Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hitting the Pause Button

Sometimes when I'm feeling rushed to get out the door I load my kids, diaper bag, cell phone and stroller into the car and then I sit down at my computer, which is right next to my backdoor, and check my email or facebook for a minute or two. It's the weirdest thing. I used to be an annoyingly punctual person before I had children, and now I'm usually an unhappy-about-being-ten-minutes-late kind of person, so this whole "let's avoid the stress by leaving the kids in the freezing cold garage while I unwind at the computer" business is absurd. It isn't like me at all. But I secretly kind of love it.

Lately I've found myself doing this same sort of thing in other situations. When the chaos of my life becomes too much I simply walk away for a minute or two and pretend the noise has nothing to do with me. I don't plan it. I usually don't even realize I'm doing it; it just happens. The other day I shooed my entire family out to the car so we would be on time for church, and then I found myself  organizing the beaded necklaces in my jewelry box. After a few minutes I moseyed out to the garage and got in the car, somehow feeling infinitely more serene. I've also become intent on untangling Christmas tree garlands while my girls are fighting over toys in the other room, reading the final page of my chapter while the baby fusses in his swing, or faking sleep for a few minutes in the morning as three year old Elisabeth lifts the edge of my blankets and shouts into my ear that she is nearly dead from starvation.

photo credit

I can't tell if hitting the pause button for a moment in my day is like an unfortunate tick, an unhappy side effect to our loud and crazy life, or if it's simply an inspired way to regain my composure. I guess I don't really care what or why it is because it works. So, if you drive by my house and it appears my children are sitting in the car with no adult in sight, don't panic. I'm probably alphabetizing our spice rack and I'll be along shortly.

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