, dear Christacular, has really kicked it up around here.  He cooks, he packs the girls' lunch boxes, he does a lot of the chores, and he lets me rest in the evenings.  I have counted my blessings a lot, and he's always at the top of the list these days.  I don't know how he puts up with me, but he does and I lerve my lerve with a fierceness.

I know I'm growing a person, but that doesn't take away the guilt I'm feeling these days.  That I am not giving my family all that they deserve, that I am lazy, and that I'm just a bump on the log.

But, I hereby declare that I'm not only giving myself a break--I'm sharing it with all of you as well.  I get the feeling that we add too much pressure on ourselves to perform, to add up, to matter, and to have worth.  The value I place on myself should not be measured the cleanliness of my home, the meals I prepare, the laundry that I fold, or the bottoms that I've wiped (or underwear I've kept clean).  In the coming weeks, I'm refusing to let my performance during the holidays, and parties, and engagements, and presents, and fun stuff, and not so fun stuff determine my value.

I don't want to be measured by a stick that constantly beats me up.

I am a daughter of a King, I am loved by my family, and I will simply just have to do my best.  

And when my best doesn't measure up, so be it

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