downsizing


I am easily inspired and influenced.
Once I watched an omni movie about climbing Mr. Kilamanjaro and suddenly I wanted to climb a giant mountain. (sidenote - I hate peeing outside). I read books on simplicity and I take half the things in my closet to goodwill. (sidenote - I have a small zulily addiction).  I watch an episode of the barefoot contessa and suddenly I want to throw a dinner party. (sidenote - I hate cleaning my house which can put a damper on having people over). I go to the gym and suddenly I want arms like Jillian Micheals. (I hate protein shakes and group fitness classes scare me). I read some Shane Claiborne and suddenly want to quit my job and serve homeless people. ( sidenote -I love Starbucks, my job and do not know how to sew on a button much less my own clothes). The workshops and speakers that 90% people I work with roll their eyes at and think are silly make me want to take notes and be the next Ron Clark (sidenote - It is summer but I'm pretty sure that I am behind on grading papers).

I want to do all these big things.
I want to run really far and climb mountains and serve selflessly. I want to be different and unafraid and make memories and change people and cook a perfect risotto and be teacher of the year.
I don't need recognition I tell myself.
But I should be doing more.
Because I never do big things.
My dishes pile high in the sink. I won't be winning any church attendance or volunteer awards. Everyone at work seems to be going back to school for more degrees while I wonder what I want to do when I grow up, rather than how to move up a ladder. I fed my kids microwave corndogs for lunch. I watch way too much TNT. I couldn't do a pullup to save my life. It has been a long time since I saw that omni movie, I'm not even sure what country Mt. Kilamanjaro is in.

When I make excuses, I tell myself that I am not very ambitious. That I am socially motivated not task oriented. I have small children. And a husband. I have limited funds. And time. And I get sick quickly when I don't get enough sleep. I choose sleep or coffee with friends over mountain climbing, crossfit classes or grading papers.

When it is worse than that, I start all the negative self talk.
The kind we don't want to admit but that we all do. The narrator in my head that I'd like to put a hit out on. The one that tells me I can't. I'll never. I shouldn't even try.
That I can't do big things. That I can't even find my keys. The one that tells me just to stay on the couch and watch another episode of Psych.

But lately, I've been thinking that maybe I could just do small things.
That small things don't make me small, despite what that lame narrator has to say.

And that the truth is. I've never done any of those grand things I listed in the first paragraph. But I have climbed mountains (that is plural). I have lost count of the half marathons I've run. I can cook better than many of my friends (who I hope aren't mad at me after reading that). I look homeless people in the eyes and I give what I can. I have good ideas at work and love kids more that I hate paperwork (and that is saying a lot).
And that is more than I realize.

I do a lot of small things.
Some well. Some poorly. Some I'm getting better at.

I struggle to be productive. I get through my days with lots of lists. My lists are embarrassing. I am the girl that writes things down that she has already done just so I can cross them off. I write down silly little tasks that take almost as long to do as they do to write down. And on it I put ridiculous things like - hang up 10 pieces of laundry.  Today that was on my list four times and sadly, there is still more in the basket.  But I if I keep putting it away 10 pieces at a time....the pile stays smaller than I am tall and more often than not we have clean underwear in the mornings. My husband does not do laundry like this. He brings in weeks worth of heaping clean clothes to the living ro
 
om and puts it in piles all over the place, then takes it to the appropriate closet until it is gone. It takes hours. And all of it, even just trying to find a place to sit on the couch while he does, this overwhelms me. But I can put away 10 pieces at a time.

I feel like I am living this mediocre life when I say that I should pursue small things in stead of big ones, but that isn't true. I still have big dreams. I may, or may not, ever make it up Mt. Kilamanjaro. Chances are good that I'll have new hopes and goals dream vacations by the time I bother googling what country it is in. But. If I keeping doing the small things....
like putting up laundry 10 peices at a time. or writing 20 minutes a day. or trying a new recipe. or running 5 miles in the rain...
Well I'm good at math.
Small things add up.

The laundry gets done.
And eventually the small things become the big things.


1 comments:

bookgoonie said...

Love it. That's just what I needed.