Reframing life

image_pdfimage_print

I’ve been doing some things differently recently. Running is one, and I love that I ran three miles on Sunday without stopping. I just kept going and it kept feeling good. My pace was reasonable and I was happy with my time, so it’s going well.

Another thing I’m working on is reframing how I think about things. On weekends I am often catching up on housework and spending time with Katja, and the overlap between those two things has caused me some problems. When I’m playing with her I feel like I ought to be doing other things and when I’m, for instance, doing laundry, I often feel like I should really be paying more attention to Katja. This constant pull on my attention is frustrating and I often end the weekend feeling tired and stressed out.

I thought a lot about how I want to be able to enjoy the time I have, whatever I’m doing. I don’t mind doing laundry, but I don’t like feeling as if I should be doing something else. All of last weekend when I caught myself feeling bad for not doing something else, I thought, “Is there anything else I should be doing that’s more important than what I’m doing right now?” The answer was always no, and I could let go of feeling like I ought to be doing something else. By the end of the weekend, almost all of the normal things had gotten done. All the necessary things were done, at least, though the sheets, while clean, were not folded and put away. I ended the weekend feeling happy and relaxed, and if unfolded sheets are the price, I can live with that. They’ll get folded at some point during the week and we don’t need them to be folded right now.

It’s hard for me to put things into perspective. Making sure everything runs smoothly in our busy household is sometimes challenging and I have been letting myself get caught up in the minutiae. I get stressed when things are left undone, but it doesn’t help anything. I have lists of what should be done, but the world won’t end if one doesn’t get done immediately. I need to enjoy what I am doing while I am doing it, and the only limitation to that enjoyment is what goes on in my head.

Reframing everything seems to be helping. I like spending time with Katja. She’s a neat little person and she’s learning and growing so much that it’s fascinating watching her develop personality and curiosity. I also enjoy running, and she loves spending time with Xander while I do. Running is good for me physically, mentally, and emotionally. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, clears my head, puts things in perspective, and is something that I’m doing just for myself, which feels very good on many levels. I like cleaning house, too, strange as that may seem. It’s nice seeing something go from chaos to order and I enjoy seeing the results of something I have done.

There are very few things in my life right now that I dislike. That’s important. I just have to keep holding that in mind and enjoying life as it comes. I cannot walk away from the work that needs to be done, but the work is not drudgery and there is joy to be found there.

Every time I feel impatient or irritated at where I am and what I’m doing, I think, again, “Is there anything else I should be doing that’s more important than what I’m doing right now?” It’s quite impressive how often the answer is no. So far it hasn’t been yes, and life is much better since I started asking that question.