Thursday, November 5, 2009

Owning my "It"

Did you know that this is NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Post Month? This month, bloggers are supposed to post every day for 30 days. I hear it's fun. I failed on day 2. Kirsten is giving it a go, though, so go read about her cute family while I slack off.

Anymommy, who is also on a NaBloPoMo writing streak, had a great post today about the age-old "How Do You Do It All" question. The answer is, of course, not doing it ALL, but doing IT, whatever your It is. Her It does not involve cooking dinner.

It was really a freeing/guit-inducing/self-realizing few minutes to think about what my It is, and what my It isn't. Have I lost you with all of the Its? Bear with me. Or not - there are other bloggers posting every day this month if you get bored.

I have long been a proponent of the idea that something has to give. Yes, I can give you a clean house and healthily-fed children, but in exchange you will get a very cranky, Type-A, overly-focused, no-fun-at-all Mommy.

I can give you creative crafts and freedom for playing, but in exchange you get a house strewn with yarn and tiny pieces of paper plates that have been cut with safety scissors.

I can give you time outside for bikerides and trips to the park, but in exchange you get frozen pizza for dinner - the cheap kind.

I have been learning to continue to pursue personal growth (how can I become better at the things I really enjoy doing) while I embrace my It. I just got through the whole Martha Stewart Living magazine in 16 minutes, because I skipped over all of the projects and recipes that just would not be a reality for me.

So, here's my It:
I don't clean. I've been getting better, but if you stop by and the house is spotless, it was Ben. If you stop by and there are at least two clean surfaces (for example one counter and the kitchen floor, or the table and the living room floor, or the dishwasher is empty and groceries are put away), then there's a good chance I have worn myself out with my cleaning efforts.

My It no longer involves coupons. A little, but not a lot. My It involves Trader Joes, and my happiness with the food I buy and my budget have both improved. Shopping has become a fun family activity, and I feel less guilty about frozen meals when they say "organic" or "natural" or something like that on the label. Also, I feel like from buying from a smaller chain, I am contributing less to the monstrosity that is our food industry. I may be wrong on most counts, but I am right about the parts about it being more fun and less money, and that's enough for me.

My It involves very little time spent on the floor playing. My It involves more trips to the library and the museum than to the basement. I like to get out.

My It involves obsessively checking my email, my reader, and facebook. My It involves PBS Kids so I can do those things.

My It involves having a lot of people over a lot of the time into our messy house. My It involves trying to cook for those people, because I really enjoy it. 

My It currently involves a lot of felt, a new sewing machine, and stacks of pool noodles as I attempt to make some special Christmas gifts for the little ones in my life. My It does not involve organizing those things or putting them away.

What's your It? Are you still trying to find it, like me? Have you embraced it? Or, are you really able to do It All?


Regan said...

Hi Susie,
I was just reading my "worldwide challenge" magazine when I should have been making my children's lunches, when I realized that I recognized this man in the article I was reading. Ben Thomas...hmmmm...could that be the man on that blog I read of a fellow AWAA-er? And sure enough, it is! What a small world. And let me just say that your "profile" paragraph is the best I have EVER read. I love it! If my calculations are correct, you are next in line for approval, and I am praying for you as you have just crossed the 5 month mark! You are not alone, but being lifted up in prayer.
Waiting with you,

Susie said...

Regan - yes, that handsome world-changing man, is my husband :)

We are "next", whatever that means lately. Hopefully a whole slew of us will get approved and matched and be on our way early next year!

Adrianne Thompson said...

dude, I was totally tracking with you...literally 100% with you until you got to the sewing part. Not so much. And, of yeah, Hunter doesn't clean either.

Heidi said...

You make me laugh, cry, and nod in agreement all in the same blogpost. Definitely part of your "it". Thanks for your prayers for our family/referral. We are lifting your family up in prayer these days for approval and a quick referral.

Rachael said...

ITA!!! I break down my 'its' by day. So it's either a grocery shopping day or a cooking dinner day - not both. It's a running errands day or a putting laundry away day. It's a day where I make sure Geneva gets to nap as much as she should vs. a day when we go out with friends and run errands.

Trader Joe's is definitely one of my big IT's. But that's b/c lurking inside of me is a giant foodie who is very picky about food.

Kirsten said...

So true! Something has got to give at some point. A mom can only be stretched so far. I practically live at Trader Joe's!!!

anymommy said...

You own 'it,' girl!! Love this. Maybe we'll start an IT revolution? Oh and I am so with you on the outings thing. I hate floor time.

anymommy said...

You own 'it'!! Love this. Maybe we'll start the IT revolution. Oh and I am so with you on the getting out/outings thing. I detest playing on the floor with my kids.

Naomi said...

Hit it dead on with this post!

I think for me, the IT changes weekly. Sometimes daily. Sometimes I stick with an IT for a month! Can you believe it?

I think I strive for focusing on the IT as long as I can ... and then giving just as much focus to the next IT ...

(Might those cheap frozen pizzas be Tony's Brand? Like 2/$1.00? I miss those!)