(This actually isn't a picture of Charleston; it's a street in my neighborhood.)
I'm sitting here in our lovely Holiday Inn Express hotel suite, thinking how much more I enjoy traveling with my family than by myself. Jack is on his computer, the Man and Will are on a bed watching basketball on TV, I'm writing this blog post, and it's all very nice. If I were by myself, I'd be in my jams already (it's only 8:30) and in bed, reading, trying not to feel lonely.
I've been doing a little mental spring cleaning this week, just to freshen up my mind. I've started making a list in my journal called "Things That Are Working for Me/Things that Aren't Working for Me." Essentially, things that are working for me are things that make me feel happy and enthusiastic when I think of them, and the things that aren't working for me are things that make me feel lifeless and dull, or anxious and fearful.
You'll be happy to hear that at the top of my list of things that are working is my marriage. And my children are high on that list, too, although I take them off the list three or four times a day. Still, when I think of Will when he's at his best, which is actually a fair amount of time, or Jack when he's being funny (which is more frequently these days), I do feel expansive and joyful.
Making quilts is working for me, as is regular exercise. Travis is definitely working for me.
Not working? Christmas as we practice it, my children's diets, my family's inconsistent church attendance, a volunteer job I hold at Jack's school. My attic: definitely not working. The general level of clean in my house (pretty dang low): not working for me at all.
Occasionally I'm surprised at what I discover doing this exercise. It was interesting, for instance, to realize the volunteer work I've been doing with Jack's book club at school for the last three years is actually not working for me. I love books, the kids are nice, and I get along well with the teacher who leads the group. But the weekly meetings disrupt my writing time every Monday morning. I had no idea this was bothering me until I started making my list.
Equally surprising? That I really like exercising on a regular basis. I feel better, I sleep better, and my calves are more shapely.
So what will I do about the things that aren't working for me? I'm not sure. Talk to the Man about more regular church attendance and coming up with an attic plan. See if there's any money for hiring a cleaning team to come in and bring my house up to code. Stop volunteering for the book club in the fall. Nothing too radical, but hopefully it will leave my mind clean and fresh and sparkly. I'll keep you updated!