Control is an Illusion (so go make dinner)

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

I feel dizzy.

The kids are back in school and the busy, luxuriously unstructured activities have given way to early mornings, athletic practices and games, instrument lessons, and homework. The piles of papers to attend to, the forms to fill out and sign, the curriculum nights, meetings and phone calls seem overwhelming. Not to mention the daunting task of keeping the fridge and pantry stocked for meals, school lunches, and the never-satisfied snack cravings of my growing children.

I feel scattered trying to keep up with my children’s schedule and needs. Yet there is another component. Me. I have writing deadlines, travel and speaking schedules, books, web sites and songs I want to write — all swirling in my aging brain.

There’s that newsletter all written in my head I need to get on paper. Chapter 3, 4 and 5 came to me last week. I ought write them down, get them out, before I forget. Yesterday I sang playful lyrics for a song — they’ve already floated away in the midst of grocery shopping and hunting down soccer gear for Thomas’ first practice. I loved those lyrics. I have two book proposals in development. They could be better, more complete. The crisis in the Horn of Africa weighs on my heart and mind. I want to stay informed and involved.

The internal river flow is moving too fast, as if by hitting September I hit white water rapids. The rocks and tree limbs are passing by at a furious speed. I need to remember that rock (Orthodontist appointment). I need to make note of that tree limb (my son’s IEP meeting end-of-month). The scenery is actually important and I am convinced I am going to miss something. (that bend in the river was my daughter making the volleyball team)

A wise friend said, “Just do the next thing.” Being disciplined, responsible, and a hard worker are noble principles. I also believe deeply it is mysteriously both/and. We do the next thing yet control is an illusion. I remind myself of this by slowing down, telling the internal river flow to calm…breathing… and then I prioritize the next thing.

Which for me, right now, is making my family a big pot of homemade chili and hot cornbread.

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