Friday, May 18

Unfinished Business


  There is a lot of unfinished business in my life. You?

     Unfinished books (LOTS of them), 1/2 written blog posts, partially filled notebooks full of writing ideas, lists of movies I should see and books I want to buy, photo albums started, delicate laundry intended to be washed with the Woolite I need to buy, basement and garage organizing projects begun  and recipe binders stuffed with colorfully photographed dinners pulled from magazines and intended to be filed. How about the house projects we started on a feverish whim well over a year ago and somehow haven't been able to get back to since.

     Unfinished business drives me peck, peck, pecks at the back of my brain demanding some attention. I keep trying to throw it some treats, to quiet it down, but nothing seems to work... it follows me around like a stray cat hoping to be appeased with some milk...I keep shooing it away. 

     When it gets really irritable it starts to throw not so nice criticisms my way...

      If you were more organized...

      If you structured your life differently...
      If you could just get your act together...

     If you were a better mom, wife, friend, sister...

    And then I get crabby. And discouraged. And frustrated.

      If you just had a better attitude about it plods on.

  That's about when I pick up a shoe from the pile (and I do mean PILE) in our disorganized mudroom to throw at it...At the animal of unfinished business who likes to taunt me with its lies.

    It's funny, as much as the "stuff" that tends to lie around our house drives my husband nuts (you know, the craft supplies, shoes, discarded children's clothing items, magazines, coupons...etc. etc.) he typically is WAY better at perspective. You know the perspective needed to say, "Hey, what's really important here?"

    So like yesterday (and today) when I started in on the "Yadda, yadda, yadda," and the "Yadda, yadda, yadda" and oh did I mention the "Yadda, yadda, yadda."

    (Poor guy!)

    He raises his eyebrows like I do with the girls when they've gone on far to long about something insignificant and says, "Lis, what do you expect. It sounds like you had a great day with the girls. You went for a walk with them and read books to them and spent some great time with them. Is the rest of this stuff really important?" 

    "Well, um, yes...I albums and paint colors and delicate laundry and (big stab to the gut here) blog posts...Of course they're more important than bonding with my children!"

    (That last bit was sarcasm...just in case you missed that!)

    Of course that stuff isn't as important. Of course it can wait for another day. Or year.  Or decade!

    Of course it's also easy to believe that iota of truth on a practical level, but living it out, being peaceful about where you are and how much "unfinished business" you may have in your life on any given day while you are raising children, well, that's a lot harder to do. 

    So friends, here's the only encouragement I can offer you today...If you're frustrated by all that you are not getting done...try to list the things you have done.

     If you're thinking you're the only one not getting it all assured that my basement is probably WAY messier than yours, my fridge WAY more disgusting, and the noticeable dust in my living room WAY more obvious.

   If you feel like you are a perpetual "to-do" list creator, but not finisher...I'm right there with you.

   And for the REST OF YOU! Throw us a bone here! If you're reading this thinking...Oh, poor thing...if she just alphabetized her spices, and labeled her drawers and sorted her baskets everything would just fall into place! You are the women I envy...PLEASE leave your best organizing/time-managment/ how to handle the stuff of life with small kids around suggestions in the comments section below.





  1. No need to worry about being a better sister...i couldnt ask for a more amazing one than you!

  2. Ahh... Unfinished business. Just reading the words makes me squirm! Thanks for touching on this untouchable subject:)

    Kendall Blair

  3. I know JUST how you feel!!! I'm right there with you!

  4. As one who has lately become quite weary of the "Battle for Balance" between motherhood and writing, I appreciate this honest post, and knowing I'm not alone.

    I look forward to meeting you at Allume - or sooner, since we're practically neighbors (I'm a bit east of Rochester) :)

  5. As a mom on the other-side of the story (I have an adult daughter), I now see that a little disorganization and a happy family is far better than a house that is "perfect" but a family that has a mom at the end of her rope. Priorities? family always before house.

  6. My to-do list seems to get longer and longer. While my children are grown...I can still relate! However I do have a puppy and that almost qualifies as having another toddler. ;-) I think in my creativity I have missed the 'neat' gene that some women seem to have. That being said I will share with you the three small things I have learned that help me feel a bit better about the condition of the house. 1)I make my bed the minute I get out of it...I just pull the covers up and throw on the pillows and the decorative pillows and the rest of my bedroom looks better(even if there is an inch of dust on the dressers)! Somehow it even looks more peaceful with the bed made.
    2) Every night I make sure that I have the sink cleaned with all the dishes either loaded in the dishwasher or washed by hand...and the counters wiped down. I hit the button on the dishwasher just before I go up to the bedroom each evening.
    3) I swish and wipe the bathroom toilets each day(at the very least every other day). Literally only takes two minutes...who knew?
    Maybe you already do these things but I have found them to be a source of peace in the midst of the everyday chaos that tends to occur in the home on an almost daily basis.

    Having said all of that...remember that your children grow up far too quickly and will be raising children of there own before you know it. The time, teaching, and nourishing you invest in them now will follow them throughout eternity! You're husband is right...your housework and todo list will be all but gone...those precious little ones are eternal beings who need you now in order to go into the future as well adjusted adults!


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