I've shared a lot of happy times on this blog here lately because there really have been a lot of happy times. After a lot of REALLY hard things this past year (many of which didn't make this blog because they're pretty personal to me or others involved), it's been great to have so much good stuff to blog about.
Bear Lake was a huge highlight of the year, as always. Jared has a new job that he's really enjoying and that is so good for him and for all of us on many levels. Power of Moms is humming along nicely even though the number of hours I've devoted to it lately have been quite reduced. We have kids who are blessed with good health and we have so many great relatives we love to be with. We love our old house and our neighborhood and community (yesterday the Tour of Utah bike race inspired a fun day of booths and super fun free kids' activities like bounce houses and rock climbing walls plus a community bike race with the mayor that we all loved then there was an international festival with dancers and food from all over the world yesterday evening - just a few blocks down the street - love that). So yes, life is good and we have so very many reasons to feel blessed and be happy.
But even in the midst of good times and good situations, there's plenty of hard stuff and I while I don't like to dwell on the hard parts of my life on this blog (since I often dwell too much on the hard stuff in my mind), I do want to record the stuff I'm struggling with (that isn't super personal) here alongside the good stuff.
While I'm so grateful for kids who are at relatively easy ages and who are generally pretty easy to work with, they aren't little angels all the time. They know just how to push my buttons and a couple of them are going through stages that just about drive me crazy quite a bit lately. As far as non-personal stuff I can share, here are a few things that are hard about my great kids. Often, they whine and drag their feet when it's time to stop doing something super fun that I've allowed them to indulge in for several hours (like when I said it was time to go home after 4 hours at the Tour of Utah Kids' Zone yesterday and it was HOT and I had terrible cramps...). And it's quite annoying when they complain about something I worked hard to make for dinner or some activity I worked hard to plan for them and that I thought would be super fun. When they think I'm the meanest mom in the world for asking them to take a break from their fun to do their reading or writing or a simple 10-minute job around the house, that's pretty frustrating. And getting kids to bed when they always want one more thing and I'm just so tired gets pretty old. There are times every single day (often many times a day) when my patience gets very thin and I'm not the mom I mean to be.
The house is always needing attention. The kids are always needing attention. The fridge is always being emptied. The laundry is always piling up. Emails are always coming in. Power of Moms programs are always needing tweaking and new project possibilities are always coming up. Few things are ever really "done" around here and that's harder some days than others. I'm trying to accept that moving processes along is a worthy thing and that "done" is overrated. But I crave that "done" feeling.
I'm always trying to do too many things in too little time and I'm always hurrying but seldom am I on time for anything. My view of what is realistic to accomplish in an hour or in a day would probably make most people laugh. One of my big resolutions this year is to have more margin in my life and to be on time or even early for things (I've had this resolution for several years running but this year I'm SERIOUS about it - and the last few years, circumstances were really not very good for allowing margins, now that I look back).
I'm critical and impatient too often. My expectations are often too high. I dive into lots of things without really praying and thinking them through first - then stress myself out completely when I realize I have to back out or slow down on something I said I'd do (I HATE being flaky). I set myself and my kids up for failure too often. And I have major breakdowns sometimes and things just look very black.
But you know what? I keep trying and I keep making course corrections. I tell my kids and husband how much I love them every day and I'm getting better at setting aside my work and really focusing on them when they need me (learning to accomplish things while still allowing and even welcoming interruptions is my ongoing challenge). I make a list of top priorities for the next day most evenings (more about that HERE) and that helps keep me somewhat balanced in a manageable way. And I plan out my week most Sundays, cutting things out that need to be cut out and gearing up for the times and days that will be tight and difficult.
So life IS good. But life is still hard. But hard and good generally go hand in hand. That's just how it is.