Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Chaos vs. Laundry

Maybe I miss the constant phone calls and updates about my mother’s health. The drama of a final meeting that pulled so hard at me in so many ways. Would my sister driving across the country make it in time? The chaos of it all. But today… I’m bored.

I am out of my mind bored. Bored, bored, bored.

I called my friend Margaret. You know, the Martha Stewart of Parenting.

I’m bored, Marg.

Sara… it’s been two days since you’ve been back from your mother’s funeral.

Yeah. And?

Maybe you should find something to do.

There’s plenty to do. Thank you notes are piling up as quickly as the flowers coming in. If my sister in law actually gets the flowers, does that mean I’m not technically responsible for thanking anyone for them? Something to ponder. My submissions are still sitting on my desk. I have two weeks of meetings for the foundation board I sit on coming up. A fundraiser to go to, my son’s birthday party to plan, not to mention a pile of laundry.

I have three boys. I always have laundry.

I hate the laundry, I say to Marg. I fold it and when the kids put it away, it all ends up a crumpled mess.

Okay, this is not a deep, thoughtful issue. This does not rank up there with world poverty or the AIDS crisis in Africa. Maybe it’s all I can tackle right now.

There’s something you can do, Marg says hopefully. I fold the girls’ shirts in thirds and then roll them up so they can see every shirt in their drawer without having to paw through them all!

Long pause.

I’m going to make the blog again, aren’t I?


I am not going spend my afternoon rolling shirts so my boys can eye all their options in a neat and tidy manner.

I will make them roll all their shirts so they can eye their options in a neat and tidy manner.

Needless to say, I WANT MY OLD JOB BACK!!!

At least today. As the chaos quiets down, I’m left with a pot full of feelings, long simmered like a stew, blended together. I know I have to sit and slowly savor each one, recognize the nuance of not only the single feeling but also how all the others add and subtract from its flavor.

The chaos pulls at me, a long familiar hiding place. I want to be at my old job, the busy day filled with numbers and papers, everything moving quickly. Where I am defined by someone else’s expectations. To engage again in the drama of other people’s lives, swirling, my own feelings locked away.

If I am ever going to grow past my own pain, the emotional limitations I face because of it, I will have to go through it. I have to stop running. I have to learn to take small bites of the stew, to move more thoughtfully through my days. To slow down. The chaos will kill me. Not only who I am today but who I could become.

It robs me of my potential.

The drama is over. For the first time in my life, I have been set free. I want to go back to the familiar for safety.

I need to roll shirts instead.


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