This morning I woke up early. The morning light was just beginning to make its appearance. All was quiet until the familiar sound of trash trucks rumbling down our street reminded me that it’s Friday. Nature was calling — sorry, TMI; I was trying to think of the most ladylike way to put that, and that’s the best I could do — but I didn’t have the energy to get up. I lay there, wondering what time it was. It seemed too early too start the day.
The alarm went off, and my husband got up. Maybe it wasn’t so early after all. I can’t get used to these new, shorter days.
My 6-year-old sensed a vacancy and moved from her spot across the foot of our bed and settled in next to me. I put my arm around her and wondered when my soft, squishy baby got to be so long and gangly.
I lay there, listening to the sound of the shower, wondering how long I could put off the inevitable. Finally I got up and took care of bidness. I came back into my room and looked at my two daughters laying in my bed, a tangle of tanned arms and legs and white sheets and tousled blond hair.
I debated crawling back into bed, but a quick glance at the clock told me it was 6:30. I told myself that I’ll be getting up at 6:30 every day, starting on Tuesday morning, so I may as well get used to it. I put in my contacts and brushed my teeth and left my room.
As I headed towards the stairs, a pink and blond moppet slid out of my bed and joined me in the hallway. I sighed and smiled. My 3-year-old shadow rarely lets me start the day alone.
I looked down at her, both of us too groggy to speak, and reached out my arms in invitation. She jumped up and wrapped her arms and legs around me, and I carried her down the stairs.
I went straight to the laundry room. I folded clothes, threw the load from the washer into the dryer, and then put a new load of towels in the washing machine. I troubleshooted a minor glitch when the washing machine showed an error. Fortunately it turned out to be nothing. I left my two loads of laundry humming quietly and went into the kitchen.
“I wanna watch Caillou,” came a small voice from the family room. It’s her morning ritual; who am I to break tradition? I found a recording of Caillou on our DVR and left her on the couch while I went to make my coffee. While the coffee was brewing, I took a large pot out of the fridge and put it on the stove. The chicken stock that I made last night still needed to be strained, so I set the oven on low to bring it back to its liquid state.
I looked at the bag of tomatoes on my counter and made a mental note to get the tomato sauce going early in the day, while my energy is still fresh.
I poured a bowl of granola and milk and reminded myself that I need to make more granola today.
I brought my breakfast to my office, opened the blinds, and sat down at the computer.
And so it begins. Another day.
Another round of designing and cooking and writing and laundry awaits. It’s a comfortable, confident routine, and I enjoy most of my daily tasks. But sometimes I get tired of it all. Or perhaps I’m just tired.
As is my habit, went straight to my email. There were only 3 new emails since I left the computer at 11:30 last night, so I quickly dealt with them. I opened up the design I’m currently working on and made a few tweaks and sent it back to my client.
I had no idea what I was going to blog about today. I considered taking the day off. No one will miss me. It’s a holiday weekend after all.
I decided to open my Google Reader before moving on to other tasks. I visited my buddy June and chuckled at her recent antics. I complimented Holly on her gorgeous new carpet and commiserated with girlymama on her daughter’s bullying situation and wished her well on her weekend away.
Which was just the encouragement I needed today. It reminded me that I am not alone. Moms everywhere are getting up this morning and starting a new day of the same old routine — work and childcare and household chores. Working moms, stay-at-home moms, work-at-home moms, homeschooling moms. Our tasks may be different, but we’re all working to the same end, raising families, doing what it takes to get through the day, just to get up and start all over again. There is comfort in that.
As I write, I’m reminded of a sermon a few weeks ago when my pastor challenged us to make everything we do, even the mundane chores, an act of worship. There is a greater purpose in every dirty dish, in every load of laundry, in every interaction – whether it be with our children, our husbands, our colleagues, our clients, our neighbors, even the cashier at the grocery store. I don’t know about you, but knowing that helps me get through the day.
Now it’s 9:00. My coffee mug is empty. Four jars of chicken stock are cooling on my kitchen counter. There is a tray of granola and a pan of granola bars baking in the oven. The dishwasher has been emptied and re-loaded, the sink emptied, the counters wiped. Laundry has been folded and restarted.
Children are waiting for breakfast and the tomatoes are waiting to be made into sauce. There is a bag of peaches in the fridge that I’ve been meaning to slice and freeze. I better do that today, lest they go to waste. There are product reviews to write, blogs to design, phone calls to make, showers to take, emails to answer, and piles and piles of folded laundry sitting in my bedroom waiting to be put away. And so it goes.
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…
and I’m feeling GOOD.