August is amping up, is it not? I hate to say it, but with BACK-TO-SCHOOL! looming
in the back at the front of our minds, the last two weeks of this month can be pretty much a wash.
Well, you know what? It doesn’t have to be this way.
I have spent most of my summer fighting the many mental lawn gnomes that try their pint-sized best to drag me down. I call them “children” and I have lots. Between the insistent, persistent and incessant demands of my kids and a painfully chronic condition known as housework, I have had to fight for the right to keep my mental peace.
Surprisingly? I’ve been fairly successful.
Also, the above photo was taken on a good day—one in which I’d actually put away the piles of folded laundry that are usually lying in heaps on the top of my dresser.
(I despise putting away folded laundry. I don’t know why this is but there you have it.)
Obviously I have to work very hard to keep this space “sacred” and have to tidy hourly to keep my bedroom a place of peace. The same goes for every room of my house because I share it with six other people—seven, actually, because my 20-year-old’s living at home until September.
My kitchen is not a sacred space.
Not unless you consider open cupboards to be sacramental.
Neither could our garage be called sacred, for reasons that involve the above seven people and a dryer that’s been broken for months.
Honestly, though, this “tenement” scene just makes me smile, because it’s been a labor of love on the part of my husband….all…summer…long…as he’s the one that hangs all the laundry.
He does so tirelessly & uncomplainingly.
Seriously, the guy’s been a total Energizer Bunny, only taller, darker and with stubbier whiskers.
All this to say…
I could let the chaos get to me (and on some days I do), but a better response—for me, anyway—is to find a way to deal with life’s many stressors that doesn’t include flying the coop or controlled substances. Last week, for example, I snuck away with my daughter and together…
We made quilts!
(Okay so maybe technically that’s flying the coop. I did return, though! Eventually…)
My mom-in-law Cathy is an amazing seamstress. Our three-day retreat with her and Grandpa Doug was PERFECTION.
We went up when the other kids were away at camp, and admittedly there was a part of me that felt tempted to stay at home and “get things done.” Thank goodness the garden gnome of drudgery did not win out…because in bringing this quilt to life (it’s a lap blanket for my 92-year-old daddy) I found new life.
Sappy? No way! Okay, maybe a little…but the gently methodical process of cutting, piecing, sewing, and ironing was very relaxing and such a welcome break from all the work back home. (Note: the math calculations I pretty much left to Cathy! She also offered to do the free motion quilting because my stitches looked like *I* was 92 and drunk.)
Time to wrap up (stitch up?) this little post, but before I do…there are two more suggestions that I’d like to make. This is something that’s helping me find some sacred mental space when the world (and its politics) gets overwhelming. One is that I greatly restrict the time spent on Facebook, which I know you know but it bears repeating, and the other is that I retreat to the arms of my Energizer Bunny.
What can I say? When he’s not hanging laundry he’s a lot of fun. 😉