Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bigger Picture Moments: Eating Bon-Bons

There are a few specific times in my day that can, if I feel inclined to make them, be used solely for laziness. 

For instance, when Lauren is away to preschool, Landon's morning nap is the most glorious stretch of silence -- perfect for doing nothing.  To shatter the quiet with clanging dishes in the sink or shoving around in the laundry room would ruin the effect, and I do love to hoard silence.  It's such a rare, perfect thing.

So yesterday, I hoarded.  While Landon slept for two and a half hours, I burrowed into the couch.  A blanket was tucked around me, forbidding me from escape.  There was a pillow on my lap, propping up my novel.  I'm convinced that my body completely shut down in this time, only expelling enough energy to turn a page or allow my eyes to focus. 

It was wonderful.

But then, Landon woke up: he nursed; we retrieved Lauren from school; she went to her room to play quietly; Landon napped again; I ate lunch and checked email, and then looked around myself.


My house was a disaster.  I had plans to make some french bread for dinner later but there was no counter space on which to knead dough.  I went into my bedroom to find my shoes and saw instead three loads of laundry I'd meant to fold. 

The grumpies overcame me.  Instead of using my morning hours to knock out some nastiness around this place, I'd done NOTHING.  And when Mia came home from school, Landon would be mostly awake for the afternoon and I'd have my hands so full of chores that I'd have almost no time to play.  To do art projects with the girls.  To experience my kids. 

No, while they ran around outside in the soft and perfect, warm afternoon, I'd be stuck inside, sulking.  Slamming things around in the kitchen with clumsy speed, hoping to have dinner ready before bedtime. 

I was mad at my hoarded free-time.  I know it's not socially cool (something I've never claimed to be anyway) to announce that me-time is selfish, but that's exactly how I felt yesterday. 

By the time Justin and I went to bed, I had gotten almost nothing done.  It was as if I'd literally sat around all day eating bon-bons and watching soap operas: the banal stereotype of stay-at-home moms.  That was me.

I lamented.  "I'm so mad at myself," I told Justin.  He sat on the edge of the bed where I was crumpled in a heap at the foot.  "There was so much I needed to do today, and I just...skipped it all.  You know what I did?  I read.  That's all.  For over two hours -- enough time to clean the whole house -- I read my book.  Ugh!  Why am I so lazy?!"

He raised his eyebrows at my whining.  "Well...I mean...just put the book down next time?"

I rolled my eyes.  "But the thing is, I WANT to read.  I LOVE to read.  I'm ADDICTED to reading."

He shrugged.  Stepped over some dirty laundry on the floor.  Kissed my head on the way to brush his teeth. 

Later, we lay in bed.  Our lamps made the bed -- our hands, our faces -- warm and golden.  My feet were tucked under his calves and we both had books open on our tummies.  I closed the paperback cover, flipped the book over and glared at it.

"Finished?" he asked without looking up from his reading.

I sighed.  "Yep.  It's over now."

"See?"  He turned to face me.  "And you said you didn't get anything done today."  A smile quirked at the corner of his mouth.

I laughed; that tease of a smile filled me with promise.

Anyway, no bon-bons for me today.  Lauren and I are going to make banana bread.  I'm going to enlist her help to sort the laundry.  I'll let her play in the bubbles in the kitchen sink.  When Mia gets home, we'll read another few chapters of A Little Princess.

There are things to be done.  And motivation, too; a commodity. 

Let it be written: I will feel happy with this day at its end.  Then, I might search my shelves for a new book with which to reward myself.  Bon-bons before bed never hurt anyone.


We're seeing the Bigger Picture through simple moments -- moments that force us to stop and take notice of the ways our worlds are important, meaningful, and beautiful. Please join us at Undercover Mother today! Grab the button, link up, and read a few others to encourage them as they walk this journey of intentional living.

21 comments:

  1. clever comment under your comment...

    How did that make ME feel? Hmmmm...
    You are a better stay at home than me. I think that the guilt would probably linger for a mere second and I would go on to hoarding more "bon-bons" (in my case it would be either photography or classic literature)

    On the days I feel truly lazy; I roll around in them (in pajamas mind you) like a gluttonous pig in mud, basking in the sunlight. You must teach me your bon-bon guilt! Nick would be appreciative.

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    1. Whatever, Alita! (Say it like a valley girl...)

      I'm constantly impressed by all the things you're baking up and the lists of tasks you plan on accomplishing each day! I think the reason I've felt guilty lately is that I've been on a reading BINGE. It's lasted for months, and I just...I can't keep going like this. I need to be responsible.

      Plus, your bon-bons are inspirational :)

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  2. you're killing me. I'm now sitting here beating myself up for sitting here because I have a BILLION things to do before my daughter's birthday party saturday and instead I'm choosing to use this nap to read blogs and eat cheese. Not to mention I've been a terrible mother to my kiddos this morning because I was trying to get everything done rather than play with them.

    That's it. I'm closing the laptop and going to finish my chores so that i can play when they wake up.
    Thanks for holding me accountable ;)

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    1. Heh -- that's me: forcing my peers into motivation by way of guilty self-admissions. Now GET TO WORK!!

      Also? Cheeeeeese.....mmmm...

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  3. It's so hard to get that balance. There's just SO MUCH to do, all the time. Also, I'm so glad you're reading A LITTLE PRINCESS to your girl! (BTW - what book were you addicted to all day?) :>)

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    1. This week it's been The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest. Those books keep me up all hours looking for the next thrilling high. See? Addicted.

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  4. It's all about balance my dear. Bon bons are yummy just not in excess. Plus, you DO deserve some bon bon time, even if you have to pay the price later...there's always tomorrow.

    Oh, and you could always do my trick. Set the timer for half of Landon's nap ... clean or do chores and when the timer goes off you can feel free to drop everything and read your little heart out for the second half of his nap. Just a thought.

    And that series is ADDICTING ... I locked myself in the bathroom for an hour reading it. The hubby thought I was sick with something. hahahaha.

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    1. Yes, and I have been excessive! Your timer idea is perfect for me, and I just hope I'd actually follow through. You are very self-propelled, it seems (hellO Triathlon!), but I am super duper under-motivated most days.

      I may have spent a few extra (dozen) minutes in the bathroom with the series...maybe ;)

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  5. Totally, totally, TOTALLY agreeing with Brook on this one. You needed those two hours. Those two hours were good hours for rejuvenation. See how much you got done today? :)

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    1. I don't deny that I need some rejuvenation, but honestly, I've been doing this so often lately, it feels scandalous! This latest reading jag has lasted for several months, and I can't seem to tear my nose outta books. As SOON as I put one down, I'm searching for my next fix :)

      But I DID get a lot done today....Hopefully I'll find the motivation to allow positive rejuvenation regularly as opposed to complete engrossment daily!

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  6. I love the idea of hoarding quiet. I remember those days well....come to think of it, the experience remains when the house is filled with teens too!

    I so understand the push and pull here. The list of things to do just never ends, but oh! a couple hours with a book. Sigh!

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  7. Oh, it WAS glorious, May :) At least I enjoyed it fully! The story, the silence...ah, bliss :)

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  8. Yikes! What kind of standard are you setting over there, lady? I say (with an outpouring of love and affection): keep the book, drop the guilt, add some REAL bon-bons into the mix, and you're golden. You'll clean it up eventually, right? You NEED to read. Who cares if the house is messy?

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    1. I DO love your affirmation of my habits :) And it's not a standard, honest! Just me feeling like the dozen books I've read in the past several weeks are kind of hindering my happiness in other areas. Like a peaceful, clean house. And I don't get it anyway: if I love the books so much, shouldn't I slow down and not plow through them with such alarming speed? I need to learn to savor, maybe.

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  9. I so TOTALLY get this. I mean, hello, I used to bring novels to my lectures in college when I couldn't put them down and read in between taking notes. That was a smart idea, let me tell you. Ppff! I've also been known to skip chores to finish a book (or a nap...heck, I even did that today!). And when, in guilt, I bemoaned my laziness to Toby, he did the exact same thing Justin did. 1) Offer a simple practical solution, and then 2) remind me of what I did accomplish. (Hubbies are awesome, aren't they?) I'm sure you're actually plenty good at self-monitoring, but I really like Brook's idea too, so if you need that extra little push, that timer sounds like a great idea!

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    1. Hah! Oh, Jade, we have this in common, I guess :) I used to take novels to work with me at a slow office and spend hours reading. My boss was a true gem :)

      And I think as far as self-monitoring, I'm only really good at it when it gets down to the wire. I need a little pressure to keep me moving forward.

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  10. You have to give yourself time, there will always be the household chores, and recovery time makes you a better mom! You sound like every mom I know. We are all the same really!

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    1. Thank you for the reassurance! I hope you're right -- and I have a feeling you are :) I just need to make sure I'm not *always* taking recovery time, you know? It's definitely not like I'm usually a slave to the housekeeping. I'm terrible about it in general!

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  11. I've done the same thing before. But I try not to get too upset about it. I mean, really, you choose to do other things far more often than you choose to sit and enjoy the quiet, right? I bet your soul was restored, even if you felt frustrated later in the day. And I love that your husband said just the right thing. ;)

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    1. He IS good about that :) It's also helpful that he doesn't mind a messy house every so often. Like, every other day ;)

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  12. I love this! I just had one of these moments today...slept when my children did, a rare occurrence, then woke with guilt at the laundry, dirty floor, dinner unmade, etc. But really, those stolen silences feed us!

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?