Start Where You Are

Once, when I was having a conversation with my sister about catching up on my (previous) blog and filling in the gaps of all that had happened, she advised me to just "Start where you are."

I feel like I've missed so much. I have only a handful of posts since Asher was born, which was now more than three years ago. All of them were written even before I got pregnant with Finn. So, setting aside the desire to document the last three years, which will inevitably bog me down and result in me not writing at all, here I am. Now.

I've been wracking my brains for inspiration on what to write about for days, and come up with nada. Frankly, I'm in a bit of a funk. Feeling very February-ish around here. It's a mercy that February is so short (thank you, King Numa). So, where I am now is grumpy and very ADHD. But I'm "dressing out" anyway, even if my panties are in a twist.

I'm feeling pulled in roughly 413 directions. I know what is most important: my family, my home, my spiritual development. But sometimes, sometimes...the Priscilla in me rears up and I want to do EVERYTHING. In most ways I strive to be like my mom and consider her an exemplar, but in this way I sometimes wish I was less like her. She had the energy of three people, which somehow allowed her to raise seven children, work part-time (typically at night), and have several very time-consuming hobbies. 

I want to be a fantastic writer. My fantasy career is to be a novelist, and I have an idea for a book (series?) that I've kicked around for years and never taken a run at. I want to paint. Art was my primary passion growing up, and frankly it's what I'm best at. I want to be a fabulous baker and decorate everything like a masterpiece. I'm nearing the end of a month-long cake-decorating class and not to brag, but I'm pretty good at it. The Great British Baking Show has ruined me for haphazard baking, people. I want to take up violin lessons again. I took them for a couple of years as a kid, and have promised myself that after I accomplished this or that, I would take them up again. Hasn't happened. I want to finally figure out how to use my camera, but every time I have a go at it I just end up frustrated with all the settings that I don't understand and my kids who won't sit still. I want to plant a beautiful and bountiful garden come spring, but I actually have no idea what I'm doing, and I have to kill my neighbors' new dogs if I want to be able to enjoy my backyard this summer. (Let's get real though: It's February and I still have Christmas lights on my house). I want my home to be impeccably decorated, clean, and organized, but it's been six months since I painted my living room and I still haven't hung up new family photos. (I want to put up recent pics of my boys, but I don't know how to use my camera.) I want to learn to cook fabulous Thai food like the lady in the little cart downtown that my husband frequents, but so far everything I make comes out bland or tasting only of soy sauce. My New Year's resolution was to manage my time better, and more specifically to be punctual, but all that's really happened is that I'm more angry with myself (and my kids) every time I'm late. I want to finish the book I started reading for the January book club that I didn't go to, as well as the other three on my docket, but lately I can't even finish the books I start. I want to exercise and really, REALLY get in good shape before I hit 30, but that requires that I manage my time better. It would be nice to get everything real high and tight, but see, I can't even write a blog post that's high and tight. 

Those are just my personal goals. I haven't even mentioned the things I want as a mother. Asher, my sweet little border collie, needs a LOT of attention and physical exertion to keep him happy and keep his hyperactivity in check. His speech, for which he received therapy for over a year, is now within normal range, but perhaps still on the delayed end of the spectrum. I've looked into doing a bit of homeschool with him, but—you guessed it—haven't actually started on it. He is hopelessly picky, so much so that he actually threw up several times the other night because he hated my chicken dinner. (I've got a book that will supposedly fix him, if I can ever get around to starting it.) Finn is growing okay now, I think. He had a three-month period where he basically did not grow, and though he's picked up the pace again, the worry still nags at me. He's nearing toddler-hood, that blissful period where he gets into EVERYthing and does not understand "no." Not looking forward to that. They offset their naps now, which basically makes it impossible to leave the house from noon until six o'clock.

I realize almost all of this pressure is self-imposed. I get that I do it to myself. I'm starting to realize that being an adult is very much about picking the few things that are important and chipping away at them, and letting go of the rest. Being okay with "good enough" is a sign of maturity. So is realizing that there are seasons of life, and the things that frustrate me will change.

I live an incredibly privileged life. I know that, and I am genuinely happy. I have beautiful, fun children that I generally consider a blessing beyond what I deserve. My husband is loyal and hard-working and complements my weaknesses nearly perfectly. He's done with grad school, and so now he even does dishes and laundry sometimes. We have a comfortable home in a safe place. I have better friends than I've ever had in my whole life. We are healthy. We don't have to worry about money. I have the gospel, which gives me the perspective to know that most of these things I worry about are merely distractions from what is most important.

What's most important is God and family. But, I know that I must do some things for my own happiness. I just feel so incredibly ADHD lately that I've become abysmal at follow-through. And I have a very hard time being okay with putting something out there that falls far short of what I know I'm capable of. The fact that I'm going to hit "Publish" on this loose and saggy blog post is "exposure therapy" to exorcise that demon. Promise me, dear readership of eight, that you won't let me quit my blog? And I will promise you something. I will be more chipper. I am not typically melancholy. It's just where I am right now.