The Next Right Thing

I’m going to do a Disney Princess bookend thing here. You know that Rapunzel song (from Tangled) when she describes her morning? She does several chores (sweep, mop, laundry, etc.) all in the first fifteen minutes of the morning. [Watch 0:52-1:12.] I wish I could be that productive! My day is quite the opposite. Here’s a regular weekday, after school activities omitted for simplification (you’re welcome.) Buckle up.

  • I hear the 6 am alarm and drag myself out of bed to make sure the older two are up and ready for school. Middle kid takes more time, but he’s finally up. Then I usher them out the door around 7 am.
  • Knowing I shouldn’t go back to bed, I empty the dishwasher, clear some email, and figure my to-do list for the day. That’s it for my productivity.
  • Little guy wakes up and wants to play. I wrestle him into clothes, listen to him whine impatiently while I get dressed, then force some breakfast on him.
  • Sitting down to write, I realize I haven’t eaten. Three-year-old demands juice.
  • I try to write again – oh message! Must reply. Three-year-old must tell me about his Bakugan guy right now! Appease him with a ‘Wow!’ and go back to replying.
  • “Mama! Mama! Mama!” State satisfactory response so he goes back to the living room.
  • Message reply finished; start writing. Stomach growls, also nature calls. Okay, a quick break and food.
  • Writing… Partway through, searching sources. Message! Reply later.
  • Almost lunchtime, I need to get the little one fed and to school.
  • Home from drop-off. ONE HOUR OF PEACE! (Cue angels singing.) One blog done and published. One item checked off the list. Five more to go. Prioritize… Item chosen but time…
  • Get little guy from school. Older two are home. Daughter must share every detail of day right now with interruptions from the little one.
  • Middle kid? Need to check upstairs.
  • “How was school?” “Good.” “Homework?” “Done.” “Did you…?” “I will.” “Is… all set?” “Yeah.” “Come down later to eat.” “I will.” He’s not mopey today so I can let him be.
  • I look at the time. I need to make dinner in ten minutes.
  • Pick ONE thing from to-do list and… Actually… Do… It!!!
  • Smile because I did a thing today.

Been there? Done all that or something similar? When life gets me crazy, I can’t be fazed. Well, I am sometimes very fazed, but I try to let it roll. Of course many items were left out to keep it simple, but I knew you’d get the idea. Get ready for the next bookend.

In Frozen Two, Anna sings a song about doing the next right thing. On a regular day, no matter how many lists and to-dos and whatnot I have, I sometimes need to pick a thing and just do it. Do one thing, then it’s done. The next right thing could be making a phone call, sending a message, cleaning a table, feeding yourself, or stopping everything to play with your little one. Breathe. It’s overwhelming. Do one thing at a time. You’ll get there. Now I need to reply to that other message.