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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

On all the things I SHOULD do...

I'm going to write this today, then I think I'm going to print it out and post it alllll over my house to remind myself on days that I'm not at my best.

Here goes.  I choose to embrace mediocre for once in my life.

I am tired.  Tired of all the things out there that I "should" do.  Things that if I was a good mom, wife, human, Christian, ___________(insert your own choice here), I would make time for.  I've never understood people who need to "take a break" from social media before.  I always thought they were responding to catty comments or rude "friends."  But today I am realizing that sometime the break might be from feeling badly about yourself.

On any given day here is a list of the causes and issues I feel I should research or spend time on based on my newsfeed, email, TV commercials, even the church newsletter or conversations with friends:
-Buying locally
-Buying consciously (no slave labor, no sweat shops, no unfair wages, etc.)
-Reducing consumerism in general
-Not buying on Thanksgiving or Black Friday
-Teaching your kids about giving and the excess we have in the US
-Making sure kids do not think Santa is the reason for Christmas
-Read with the kids 20 minutes per day at the minimum
-No TV before age 2, 1 show or less each day
-Vaccines, yea or nay?
-Having a vibrant prayer/devotional life
-Organic foods, GMO's, MSG, Food Dyes, Preservatives, Sugar Content, Fat Content oh my!
-Responsibly-grown and harvested foods
-Food allergies causing everything from digestive issues to insomnia to depression to behavior problems and of course, cancer.
-Antibiotics for my kids, yea or nay?
-Homeopathic remedies in general
-Recycling, finding creative ways to recycle what my local recycling center does not accept
-Homeschooling, should my kids go to mainstream school?
-Buying things vs. making them when everything has a pinterest tutorial
-Making food versus buying it, homemade is better!  Food not lawns!
-Exercise; daily, for a long time, while pregnant, sick, depressed, just DO IT! And if possible, make it hot yoga, spin, or zumba....  Also post selfies of self in gym.

Add your own list, I know there are more, and don't get me wrong, all of these things are things that can be very important.  The problem is that I cannot do it all!  These days we have more chemicals, more options, AND all of the information we could ever need to decide whether or not to subject our families to these things than ever before.  But unfortunately I don't think knowledge is power in this case, sometimes knowledge is regret, knowledge is guilt, knowledge is stress and grief and exhausting.  I want healthy food options for Andy and I and the kids but buying organic is expensive and you have to know the differences between all the symbols at the grocery store and have an app on your phone for the "dirty dozen" of produce.  You also need this scanner app that allows you to scan the barcodes of everything you buy to make sure it wasn't made by a victim of human trafficking or unfair wages.  But what about the items that aren't in the database?  I could be unknowingly supporting these things just like I have all my life, even if I spend an extra 2 hours at the grocery store scanning everything and trying desperately to get a wifi connection in a store that basically acts like a giant vacuum for radio waves or whatever it is 3G is connecting to.

It's a conundrum, it really is.  Because whether or not you choose to embrace any or none of these causes, you pretty much have to have an opinion on all of them or you won't survive your next dinner party.  (maybe an exaggeration)  Plus, maybe you spend several hours a week planning meals and a grocery list for your family to ensure healthy, sit-down, affordable meals together...but that means that you're not able to spend time at the gym right now.  One person will praise you for your efforts to feed your family healthfully, another will condemn you for not making enough time for your own health (what's YOUR excuse?)  This is why we are not supposed to try to please people, only God. We will never please everyone, nor should we try.  But how to balance when all of these things are worthy, they are all important, and all feel like things that could drastically change life for the better?

What do YOU do about it?  Well I'll be the first to say I am just not sure.  All I can do is what I can do.  Maybe it's a cop-out to say I can't lose sleep over this but I can't; I lose enough sleep from kids wandering into my room at night and worries about just the everyday life issues that arise when you have anyone in your life that you love and care about. 

So I'm deciding here and now to let myself off the hook.  I'm going to keep doing what I can- meaning I'll have days when I don't shop at Costco or Walmart, I DO workout at the gym, AND manage to purchase only organic items for our dinner.  Then I will take those items home and add them to my pantry full of stuff with ingredients I can't pronounce.  I'll also have days where I volunteer for an organization like Women At Risk, but I'll be wearing a shirt I bought at Meijer and frankly I'm not sure who made it because I grabbed 3 sizes off the shelf when I had a spare 30 seconds the kids weren't screaming and took all 3 home to try on because goodness knows I am not dragging my offspring into a dressing room since the Maurices Debacle of 2011.

I won't compromise on my kids' faith but there are nights that we forget to pray before bed and days that my kids think Santa was at the manger in Bethlehem.  In fact, I'm considering buying a little Santa to hang around the stable because in the end if they think he was just a nice guy that likes to give presents that also happened to be in attendance at the birth of our Christ I think I am 100% OK with that.  In the end the most important thing to me is that my husband and my kids know that I love them and that the only reason any of us are here to do anything is because we were put here for a purpose.  I also know that no matter how long I live, whether I get cancer, develop some other disease, keep the extra 20lbs I want to lose, or make it to the finish line 120 years old with nothing worse than a bad flu- it won't be because I added any additional days to my life than were already given to me.  Or my kids. 
Pressure is off, go enjoy your family, your home, God's people, and do for them what He has called you to do, not what others call you to do.  It really is the best we can do when we have faith that God will help us accomplish the things that he put us here to accomplish.


tim and nancy said...

you make me laugh. you are awesome. The great thing about getting old is we finally give ourselves permission to not care about some things, to forget a lot, to just do the best we can, not caring what others say, only what God thinks counts. You have miraculously reached that place way before I did. Congratulations. Love you. MOM

Krista said...

thanks mom :) Keep reminding me that I figured this out, ok? lol