September 23, 2009

Crockpots and the quest for balance!

I have found some balance, I credit it mostly to a crockpot. Also, frozen vegetables, pre-sliced deli-meat, paper towels, disposable diapers and hundreds of other mundane short-cuts! This is not an info-mercial for convenience products. Its an admission, for the first time, im learning that it isnt possible to do everything well. I would love to be able to cook a slow-simmered meal, with all freshly chopped meats and vegetables every night, but on weeknights when im exhausted and the little one is EVERYWHERE, taking the time and dirtying those extra dishes just isnt worth it.
Balance is a nice word, but the reality is not so pretty. I think what comes down to is what you really care about and sort of giving up on everything else. Which sounds easy, but is of course, the work of a lifetime:) Its suprisingly hard to know what really matters to you!
Some of the decisions are pretty simple, clothes are sometimes wrinkled, weeds in the yard, and the car sometimes overdue for a little TLC, but some of them are a little harder. I care about reading, cooking a good meal, and tending to friendships near and far. Everbody knows that life is a series of choices. The process of growing up is a paring away of dreams, a pinching back of sprouts of yourself that you never fully took off. For me these tend to pop up in my New Years resolutions. I will loose a bunch of weight, I will do my New York City Ballet Workout everyday, I will learn a new thing. I want these things, year after year. But i dont want them badly enough, at this point in my life, to follow through on them.
I think this is less a failure of discipline and more a failure of realism! I know whats important to me right now. Spending some peaceful time with my family, Spending time with my wonderful Creator, raising a well-mannered, God-fearing and loving daughter and keeping in touch with a small circle of loved-ones:) The way I know is that even faced with a lot constraints, these are things I chose to spend my time on. And really, thats plenty! It's easy to second guess your choices in this whole balance game. Why did I spend another evening on the couch watching Veggie Tales, when i could have gone for a run or prepped the next days meals, or gotten a headstart on laundry or taken out the old dance workout video?? But that time on the floor with my little girl is a sweet haven these days!
Sometimes I am greedy and want too much...Why cant I have the sparkling house, the clean car, the always nicely ironed clothes, and the slow simmering meals?? But, my mission these days is to stay focused on the tiny handful of things that really matter and cheerfully give up on the rest, even if it means another quick crockpot meal with frozen veggies:)

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