I’ve been thinking about priorities. Mulling over them, considering and re-considering. Making schedules and checklists. Ordering our days. Setting the tone for our new family rhythm, the one that puts Posy front and center (where she belongs).
I’m asking the question: what is most important for our family right now?
It changes constantly, doesn’t it?
Our daily routine has changed, so I wrote up a new weekday schedule- one with lots of margin in the hours, one that prioritizes what needs the most attention around here (namely Posy. Oh, and chores and school).
Our school focus has changed, so I revised our daily school checklists. I dropped the subjects we’ve finished for the year and put emphasis on others that are more important now.
My free time has changed. I don’t have the time I used to for blog reading, and the unread item list in my google reader has gotten wildly out of hand. Silly to stress over blog reading, yes? So I spent ten minutes categorizing- putting subscribed blogs into various folders. Now, when I log in to my reader, I read those in the “First” folder, well…. first.
I tweaked our cleaning routines. Actually, I overhauled them. Those old routines just weren’t working for us anymore- not in this season of life. So I sat down and thought about the jobs that were most important to me, and I made a place for them on the schedule. The house will be reasonably clean (though perhaps not reasonably tidy). And when we can’t manage even reasonably clean, we’ll just have to recognize that relationships are more important than tasks anyway, and relationships flourish even when the house is a-jumble.
I want to learn how to play the guitar, and I’m not sure where that fits in yet. I want to hone my photography skills. I want to write and share here, and I long to read teetering stacks of books. These are my creative outlets- these are my mother culture. They’ll all fit in some way or another. Maybe not all at once, but in snippets? Yes. I can do snippets.
I will make snippets of time for the things that feed me.
I have a blog post or three bouncing around in my brain. A giveaway I want to do. A new link-up to launch in the next week. But every time I sit down to do some writing, something more crucial pops up. Like… dinner. Or a child needing a book transcribed while the story is still bubbling out of her fresh. Or a spontaneous Easter shoe shopping excursion. Or my bed, calling out to me in my sleep-deprived-there’s-a-newborn-in-the-house exhaustion.
And it’s all good, really, because it’s all life. My beautiful, messy, full-to-bursting, love-without-limits life. I’m drinking up every minute.
There have been times when I have eyed my list of to-do’s, groaned over the seeming impossibility of more to do than hours to do it in, and thought this too shall pass.
But that’s not how it ought to be.
So instead I find myself closing eyes tight, whispering urgently into the baby’s sweet furry head, don’t pass.
Don’t pass without me seeing you. Breathing you in. Knowing you. Drinking up every last bit of you.
There have been times of walking into a room crammed with laundry and toys and books and a day’s creative doings all sprawled out like the entrails of a birthday pinata, and I’ve fought the urge to cry More Mess! with, instead, So much! So blessed!
There are six years between Snapdragon and Posy. Six years between a third and a fourth child. Six years to give me sparkling clarity on how fast it all goes.
For six years I watched those three oldest babies of mine grow, and now I get it. I get it down to my bones. This muddle, this mess, this seeming chaos and merry-go-round whirl of a day–
This is joyous wonder.
This is beauty.
This is life.
So I’ll make my checklists. I’ll write my schedules. I’ll mull over priorities. I’ll mop a floor, wipe a bottom, click a shutter, strum a chord on the guitar. And I’ll revel in the simplicity of knowing that each day, this day, every day, I really have just one task before me: to love them well.
It’s the single priority that never changes. If I have loved them well, I have lived this day to its fullest. And that’s all that really matters.