|First things first.|
I had a whole other post slated for today. Half-written, even. But then, I've had to admit defeat, as I am being attacked on two fronts: allergies, and insomnia. Three days running, and I was up for three hours last night. No bueno.
So today seemed like a good day for softened expectations, and for pulling out a practice from back in the tiny infant days: the done list.
You remember those times, or perhaps are deep in the muck and mire of them, when days and nights blur, when you feel like a wrung-out rag, and are barely coordinated enough to make your own coffee in the morning, let alone get anything else done? Yeah, it's been a bit like that.
Under regular circumstances, I love me a good to-do list. Just writing one out gives me a great sense of possibility, like I'm somehow already on top of things just for putting pen to paper. (I like Jamie's thoughts on to-do lists, and Tsh's.) But on days like today, when the kind thing to do is to have little to no expectations about what I can get done beyond the bare essentials, I switch to a done list. I move through my day with gentleness, attending to the necessities and only doing what I feel I can, resting as much as possible. Then, to avoid feeling like the day got the better of me, I list the things I managed to accomplish.
- Changed and clothed and fed a toddler
- Had coffee and wrote morning pages
- Emptied the dishwasher and cleaned the counter
- Folded and put away (bonus points!) a load of laundry
- Took a long nap (thanks to my mother-in-law)
- Made lunch for the boy
- Put the boy down for a nap
- Wrote a blog post. (Bam!)
And it's only two o'clock!
It's not much, but it's a conscious practice that reminds me that I showed up for my own life, that I tended to things that matter, and that our home runs a little smoother now than it did this morning. I also find it affirming, when I do this exercise, to list things I never put on a to-do list, like the care I provide for my son. It's a good reminder that there are a lot of tasks in my day, and while many are small and nagging, they are vital in their importance, and I'm the one (usually) who shows up to attend to them. A good remedy for the old "I-don't-do-anything-valuable-my-life-has-no-meaning" SAHM blues.
And so, with several warm beverages, a nap for me and for my boy, and a done list, the day is somewhat redeemed. But tonight? I'm hitting the Benadryl and hoping to break the cycle. Wish me sleep. And clear sinuses.
What about you? What are some of your coping strategies for less-than-optimal days? I'm heading back into the salt mines of tiny infant sleepless days, and would love to hear your thoughts!