Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Moon Marshmallows.

I'm sitting here with a frosty blended coffee, a baby in my lap, smudged mascara in the corner of my eyes, and a house that looks like crafts and toys went to war and the remnants are scattered from the kitchen to the garage. The kids were up extra early today. I don't really know why, but for some reason I found them in the hallway at 5:45 playing with Cub's camping equipment, telling me that they were going to go camping on the moon and they needed to roast some marshmallows. I had stumbled out of bed at the sound of the (fake) marshmallow roasting and after coming upon this scene, I rubbed my eyes, pointed to their rooms, and said, "BED."

I crawled back under the covers and at 6:06 the baby started to jabber. Oy. I slithered out of bed, down the kids' hallway (tripping over some fake sticks and marshmallows haphazardly strewn about), and scooped the baby up to feed her. The kids trickled out of their rooms as she finished, and I yawned and stretched as I slinked into the kitchen to start breakfast. Cub sneezed and needed a tissue. Naomi fell out of her chair. The baby threw up twice. All while my head was still foggy and the sun was still sleeping.

Sometimes it can seem just REALLY HARD to salvage a day. Especially when it feels like that day hasn't technically begun. These mornings are the exception rather than the rule, but still, sometimes the day just seems to begin tumbling forward while I'm still trying to figure out how to put one foot in front of the other. What day is it? Where are the kids? Head count! NOW!

So, for me, day salvaging requires a to-do list. Because that's what boggles me the most when my day starts with chaos. All I need is two seconds to have a coherent thought born on its own, a thought that isn't just a response to what is going on around me. Call it "offensive thinking" as opposed to "defensive thinking". Because chaos breeds chaos. If I feel like my day is falling apart then everything around me begins to feel overwhelming. That small pile of laundry becomes a MOUNTAIN and that cluttered kitchen table becomes a HUGE MESS and the toys on the floor become an IMPASSABLE JUNGLE. It can be easy to lose perspective when the morning gets away from you. Or, for me it can be.

I remember having a similar conversation with my boss when I worked a few years ago. I was having one of those overwhelmed moments where the things that needed to be done were burying me and I didn't know where to begin. My boss had a pile of magazines on his desk and he ushered me to them and explained that this was an example of the stuff I needed to do. And then, with a grand gesture, he removed the top magazine from the pile and said, "Just one magazine at a time. Don't look at the whole pile, just look at the next magazine." Super cheesy analogy that I still think about today. Because he's right. One thing at a time. And before you know it, the pile will be gone.

So, here I am, attempting to salvage my day. I'm starting my list and putting the day in perspective. I still don't think I'm fully awake ... but I'm working on it. Yawn.

So. What are your best ways to re-start your days? Do you ever have mornings like this?


  1. To answer your questions:

    YES. And a trip through Misty Brew helps push the reset button pretty well. ;)

    Great post.

  2. I like your post. And the marshmallow roast in the hallway sounds nice, but hard to take at 5:45 am. Reminds me of the book Bird by Bird which is about writing, but Anne Lamott's brother had a report on birds that he was working on and overwhelmed the night before and his dad told him to just do it "bird by bird." :) My boss at work tells me to just do what's in your hand. :)

  3. Haha! Just now, as I was finishing up a long comment about how I had a similar morning today, where nothing went right, the page refreshed and deleted it all. Let's just say this post was lovely, and I understand.

  4. With all the posts you and Erin make on your blogs and Facebook about these Misty Brew bean freeze thingies, I'm starting to think I need to hop in the car to come sample one! Sounds so delicious!

    I like that idea of offensive vs. defensive thinking and totally agree on the chaos breeds chaos thing. For me, getting dressed seems to always help with the reset button. The longer the jammies stay on, the more my day disintegrates!

  5. We have these days often. Sitting down with a hot cup of coffee and reminding myself that most of the things I feel like I "have" to do, really can wait. I need to remind myself to relax. ;)

    The embroidery in my bathroom is something I won from that blog. I'm not sure she makes and sells them in her Etsy shop, but she may! Check out her blog or comment and ask her! She's super nice and does amazing work! She made dolls for my girls too that they LOVE! Her name is Wendy.

  6. I have to have a list. Like your boss, if I get overwhelmed I try to break things down into the smallest tasks possible so that I can feel productive and actually see my progress. Otherwise I am lost without my list!!

  7. You, my dear, are a saint.

    I always say, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."