Big Plans and Sticky Notes


Photo by riNux

There are sticky notes all over my desk.

And when I say “desk”, I mean the corner of the kitchen counter that I’ve commandeered for my laptop, because there’s no longer any more room on my desk.   I fear the additional weight of a single sticky note would send the whole thing crumbling like a house of matchsticks.

I have sticky notes in the vain hope that getting some of the mental clutter out of my head and transferring it to… well… physical clutter, will somehow help clear my head and maybe even help me sleep.

Emails I need to send

Questions I need to answer

Appointments I need to make

Book reviews and other various… things… I need to write

A growing amount of conference work I need to take care of

A million house projects I’ve been putting off

So. Many.  Emails!

It’s June 3rd, which means the year is almost half over, and because of the sticky notes, I’m not any closer to completing any of my goals for the year (Finish that book?  Take that personal trainer test?  Pssh, not when there are sticky notes!) than I was on New Years day.

I wake up, and the bevy of sticky notes looks even bigger than it did the night before.  I feel pulled in so many directions by so many different things.  I have a small little window of time before the kids get up, and I don’t know where to start.

I make a cup of coffee.

I fear I will drown in it (the to-do list, not the coffee).  I worry sometimes that I’ll just get swept up in the details of life, carried away by the inertia of it all, and forget to actually LIVE while I’m at it.  I sometimes wake at night in a panic.  Can I do it?  Can I get it all done?

You can’t be all things to all people at all times.  God speaks to me over the noise in my head. I hear it, but I ignore it.

I’m a MOM, dammit.  I can do it all.  I MUST do it all.

I pour another cup of coffee, then hear Tegan calling me from her bed…. “Mama, come!”.. the sound that signals the official start of my day.

I give her a piggy back ride out to the living room.  She snuggles up on my lap, rests her head on my shoulder and she sings “Soft Kitty.”

The sticky notes wait.

Gradually the boys get up too:  Everett, who at ten, still tells me he loves me several times a day.  Paxton, at fourteen, with his quiet, calming presence.  Spencer, seventeen, who’s excited to share with me about the newest game he just bought on Steam.

I struggle sometimes.  My attention’s pulled away.  I try to be gentle and forgiving with myself as I come back to the present moment.    Come back to my kids.  Season’s change, and I won’t get this season with my children back again.

You can’t be all things to all people at all times.  You’ll get to the to-do list, or you won’t.

Our day is full.  It’s busy.  It’s interesting.  It’s joyful.

I breathe.

The sticky notes will still be there tomorrow.  And for the moment, that’s okay.

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1 Comment

Filed under life, parenting

One Response to Big Plans and Sticky Notes

  1. mesechka

    My version of your sticky notes are a hundred items lists of stuff waiting for me. Why I still do them? To keep ideas. Eventually, one day in the distant future, I will have the time. Most of the lines of the lists will be totally outdated by then, but some will be as valid as they were the day I put them down. The sweater idea I wanted to knit. The acupuncture topic I wanted to get deeper into. The perfect gift for a dear friend that just takes too long to get together and prepare. And then I’ll get to it. Or I won’t. But I know I won’t get bored, not even when I’m 90 🙂 And having spent the present moment in the present moment, leaving all the long lists to rest, I hope will help me also not being bitter, not even when I’m 90 🙂 We’ll talk again in 60 years, see how that goes 🙂