Sometimes everything you plan goes out the window. Chickens took over my life recently. And it turned out to be a waste of time and only made me look like a ninny. I wish important things would take over my life and I could get more done than I knew I had the capacity to do. I wouldn’t feel like a ninny — I would feel all superior and self-congratulatory about managing the mundane details of my life. Like the laundry – which has completely backed up because of the chickens. Or my finances – which are no fun anyway and I need no extra reason to neglect but really should get my attention. Or cleaning the house – well, let’s just start with getting the dishes out of the sink and into the dishwasher (which by the way, does ALL the work, so I have no excuse!). Or, how about if I just focus on getting the kids to their games, practices and activities on time with food in their stomachs?
If I were a domestic rock star, I imagine that my kids would never cause any trouble, my dog would behave even better than my children, my friends would marvel at my organizational skills, and I would invite people into my home with a grand sweep of my hand and a peaceful smile. Yes, I live in the suburbs and there is a high value placed on “having it all.” It is hard not to catch the fever. Do I sometimes fantasize about everything being perfect in my home and my life? Okay, maybe a little. But then I remember that there is always a cost and “perfect” is really an elusive, subjective goal.
This recent whirlwind of activity not related to productive chores, makes me wonder if I am over-working on some things. An “aha moment” I had in college about giving the teachers what they wanted, rather than studying absolutely everything might be applied here. Maybe I don’t have to do absolutely everything I think I have to do. As we have seen with the chicken crisis, I do manage to fit in the things that really matter to me – so maybe I need to think about what really matters and stop feeling bad about not doing things I don’t care about anyway. I can automate, farm out, or routinize the things I have to do, but that don’t really make me happy enough to fit in during a crisis. My assumptions about what I must do are the only thing stopping me from consciously choosing what I do with my time and achieving my own, personal version of “having it all.”.