I hate running out of paper towels. Inevitably, the dog barfs whenever I have no paper towels. I will clean up a lot of gross things with cloth towels, but dog barf isn't one of them. Well... thanks to Amazon's "Subscribe and Save" program, and my itchy trigger finger on the "order now" button, I will never run out of paper towels again - ever. Never ever ever. Look at them! They've multiplied like rabbits and no longer fit in the pantry. I'm going to have to build an addition onto my house to store paper towels! Who has time to build an addition onto the house? Not me! I'm too busy doing... what AM I doing? Certainly not improving my computer prowess --- all those paper towels but our family of six is only a few rolls away from being out of toilet paper... good thing I've been to India and can proficiently wipe with my hand because I'll be DAMNED if I'm going to buy any toilet paper in an actual store. It will arrive on my doorstep via UPS from Amazon or we will all just have to go potty at other people's houses.
So --- back to that question - what am I doing with my recent huge supply of free hours?
Activity 1) Being down on myself about my lack of online ordering skills
Activity 2) Spending a lot of time on Facebook
Activity 3) Not cleaning the house
Activity 4) Wondering who will brush the dog already! And trim her nails! And walk her!
Activity 5) Feeling guilty about all of the above PLUS the fact that I haven't finished writing a book, reading a book, or organizing the linen closet which has been on my chore list since late August
Activity 7) Painting my nails
Activity 8) Un-painting my nails
I know I've been on Facebook too much. I can barely hold a conversation with anyone, even my dog, without mentioning someone's Facebook post or comment. Last night, I found myself sitting at the table after dinner unable to move. I was transfixed by Facebook, ignoring the dishes, the laundry, the kids' homework, the 43 Cub Scouts about to arrive eagerly at my house. I spoke slowly to myself, in a gentle, reassuring voice: "Teri, set down your phone. Look your daughter in the eye and reassure her that the math will get done. Now... clear off the counter... easy does it... no sudden moves... and hit "wrinkle release" (for the fourth time) on the dryer then move carefully toward the dishes. That's it. You're doing a great job. Now get out there and take a walk to burn off some of the sugar from the candy bars you were sneaking."
Later: dishes done, counter clean, clothes put away, and Cub Scouts having had a successful meeting - my husband and I have bleary "How much freaking longer can this week BE?" looks on our faces. We watch one of our guilty pleasure TV shows (YES! Instead of spending romantic time working on that linen closet!) and then fall asleep milliseconds after climbing into bed.
Today, glorious Friday, I drop the kids at school, buy myself a coffee, and sit down to look at Facebook. (I know, I know. Shut up.)
I see this post from a dear friend:
I have been to a wedding and a funeral this week....Life is precious, it's worthy of celebration. With all my kids in school and more "free time" than I've had in years, I'm spending more time thinking about stuff, less time on Facebook, more time walking the dog, less time comparing myself to others, more time reading and less time "hustling for my worthiness." It feels good.
I smile and I cry, simultaneously. Her circumstances are similar to mine but NOWHERE IN THIS POST DOES SHE MENTION PAPER TOWELS TAKING OVER HER LIFE!
That "less time comparing myself to others" part gets me. On any given weekday, I'm falling short of a hundred people's expectations: people who have no expectations of me! It makes no sense. I'd join this friend on a walk with the dog to glean some life wisdom but she lives in another state. Instead, we set up a phone date. I know she will be gentle and encouraging and real - she always is. Her Facebook post is beautiful for that reason - she never tries to be anything she's not -- and her words today are good news and encouragement. I just need permission from myself to relax. We are in a brand new place in life. It takes a while to figure it out and navigate. Her words "hustling for my worthiness" stick in my brain. I've been hustling for weeks - trying to prove to myself that all is well. The hustle doesn't work anyway and then I turn to social media and candy bars. Might as well take a deep breath, say another prayer, and remember my worth is already established - whether my nails are painted or not - and even if we don't have toilet paper.