In case you’ve noticed, I’m taken a small break from my “Summer of 7” project. Actually, if I’m being honest, I’m reevaluating its value. One week is not long enough to change habits, neither is it long enough to impress enough discomfort on me that I’ll really learn anything. Not trying to be a negative-Nancy here, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how much I can actually do, and what’s worth doing, and what’s better left undone, and that’s all to say that I’m not sure I see the heart-changing value in altering my habits for a week, and then devoting time to writing about it.
You can tell that I’m writing more because there’s laundry, unfolded, from a week ago, just sitting on the back of our couch. And basically none of our possessions are where they should be. Our home isn’t “dirty” in an unsanitary way, but it is disorganized, and that makes me feel a little wife/mom-guilty. At the same time, I’m grateful to be married to an English teacher who happens to love that I’m writing more, thinks that I’m really excellent at it, and isn’t bothered at all that my craft supplies (the ones I used to make the Instagram Magnets about a week ago) are still on our dining room table. He’s a saint. The guilt is all mine.
I want our home to be in a state that, if someone were to randomly drop by, I wouldn’t have to apologize for any messes. I could breezily offer our surprise-guest a cool drink (cucumber-mint water!), and we’d sit and chat on my front lawn, admiring my tiny garden. But to do that, I’d have to be tidying the house right now, and fixing cucumber-mint water, not writing. I’d have to be weeding right now, or vacuuming, or dusting, all of which are things I want to be done, but I don’t want to sacrifice my time in doing them. Not when I could be writing. I’ll try and jam it all in, once I post this, but you and I both know that they’re not all going to happen. And what about my other commitments?
Choosing what I will and will not devote my time to is harder than I expected it would be. Nothing is easy to cut back on; everything I want to be doing is good stuff. It’s not as if I’m watching television, or playing video games or something.
So I guess what I’m saying is that if you come over to my house, and all I have to drink is regular old water, and there’s laundry still sitting on the back of the couch, it’s because I’m doing something that I think is more valuable. I’m spending time with Elle, swimming, or playing at the park, or drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. I’m writing (sometimes) pretty words about beautiful things, or ugly words about tragic things, or regular old words about regular old things. I’m spending time talking with my husband, and learning more and more about what makes him tick. I’m serving my church, building blogs and maintaining social media presences. I’m pushing for greater cultural awareness regarding unsustainable design in technology, and its effects on people and the environment. Bigger things than laundry. Bigger things than dusting. And, finally, I’m not afraid to say it.