One Thing At A Time

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Women, by habit or cultural “norms”, are often multitaskers. I have a constant list going in my purse which houses my current to dos. It could include everything from buying coffee beans to balancing my checkbook to attempting vacuuming.  Today my list included a “quick” stop at the grocery store and the library.  Everything takes longer and tends to be more cumbersome when a two year old is coming along for the ride.  Many times, Drew’s companionship is just what I need for me to loosen up and see things I wouldn’t have already observed.  Did you know, for instance, how many animals and forms of transportation grace the walls of Trader Joes and Sprouts?  Neither did I….or the 30 people within our radius prior to his declarations.

After a wonderful two week break from the normal routine—time filled with family, friends, fun trips, movies, sweets and yummy meals—it now is time for “routines” to pick back up.  My routine, though, typically has multiple elements occurring at any one moment.  In actuality, often only one thing is possible at any given moment.  One thing only.  Trains.  Cars.  Making a meal.  Picking up toys.  Reading a book.

For Drew, he wants MULTIPLE things going on at once.  Dump out the animals!!!!  Dump out the trains!!!!!  Dump out the cars!!!!!!  Dump out the ABC puzzle!!!!  All at once!!!  We are slowly but surely working on the “one thing at a time” rule.  It seems slow going as it is so much ****FUN**** to dump out tubs all at once….the noise, the thrill, the rush!  I understand this, dear Drewsie.  I truly understand.  There is something magical about being on the go, checking things off my list, balancing multiple plates at once, interacting with people, being busy.  And yet, I’m not sure it is the way of this season.  January is a time to slow down, regroup, cut out {sweets, carbs, sloth-like behavior! ha ha} and retrain.  It is tough going.  I keep looking back to days we shared just last week and I pine for that time.  Everyone more relaxed, on vacation, celebrating anniversaries, upcoming weddings and New Years.  Those mountaintop moments are not really the “stuff” of daily living, though.  We are called to live and be present in the mundane—and for this “go getter”, multitasker extrovert, focusing on “one thing at a time” is almost painful.

So, if you hear me, slowly, under my breath, saying to myself, “one thing at a time” as I help Drew pick up his toys, or corral him into the car seat or breathe a big sigh as I let go of my list to sit with Alex after school to hear about his day or the many creative ventures he envisions, don’t fret.  I’m just speaking that mantra to remind myself that today is just that….today.  Today only needs to have one thing on the agenda.  The lists will always be there.  The professional life will {God-willing!} resurrect itself eventually.  Uninterrupted conversations with friends will be on the horizon again.  And in the meantime, there will be days of respite and special, extravagant memories too {a few shared below}.  One thing at a time.  One thing at a time.

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