Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I am driving myself crazy.

I see the value in structure, so I try to create a family routine and structure...And I see the value in flexibility and spontaneity, so I try to go with the flow.

I value music education and physical fitness, so my children are involved in choir and piano and sports...And I value downtime, time to rest and relax and play and daydream.

I value structured formal academics...And I value time spent pursuing our interests and learning what suits us in the moment.

I value exploring interests deeply and fully...And I value exposure to many different ideas, concepts, languages, experiences.

I value free spirits and light hearts and strong wills...and I value good manners and behavior.

I value school time, family time, work time, time to play with friends, time to read, time to talk, time to rest, time to daydream.

I want to devote my time to developing real friendships, to raising my children, to nurturing my marriage, to creating a comfortable home, to studying new ideas, to having new experiences and making wonderful memories.

I want it all. I want to have it all. I want to do it all.

The problem is that there simply isn't time for it all. We cannot spend hours watching the clouds, and still get in a good piano practice. It doesn't make sense to pay for scheduled activities like gymnastics and swimming and piano and choir, then take off for a week camping in the spring. A day spent playing with friends means a day of missed schoolwork. Creating a family routine that helps us measure the flow of our days is impossible if we drop everything at the spur of every moment in the name of spontaneity.

Living a thoughtful life, one in which we take responsibility for our choices and experiences, requires careful consideration not only of what we want to do, but of what we're giving up in order to do those things. In a sense this is the crux of our lives, for all of us who live a life that allows us these kinds of choices anyway. This is what life is all about. We create our lives through the choices that we make and the ways that we use our time, whether we choose to swing in the hammock or dig up the garden or go to a movie or drive to the beach.

I know we'll find the balance we need, and that once we do our lives will shift and shift and shift again. I am immensely grateful for the choices we've been given. Someday we'll miss these busy days.

Life is good.


Andy and Katie said...

As usual, Cat, you are so eloquent with words! I can envision your writing going through my head as I try to help the girls/boy learn all of the traits you listed...and what a balancing task it is! And you are day, we will miss the busy days!

And oh, how I love that TODAY, you have said that you 'value strong wills'. Thank you, friend, for putting a positive spin on the energy draining child in my life right now! :)


Irie said...

Hi sis, good post! As I was reading, this saying popped into my head..

Everything in moderation, including moderation.

Every day is part of a larger balance; some days will lean toward the cloud-watching and others will lean toward piano practice... I've seen what you're growing in your garden and it's yielding everything you've listed here. I think you must have the hang of this balance thing already... :)

Sara said...

Me too! I want to do it all! It's so hard to make the choices on what really will get done, since we can't fit it all in. But we have to make choices. At least we are so fortunate in all the options available to us.