As Is (as opposed to As If)

Being home brings with it the responsibility of relentless being-aware.  It's my job to notice miniature successes and minor failures and every small thing in between. 
I try to see it all in softer focus, beyond the anxious foreground, around distractions that gallop like wild stallions.  I want to do it well.  I want to do it perfectly.  I want to watch them play and play with them and pick up all the small pieces. 
This sense of urgency, this earnest effort not to mess things up, this insecurity, they all seem to attach themselves to me like parasitic fish. 
It doesn't matter whether Tolliver's wearing Tucker's pajama top, or that Tucker may not be wearing anything at all.  I'm getting better at dialing down anxiety on things that don't really matter.  
But so much does matter.  Like every small thing in between.

We all have at least ten things to do at once, at home or at the office or all of the above.  We all compare our behind the scenes with everybody else's highlight reel.  We all live under the scrutiny of an imaginary audience.   
As if anyone else's approval actually matters.  It doesn't.  
There is space between do everything and do nothing, between do it perfectly and you suck.  It's a healthy place, the middle path, full of trade-offs and forgiveness and enough.  I forget that, I try too hard.  I'm exhausted and worthless, I drop balls and break plates and make compromises.  It's hard to disassemble rotten habits.  It's hard to be a good parent.  But I want the boys to be good people.
In the middle of the relentless being-aware, I fight a strong urge to be physically productive, to complete quantifiable tasks, to look for immediate results.  Some days I respond well from the start, and some days it takes me a few tries to get it right.   
As if getting it right is any guarantee.  


Joe + Julia Todd said...

Jenni, beautifully expressed, as usual. For you and all those who are working so hard each day - In your "relentless being-aware" be sure to be aware of the many times you are "awesome" throughout every day. I liked this mother's post on "drops of awesome." Read it http://www.daringyoungmom.com/2012/12/19/drops-of-awesome/

rht said...

Thanks, Julia. Now put another drop of awesome in YOUR bowl!

Nichole Ferris said...

I love this post.

Christy said...

So good! Love your posts! :)