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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Life Lessons

Winter causes many of us a case of the blaaaahhhs. Yes, blaaaaahhhs are a scientifically proven fact. We have been inside for a few rainy days--and with five or more little people running around, and vaulted ceilings, our house has become somewhat of a crazy circus. As frustrating and overwhelming as parenthood (and life regardless of having children or not) can be I really try to focus on what I am doing and why I am doing it.

Here's my advice for the day..or week...or until I post again.

1- When all else fails EAT DESSERT. Obviously I take my own advice pretty seriously. I cleaned out the freezer and found pound upon pound of frozen zucchini. Don't be disturbed, it was actually from last season. We've made zucchini cupcakes, corn bread and brownies--after four days this lone piece of brownie is all that is left. I am hoping that means it was good and no kid realized he/she was eating something with veggies in it--or if they did notice, the didn't care. How to turn this idea into Family or Friend Fun? Have your own Cupcake (or Dessert) Wars! Everyone gets their recipe & ingredients, if you are up for a challenge add a secret ingredient (like zucchini) and see what happens! Even if your cupcake turns out kind of gross--it's cake! Throw on some frosting and eat it!

2-Plant something just to see what happens. Below we have a bit of a contest going on. We planted these Sunflowers on the same day, and one of my little gardeners got all crazy with the water. This caused a very wet environment for our seeds. And the other gardener listened to directions and has been very good at keeping her seeds in the sun--so one is growing beautifully, and the other is just now forcing it's way to the surface. See there are lots of "life lesson" parallels we can draw from growing a Sunflower. Like: Listen to your Mother; or Follow Directions; or D.'s lesson- "Everything that is alive dies. So learn what you can from it while it's alive, then eat it's seeds." Hopefully you get the sarcasm and childlike humor from that lesson. She was so mad when she learned that yes, we can eat the sunflower seeds, but eventually that will mean that the flower dies. Ahhh life lessons.....

 3- Have an art contest. My children have recently fallen in love with the mini pots of paint from the Dollar Store. This has inspired hours of fun, creativity and discovery, along with hours of scrubbing hands, feet, elbows and tabletops. Sometimes learning is messy, and sometimes messy is fun. Cleaning up is never fun, but its necessary. See...another life lesson. Draw your own parallels, but letting our own inner kid out to doodle is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.

I remembered the other day a life lesson I learned in college. A friend of mine was always running about helping people move or fix something or helping with homework. I asked him one day how he got anything done for himself. His answer was simple, "I have priorities. If I help others first, I know I will have time for me." It's left an impression all these years later. The last few weeks I have begun to refocus my life. It will never be perfect. It will never be a glossy cover of a magazine. If I worry about all it's not, I will never see all that it is. I laid in bed with my two littlest this morning, just hanging out watching Disney shows. It was the best morning I've had in a long time. The dishes sat, the laundry sat, my fundraiser "to do list" sat. It didn't  matter to me. I remembered with clarity that I was doing, am doing, what I need to do right now. It's not glamorous--but it's mine, and for now that's perfect!

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