As I’m brushing my teeth, getting ready for bed, lamenting the time it takes for me to wash my face and properly lube up with my miracle lotions and wondering if it will make any difference if I skip a night- I glance at my bathroom counter and see a very sad sight. My mug of coffee, perfectly by my (amazing) husband, has been left half empty on my counter. There sits 15 hour old coffee, with my coconut milk coagulated and pooled on the surface making what appears like broken icebergs from the tundra at the North Pole.
This is sad.
My coffee is one of my most favorite parts of my day. I have only certain mugs that I like to drink out of because they make me happy. The brew is the perfect blend of Nespresso is made with the love and care of my husband. I’m not sure if he does it because the look of pure bliss on my face as he hands it to me is his reward and fufillment or he just fears the wrath of a non-caffeinated Katherine. Either way, I love the emotion and the cozy warmth and flavor tied to my perfect cup of coffee each day. I know it’s kind of silly, but my coffee time is sacred. It’s when I try to remind myself to give thanks for the opportunity of a new day, still my soul, say my prayers, and listen for that still small voice to lead my and wash away my anxieties. And yet, today, half a cup of this magical brew was left abandoned by my sink.
I woke up early today to get some work done in the still and darkness of the morning. And I got caught up in responding to emails and checking Facebook and it ended up making me behind for the morning routine of waking the troops, breakfast, checking backpacks, brushing hair and teeth (mine and others) and heading out the door to my mommy-mobile. And that is why my cup sits here – staring at me as if to say – You didn’t make time for me today. All those other little busy to-dos came before me.
When I “retired” from my job, I looked forward to doing all the little things I had never been good at making time for before. Having dinner on the table, spending more time reading to my daughter and making crafts. Playing cards with my boys or just chatting and sitting outside watching them shoot hoops. I’ve been lamenting these first few weeks of school that my evenings have not consisted of many of these meaningful moments as I had prayed they would. And I know it’s my doing. I have said yes to so many things outside my home, because I’m so thrilled to now have the time to do them, that I have neglected the priorities that I set in embarking on this new life in the first place. Just the other day I brought my daughter home from school and I immediately got back on my computer to finish working on a project for a volunteer board I’m on, and she looked at me and said, “Mommy, can you please just put that down.” My heart sank. I’ve said probably more than 50 times in response to the question of how or why I left my career, that I didn’t want my eulogy from my kids to be that their mom always had her phone in her hand and her computer in her lap- and yet there I sat- my stay at home self facing the same guilt I had as a working mom.
So what’s the answer? How do I- you know- find the “b” word?? Balance
Obviously, I don’t know but I don’t think the answer is all or nothing. I don’t have to become a hermit and never give of myself outside our family. But I am definitely realizing that I have to make some extra sacrifices in order to ensure that I am accomplishing my goals.
But, (insert whiney voice of a toddler here) I don’t want to get up even earlier in the morning. And, I don’t want to tell people no and not be helpful. And, I don’t want to meal plan. And the idea of cleaning up glitter after crafting with Ellie makes my stomach hurt.
So what? I need to do it anyway.
It’s called sacrifice and service to others and to my family. Getting what we want (i.e. Coffee time) requires us to sometimes do things we don’t necessarily want to do. We cannot go through life only doing what feels good or we enjoy.
I love sleep – I mean really love it. But I will get up earlier tomorrow to be sure I drink every last drop of that cup my hubby delivers. If I want my moments of happiness, quiet peacefulness, warmth and joy, then I must be willing to sacrifice to get it. And I think it’s no coincidence my cup today is marked with the saying “embrace the moment.”
Thanks, I think I will.
Bring on the glitter.