Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 27: making a list.

I wanted to finish out this little "Survive and Thrive" challenge with a bang. For the past two straight days I feel like I've done nothing but sand, prime, paint, keep the kids from touching the paint, paint some more, wash paintbrushes and rollers, and paint even more. But when a friend put the piano back together for me tonight, instead of being thrilled with the result,  I saw all the spots I had missed. And all the places where I applied the paint too thick. And where I got paint where it wasn't supposed to go. I will admit that I cried a little. I wanted to surprise Rick with a perfectly painted piece, and I have a splotchy, bumpy, but certainly turquoise piano.

Then I looked over at the wall where I had filled in all the nail holes and tried to fix the paint that had peeled off and realized that there, too, there are noticeable splotches. And then I started thinking about the past month's goals and how it all went: the car I cleaned that is a disaster again, the bow tie I made that everyone refused to wear, the cake stands that are a little crooked, how awfully unbalanced our meals have been over the past month (I think bread + cheese has been the base of 90% of our dinners: grilled cheese, cheese quesadillas, cheese pizza, pasta with cheese...), the budget I'm not keeping up with, the awful times when I lost my patience with Carson, the stack of papers I never went through, the scrapbooks I never even started, the closets I didn't organize, oh yeah and that time a few days ago when I backed out of the driveway with a car door open, totally smashing it against a concrete wall. Etc., etc., etc.

It's times like this when I go back and remember the night I knew I should marry Rick Otto. I was overwhelmed and discouraged by college-related responsibilities. I'm sure I was crying, although I don't really remember. But what Rick did was perfect. He didn't try to flatter me with compliments and reassure me that I was doing great. He didn't fix me a bowl of ice cream and tell me to forget about it all. He made me sit down and get out a paper and a pen. And we made a list. He would ask me to name all the reasons I felt like I was failing or things I was worried about. Then we would think up what we needed to do to overcome each challenge. When the list was done, suddenly I felt in control again. I probably didn't 100 per cent fulfill everything on that list, but it kept me going.

So, tonight I will make a list, and I'll quit thinking about all my failures. (The first thing on the list will be: have Rick help me fix the piano paint job!) I think the point is that we just keep going. It doesn't matter that my kids' shirts have permanent stains on them; I just keep washing them. It doesn't matter that my house is a mess again; I just keep cleaning it. It doesn't matter that my kids misbehave every day; I just keep loving and mothering them. I think God wants us to just keep going, and to have faith and hope that in the process my family and I will overcome challenges and become something great.

New haircut + messy room. :)


MOFinancial said...

Gosh I'm sure anyone reading your blog knows how that feels. Part of it is having your companion gone for so long. Isn't it funny that someone who is not at home so often normally would be such a sustaining force in one's family life? When that force is gone, life really seems to get out of control even though you are doing all the same things you do when they are around. But for some reason, you get more emotional and little failures are intensified. Don't stress, it's almost over right?

MOFinancial said...

This is Rachel by the way... not Brad.

w and w said...

Way to go Page. sounds like something I should do at the end of just about every day :)! You're almost there, way to be brave!

sam and brittney said...

Love this post!! I'm impressed with how much you thrived! I'm sure I'll turn into a ball of mush when Sam leaves for a month. We still need to chat. PS-Love your hair!

hughesfamily said...

So, please read the following comments knowing that I mean them in the most not-stalkerish way possible. :)

1. I totally saw you at the Parent Meeting and was so sad I didn't sit on that side so I could say hi! In fact, for the split second when you first walked in, before my brain processed, I thought- "that woman is beautiful!" And, then my brain caught up, and I realized it was Page, and that I know you. True story.

2. Your family is also beautiful. Honestly, I sort of got bored during the meeting, so I was checking out all of the people. Your family is a stand-out for sure. So precious.

3. Your blog is one of my favorite ones. I love your ideas, and I am totally inspired to dress cuter, do a craft, re-decorate, cook, and do more fun things with Lily.I need to thrive.

4. Your comment on my blog made me laugh. My husband did two away rotations in medical school, so I remember! Plus, we are just old and boring, now, which is really more fun for us, actually.

:) Nicole

Jewels said...

Loved this post. I was starting to think you were super.human. Being a single mom of three kids is not easy, but then also doing things on top of that is nearly impossible.

I've been feeling the same way. . . I cleaned that room and hour ago and it looks the same as it did before it was cleaned. . .

It's frustrating and mundane and sometimes feels a little hopeless. But we (as mothers) need to remember that we ARE making a difference. Yes, our house is dirty, our kids are dirty and loud and obnoxious (sometimes). :) But they are LOVED! They have a good mother that loves them and wants the best for them. I think we need to remember that EVERYDAY! We are not perfect, but we are good enough.

Emma and Dan said...

I TOTALLY feel this way sometimes. You did a LOT of great stuff this month too, don't forget that. Plus, your hair looks awesome which is always good!