I am strong and confident, swift and competent, leaving completed tasks in my dust as I dance through my day. I face adversity with a smile, and I always see the humor in everything.
I am grateful for my family and my home, for A’Kos the Super Wonder Service Dog and all he does for Kender. I am grateful for the therapy we will go to today, and all the progress they help him make and the ideas they give me to bring home and work on with him. I am grateful for opportunities to use my knitting and crochet skills to make money, which really is like having a dream come true. I am grateful that my children see me as their wonderful mother and love me even when I feel like I’m doing a terrible job of it. I am grateful that my gods speak to me and that I am still learning to listen and understand when they do.
I feel like I am being asked to examine and trim down my life right now. It’s obvious that there is too much for me to do. I have worked for the past few years on remembering to say no, to not step up to every opportunity, to not promise to help in the future, to only do what I can in the minute. Still, I have acquired duties and obligations, little promises that I make to myself but that seem to have just as great a hold on me for all that they are secret. Sometimes I’ve made the promises to other people, as well, which makes them that much harder to break.
I promised to make an effort to do things one-on-one with everybody in my family, because I felt like I wasn’t paying enough attention to them, not seeing and interacting with them as other people instead of just housemates. I promised to spend time every day working on the ancient art of nalbinding, as a way to connect with the practices of my ancestors. I promised to spend time every day working on my studies as a priestess, because being a priestess and a full member of a church is something I have wanted my whole adult life. I promised to work at my seminary studies, even though I got fussed at for signing up and told I was crazy for staying, because I wanted to be there with my friend, and then I found I liked it and didn’t want to leave. I promised to spend time working on French, even though I hate it, because I can’t handle working on more than one language at a time and Brenden is taking French and I don’t want somebody in my house to be able to speak words I don’t understand, and being multi-lingual is another thing I have always wanted and have never achieved, something I keep starting and stopping, half-learning and then forgetting. I promised to spend just a couple minutes with myself, several times a day, to tell myself that I am okay, that I do the best I can, that I am not a failure. I promised to exercise at least three times a week, even though I can’t run anymore, just simple bodyweight exercises to increase my strength and keep my heart pumping. I promised to check on my kids’ chores every day, and to just do them myself instead of yelling and fussing at them about it, to quietly achieve what I want (a clean house) instead of trying to force others to do it for me. I promised to study Japanese with Jarod, because I figured an Asian language isn’t going to interfere with a European language, and he wanted to learn it to understand anime, and I always kind of secretly wanted to learn Japanese anyway. I promised to work on picking up the boys’ room myself every day, because they won’t do it and I still feel Kender needs the cleaner environment. I promised to write in this blog every day, or as regularly as I could, to get the words out one way or another. I promised to do work in my yard every day, to try to keep the house from looking like trash and keep the city from coming by and telling me what a bad job I’m doing and threatening me with fines. I promised to pray every day, to spend time in meditation and communing with my gods.
That’s already a crazy list, but it’s just the things that I suppose could be dropped, the things that aren’t necessary to living. It’s not including the necessary things, like doing laundry four times a day, taking my medicine, giving Kender his medicine, baths and teeth brushing for the two of us, keeping A’Kos groomed and maintaining his training, shopping for groceries and working to buy on sale and as cheap as possible, taking Kender to his therapy sessions (currently three times a week), taking the trash and recycling out to the street, balancing the checkbook and paying bills, making sure the kids are learning things and staying on top of searching out curricula and opportunities, driving them to their classes, paying for their classes.
There are things that I want to do, that I’ve put on my “habits” list to remind me and to reward myself for doing them, but to not punish myself for not getting around to them. I want to teach my kids music, piano and guitar and drums and singing, since that’s what we have around the house. I want to get Kender out more, go to the children’s museum and take advantage of the membership they gave us, or go to the park or other play opportunities like the bounce house place; I want to do crafts with him and read with him and play games with him. I want to sell things I make on Etsy. I want to ride my bike, because I still want to be my Aunt Anne someday when I grow up. I want to get all the extra paperwork around my desks scanned and purged, all the pictures scanned and saved, all the pictures I have sorted and labeled and on display. I want to study more, learn more about volcanoes and biology and chemistry. I want to practice my divination more, do more tarot and rune readings. I want to polish up my Spanish and finally become fluent. I want to cook meals for my family, bake bread and cook yummy and healthy dinners.
That’s not counting the long, long list of things that I want or need to get done. I still haven’t sent out thank-you cards for our re-wedding in February. (Yes, I remember everything and everybody, and you’re all on my list.) I want to write rituals for myself and my family and friends for the various holidays. I want to make practical and clothing items for myself, sewing and knitting projects. I never did send out flowers or cards to some families that suffered deaths this past year, or buy presents for some weddings that happened. The van needs so much work, oil change and new wipers and new tires and alignment and the steering arms replaced. I want to learn more from Chris, see if I can figure out how she was making money from her blog and advertising and see if I can copy it, for myself and for her mother. I want to see if I can sell my spelt baked goods in local markets, since nobody else makes anything like them that I’ve found. I’ve got a pile of printer cartridges in a couple of boxes in my living room that were given to us to recycle for donations, either for Kender if possible or for the church if not, and I need to take them in someplace. I still haven’t gotten a kennel for A’Kos, or a proper collar for Dot. I need to give all the animals their parasite medications and take them in for their shots. I’d like to write apps, a shopping app that would do what I wanted, a dog training app that would help with maintaining A’Kos. I want to get a conversion setup so the kids can again use the SodaStream they got for Christmas last year. I want get my grandmother’s china cabinet fixed, repaired from all the damage Kender has done. I want my kids to be able to do SpiralScouts, even though this is the one thing I have drawn a firm line on, that I know I absolutely cannot take on as a leader because I already tried and failed. I want to get horse riding lessons for Kender for therapy, and for the girls so they can learn to work with the horses like they want. I want to help more with my church, help with advertising and fundraising, work on expanding into the Lansing area. I need to do some more yard work, clean up around the meter where the electric company has fussed at me, repair the play set and add some more things that never got attached. I need to renew A’Kos dog license. I want to do dissection experiments with Liam and Jarod, and get Liam signed up for good karate classes, and get him some economics lessons. I want to get Kender’s donor list into a better electronic format, and get pictures made of Kender with A’Kos, and send out Christmas cards to everybody on the list. I want to decorate my house and home for the seasons. I need to return a book player and some book cartridges to the state library, and some braille books to the Jernigan library. I need to get Liam back in to the opthalmologist for new glasses. I want to get my Linux computer back up and running in the dining room so the kids will have another computer to use for learning. I want to finish designing a loft bed with platform step-shelves so A’Kos can get into the bed. I want to build five loft beds so my children will have space to call their own and places for dressers and desks. I need to order new mobility canes for Caitlin and Brian. I promised Caitlin to make an appointment for her to get her ears pierced. I promised Tamara I would call the school about getting her into the choir program. I want to make my own laundry detergent instead of buying it. I want to upgrade my altar tools, get charcoal burners for incense and a wand and things. I have a spell-form that I am working on, and I need to order some more parts for it. I promised to send a box of clothes to a friend. I need to call and reschedule an opthalmologist appointment for half the family. I always need to go buy various articles of clothing for the kids.
Or the things others have asked me to do, and I’ve said yes to. The socks, hats, mittens and scarves everybody wants, the dresses and swimsuits and pajamas and jackets and pants and ritual robes and even whole wardrobes I’ve been asked to make.
And around all this is the driving and attendance time. I need to drive Brenden to wrestling competitions and drive his girlfriend home when she stays for dinner, drive Tamara and Caitlin to art class, drive Tamara and Jarod to cheer classes and competitions, drive Kender to therapy, sometimes drive Brian to work and to the store, drive the kids to see their friends, drive everybody to Foster classes and the park, and when I’m not driving people around, I can go out and drive people around for Uber and earn some money.
These are all of the things that keep spinning around in my head, all of the wants and needs and promises and obligations. How to sort through all of it? How to get it down to a manageable size? How to say, ok, I’m not going to keep that promise?