Several years ago, around this time of year, or maybe it was in June, some friends had invited me to dinner on say, a Wednesday night, I don’t remember specifically which day of the week, but I know it was a weekday. Anyway, I sadly declined because I had a lot of work to do. My friends didn’t understand and said something like, “Isn’t school almost over? Why are you so busy?” Now, I’m not a big fan of the word busy these days, because I want my life to be full. And I try to be purposeful about the things I fill it up with. This springtime season can get very, very full. It’s my busy season, whether I like that word or not.
It gets really full with extra work obligations like end of year paperwork, cleaning up the classroom, report cards and even already prepping for next year. There is a lot that has to be done at school before that wonderful time of summer vacation. Life also gets full of fun family and friend time around about now. There are holidays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, a lot of birthdays for my people, retirement parties, promotion dinner, bike rides, 5Ks, and the sunny days are constantly just calling me to be outside. It’s all, all of it, is good stuff. But some days my plate overflow-eth with tasks and goodness alike and I question whether I will actually make it to that magical day in June when we get the teacher prize.
I had a morning recently that felt so rushy and overflowing and the bad side of the word busy. It started out just fine with some relaxing morning time, trying to start the day in a purposeful way, reading and thinking about how I want to be. Then by the time I was making breakfast and trying to do ten other things at the same time and still get to work early – make my lunch, prep a gift, answer texts, send emails, make a grocery list, etc, etc…I was so rushy. I was cranky and starting to get annoyed at even good stuff. So I tried to relax myself on the drive in to school – just breathe, focus on the moment, no radio, no peaking at the phone, notice the sunshine and the blue sky. I was good. Until I walked into the building. And then right back to rush mode. I rushed through a conversation with a friend and felt bad about it. Someone rushed through a conversation with me and I felt bad about it. I was running in the hallway even though you’re not allowed to run in the hallways! I tried to pull it together again before the kids got there – deep breaths, look out the classroom windows and notice the green trees, see the birds. I felt a little better, so I started to set up my desk for the day, pulled out the lesson plans, pulled out my calendar…and that’s when I realized that I totally, completely forgot about a meeting I was supposed to be at and missed it. Frowny face. I felt like I was doing it all wrong. But I had to pull it together yet again, perk up, calm down and be ready to lead those kids, not rush them through the day. Lucky for me, these kids know some yoga. So we did some sun salutations together, practiced a few breathing techniques we know and then went outside for five minutes of play and sunshine. Then someone gave me a
weed flower, and I was back again.
Now, I know there are much worser things that happen to people than a busy morning. And I know there are much busier mornings than mine. All you mamas out there getting your own kids ready for school days amongst all this same stuff and more, huge props to you! You’re amazing! I don’t mean to be complaining, even though I’m kind of complaining. I am so very grateful for my life! But, you’ve had these mornings, right? Days that just feel too full to focus? What do you do to help it?
When I thought about how many times I had to regroup that morning before 9 am, and all the things I did to try to help it, I thought of a collection of words that I always notice in this little daily devotional book I’ve been reading. Words and phrases like – again and again, constantly, repeatedly, never-ending, time and again, over and over, daily, so many times, back and forth. Those words are often talking about how we drift away from our goals and then come back, we get stressed out, but can relax, things go bad and then go good. And I use the words to remind myself that I’m not doing it wrong. This is just how it is and this is it. This is how life goes. I love how Glennon Doyle Melton, an author and blogger has said it, “Life is hard. Not because we’re doing it wrong, just because it’s hard.” Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s busy season. Sometimes it’s not. I’m just gonna try to do the best I can. And look for the good parts and focus on them, even when it feels too full to focus. Over and over. Again and again.