Stymied

I already have a reputation for being indecisive. I look at menus and
waver between two options, always encouraging the other diners to
order first. If I have a to do list, I am off like a crazy woman on
steriods. Don’t stop! Don’t slow down!

But lately, I’m finding myself caught between both of these extremes.
I think it’s a factor of the unique age and development mixture that
we have going on in our house these days. Drew took off crawling and
seemingly, overnight, life has changed. He’s not content for 10
minutes in the exersaucer, swing or boucey seat allowing me to squeeze
in a shower. He wants to, no, scratch that, HAS to, be on the move.
Try to hold him, and he will strain and pull to be down on the ground,
exploring and on the move. It is an incredible time to observe and
watch. A time for vigilance. Not helicopter parenting, per se, but
watchfulness. Mindfulness. My email baby feeds are all screaming
reminders of what can and does happen when you lose focus, or turn
your head for a moment.

Couple this with Alex. Mr. Intricate Block Builder. My friend
Jessica warned me about this stage while visiting 4 months ago. And
due to her advice, we moved almost all of Alex’s toys into his room,
promising him a Drew free zone. A space where the only destruction
would be Alex created, not 9 month old curiosity induced.

So…..here I am on a free Tuesday…..stymied. I love that word.
Just the sound of it. The implications of it??? Not so much. On one
hand, the younger sibling learns flexibility, to go with the flow (the
flow and schedule and whims of the elder sibling). But many days, I
watch Drew’s interrupted nap schedules and free play times and feel
guilt. Do we go on an adventure, hoping Drew will nap in the car???
(History has proven–aka, many screaming car rides–that that never
happens). Or….skip the nap and hope he sleeps later and doesn’t get
too fussy? On the flip side, we can abandon plans, become PBS Kids
zombies all morning, allowing Drew to nap. But then, what adventure
do you embark on? Parks….great, free choice. However making sure
the two boys are safe, supervised and entertained in addition to
keeping the dog in line???? Well, let’s just say I start to sweat
before I even get in the car.

I know, I know……the collosal problems which plague my life…..

But, really…..I give all this background to ask the question….do
you ever feel indecision? Stymied? Beach or mountains? Steak or
chicken? Netflix and pjs or movie theater and dinner out? It is my
nemesis.

I don’t think I am alone in this. I know that many writers,
theologians and speakers have discussed their own moments of trying to
hear and discern God’s voice. Especially when both options aren’t
inherently horrible. Sheila, my former boss (TWICE!), used to advise
us to “love God and do what you want”. This wasn’t a callous
response to our young adult, 20 something angst. It was a reminder
that God is in the midst of our lives, no matter the decisions. And
sometimes God just wants us to do what we want to do. God isn’t a God
who sits up in the clouds with a magic wand, forcing us all onto
painful and horrid paths.

But despite all this, I often still don’t KNOW what I want. And then
I sit in indecision long enough that it’s nap time.

Sometimes I enter into categorizing and label maker heaven, seeking to bring order to one small area of my life. Other times, we’ll embark on an adventure (and by “adventure”, I mean the library or the park….). But sometimes these moments of indecision are creating angst for fear that my kids will be bored. And maybe…..being bored just isn’t so bad. Boredom surely is the foundation for discovery and creativity, when we let it do its work.

Sometimes doing nothing or having a blank day on the calendar produces great fear in my extroverted self. Other times, though, I find that pushing through the indecision, letting a lack of plans pervade the day, is ok. Being stymied can be so uncomfortable, physically and emotionally. But pushing through to the other side? Now that’s when life starts REALLY being lived.

And the question remains…..

Nap……

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Or…..macaron?

(or better yet…..nap AND macaron…..and ask instead, “olallieberry or mocha?”!)

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