I have a confession to make–I am a goal/task oriented person. In the past when I was feeling overwhelmed with my perceived workload I would try to slow down by telling myself “just do the next thing.” My theory was instead of looking at a big long list of things to do it was only the next task I had to focus on. But there is fallacy in this, I was still looking at the task, the next goal.
Things were starting to get to a head as they sometimes do last week. I had a baby goat in my living room that wasn’t doing well (luckily she is thriving now), children going crazy from nearly 4 months indoors, a home to keep, the pending growing season, it all seemed like a lot, and “just do the next thing” wasn’t cutting it. I was feeling overwhelmed and crazy. Then one afternoon things changed.
The children were starting to act tired and in need of a rest. The baby was sleeping more and more, though still eating and with a mild fever he wanted to go back to bed after only 2 hours awake. I lay down with him and felt his fever rising fast. He was asleep, I didn’t want to wake him but knew I needed to get his temperature down. Then he had a seizure. We have experience febrile seizures. Though it was scary it wasn’t a panic situation. I had neighbors come a stay with the children until my parents could arrive and called an ambulance.
I was just a fever related seizure. We were home 4 hours later after numerous tests and we went into hibernation. For one week we didn’t leave the house as the sickness worked its way through. I had a mild case, moms don’t have time to get sick. I had children and animals to tend.
I have a new perspective now–saying yes. For the past couple of days I have tried to look at my days as not a list of tasks to finish, or something to get through, but an opportunity to connect. My oldest is 9, half way to 18 and things are flying too fast, “do the next thing,” doesn’t cut it when you have lots of loving and cuddling to do (I have been known to write those on my to-do list).
Yesterday I tried to focus on saying yes to my children. We played board games in the middle of the day, went out to play, changed dinner plans, worked on projects and still finished school and all the tasks on my list. But rather then having the tasks be the goal, loving and connecting was the goal. I have no illusions that I will always remember to do this. That I will never have an incredibly busy day and feel overwhelmed again, but I am hopeful that my perspective is shifting. In just one day I see through my children’s eyes, happy memories of a mother happy and relaxed with them, rather then always focusing on the next thing to do.