Friday, September 14, 2007

The bead necklace of life

Here I am, back again. I'd taken some time out but I'm not sure I can come up with a term to describe why. It wasn't a nervous breakdown or anything. I was still feeling pretty happy. It was more like some sort of re-assessment of the way life has been going lately. I realised that I was feeling tired a lot of the time for no apparent reason. As far as I could tell, I'd been "living the dream", doing things that felt good and proper. Still, there was an impression that I was carrying a lot on my shoulders. So I decided to quit all of my usual occupations for a little rest. My blogging, most obviously stopped for a few weeks. Also my record keeping system. The weekly-wrap-ups I'd been keeping for the kids along with my diary went too. What I realised was that I've been trying to keep up with what I've heard called, "The Thousand Things."

I realised that even the life of a person who is trying to live a relaxed, laid-back homeschool lifestyle is filled with appointments and deadlines. My diary is generally spaced with arrangements for a few weeks ahead. I look at the blankness beyond and think, "I'll take a well-earned rest when I get to these bare white pages. But the bare white pages never come. As I get closer to them, more deadlines, appointments and arrangements get jotted down into the space. There is always two, three or four weeks of things filling the pages of my diary. Many of them appear to be one-off things, but they keep happening.

For the last few weeks, some of those things have included Logan's allergist appointment, Father's Day for which I'd agreed to do some cooking, contributions of goodies for a special basket we were putting together for someone, taking the kids to the Royal Adelaide Show for the day, and taking Logan to his cousin's house, to participate in a movie which Jarrad had scripted for five or six boys to have starring roles in.

Now that these "one off" things are off the list, here are some of the things that we're taking on during the next couple of weeks. Tomorrow, my family are performing a little act as part of an afternoon of entertainment for the residents of a local nursing home. The following Saturday, we're going to a "masked ball" of ballroom dancing for which I want to buy Emma a new dress. A possible kid's camp is coming up for Emma and a "Dad's & Lads" camp for Andrew and Logan. I have a medical appointment next Monday down in the city early in the morning with a cardiologist who wants to make me exercise on a treadmill. This is because I'd woken up with a bit of a sore chest last week, and saw a doctor who took a couple of ECGs. Apparently the first one was a bit funny in one area, although the second one was normal, and they want to give me a stress test. (I feel pretty fit so I hope that'll turn out to be nothing much, although it's another day out and in the back of my mind). And all the time, we're in the middle of Andrew's new cubby-house business getting off the ground. As I love a quiet life, it's these extras that help get me over-awed at times.

Thinking and praying it through, I think that it's always going to be this way because that's what life is all about. Life is like a necklace filled with beads of "one-offs" that get strung on, one after the last. It seems to apply especially to the mother of a young family, anyway. Making sure I spend time grounded in God's Word seems the best way to live my life, and to remember that these "one-offs" are valuable things of themselves, anyway. Yesterday, I bought a little glass angel with a quote by Mother Teresa underneath it. She said, "We can't do great things, but we can do small things with great love." That's what these extra-curricular things that fill a person's life are all about. They sometimes make me feel scattered and confused but they're all making a difference. To use another metaphor, they are the coloured threads in the rich tapestry of life. Of course, holding these together are always the "normal" coloured threads too, such as washing, ironing, cooking, clearing clutter, taking kids to archery or ballroom dancing, making time for my writing and reading. And there are always tasks that should seem easy but take a bit of effort, such as making Blake put on a jumper in a cool breeze instead of running around in a singlet top. All of this, put together and shaken up, create a recipe that is called "LIFE." Getting back to my blog is one of those things that improves the quality of life, because with blogging, as well as giving, we're receiving from others too.

Just now, I'm off to look for a fake beard for Andrew to wear tomorrow when he performs as "The Man from Ironbark" and Emma is nudging my elbow with an educational catalogue full of items she's put rings around for a future visit to a special store down near the city. As we have business cards to collect from the same street, it might have to be a visit that's soon to take place. Life goes on!


  1. Hi there!

    I can definitely relate to this post! I think I was gone 4 out of 5 afternoons this week, for this and that, and it was really annoying. I enjoy staying home too, for the most part, and resent the grocery store trips even. I can live on cereal but the family wants something more substantial!

    Good to see you back, hope your "rest" was long enough though I find that when I say I need a blog break, I really miss it. It is a time of giving/receiving and sometimes it seems important and other times, not so. Weird, I know!

    Wow, you DO have a busy schedule! I'll keep the dr. visit in prayer. I hope the test goes well and favorably. May the Lord bless your dh's new business (is that who the business cards are for?) and I hope Logan enjoys his acting role. I also hope the ball goes well. Your performing at the nursing home I'm sure will be a blessing to those there. May God give you the strength you need for the weeks ahead!


    P.S. My new avatar is older than my old one (got that?) but my hair pretty much looks like this now. It's to my shoulders and I wear my bangs parted, not full across my forehead. I've had long hair for my entire life, except for a rebellious period in my early adulthood and the past 2 years, then I let it grow again last spring. Is that more info than you asked for? Sorry! (LOL!)

  2. I have no qualms about the activities I put on my calendar. It's hard when you realize your calendar is getting taken over by family and friends who set up activities we are obliged to attend. Any time I add one of these activities (like the play Marina's friends put on in July) I feel obliged to lose activities that I had put on the schedule (like museum trips or nature hikes.)

    We've been having a lot of family things lately--birthdays, bridal shower, get-togethers--all important activities, but...When your plate is already full, you have to decide what you really want to have and what you are going to scrape off. My feeling is family comes first and eventually I'll reschedule my activities when things quiet down. Health, of course, trumps all, so if my busy life begins to affect me physically, I take that as a sign I need to step away for a while. You did just that. I'm glad you are taking care of you.

    I hope your tests go well. You are in my prayers. Take care, dear friend!

    Peace and Laughter,

  3. I will be praying for your visit to the cardiologist and for more "white pages" in your schedule. I have one blank day on our calendar for this month and I look at it with apprehension, hoping it will stay empty.

    Hope your week goes well and doesn't feel too crazy.

  4. Oh, I totally get what you're typing!!

    Sometimes it seems that the beads are being put on the string far too fast! And sometimes I didn't even know that I HAD a bead to put on until it happened. Like today - we've got a sudden invasion of little critters that we don't want and our cat doesn't need. *Sigh* It was a day that makes me want to eat a big bowl of ice cream and not move until tomorrow. :-)

    Thank you so much for weaving such a fantastic word picture, though. It is life. And I really need to watch, when I'm beading so very quickly, that I don't forget to praise in the midst of it!!

    You're a blessing!!