Thursday, November 15, 2012

Refusing the Rat Race

Bet you thought I had fallen off the face of the earth, huh?

Or maybe I was eaten by the renovation monsters...

Or overwhelmed by life, as I tend to be sometimes?

Well, to be completely honest...none of the above are true. I just have been shady. That's it. And loving every minute. Over the last couple of months I have sort of taken a step back from the everyday craziness and rat race that is known as life these days and just sort of REFUSED. I was getting a little tired and worn out of the pace that I was working at and one night as I lie in bed worrying the snot out of myself over all the things I had to do the next day, week, month, etc. I had a little come to Jesus meeting with myself. This is how it went.

Running the Rat Race Amy: Oh my gosh I am so stressed and busy and feeling overwhelmed that I could honestly just throw up my toenails. Which are seriously and tragically ingrown. Ugh, that reminds me, I need to do surgery on my ingrown toenails. Ugh, now I have to add that to the list of things to do and when am I going to do that? (Insert panic attack slowing rising to the occasion over ingrown toenails - that, my dears, is how out of control I was getting)

Reasonable, normal Amy that is slowly accepting that she is just that, NORMAL, Amy: Really? Did you just hear yourself? Because I did and I think you are stooooooopid and a tad out of control. Are you really about to have heart skippies over your ingrown toenails?

Running the Rat Race Amy: OH MY GOSH, yes. Don't make it seem trivial. I have too much to do. I have to clean house, I have to go to the grocery, Louisa has this, that and this, Nash is sick for the 3,484th time since we moved here and I have to run to Target with him screaming and carrying on, I have to go scrub the baseboards (haha, just kidding...was seeing if you were still paying attention), I have to pick up the dry cleaning, I have to find a sitter for this night, I have to go to the ATM to get money for the sitter, I have an email inbox full of people waiting for me to email them back, I have new patterns I want to draft, I have sewing for Louisa I want to do, etc., etc., etc.

Reasonable, normal Amy that is slowly accepting that she is just that, NORMAL, Amy: Okay, that is it. You are going over the deep end over such silly, everyday things that it is quite clear you are overwhelmed by all this that you seem to feel the need to do. Let me let you in on a secret. This is what you have to do tomorrow - wake up, thank God for opening your eyes another day, thank God for the amazing husband that has already showered before the crack of dawn and is ready to start his day working hard so he can provide for you, thank God that this man loves you no matter. Then, after you are done thanking Him for all of that, thank Him for those 2 beautiful children of yours that are growing up faster than you would like. Thank Him for blessing you as their mother. Then, thank Him for your sweet brown dog, Lucy Goose and striped kitty. And while on the subject of friends, tell Him how much you adore all of the wonderful friends He has brought into your life. After you are finished with those thank yous and blessings, then you can get out of bed and make sure your children have a great day knowing that they are loved. THAT my dear Running the Rat Race Amy is all you HAVE to do tomorrow. Everything else is a just a bonus. If at the end of the day you cannot cross anything off of your so-called to-do list, take comfort in those kids, that husband and those sweet animals of yours and know that if they are still in your life, you have had a GREAT day. And that is all. And then, get over yourself.

Running the Rat Race Amy: (after a long pause in which anxious Amy was trying to come up with a rebuttal) You know what, you are so right. (Amy never enjoys admitting she is wrong) I don't NEED to do anything. I don't NEED to be Amazing Amy. I need to be me, and I need to be there for my animals, my kiddos, my husband, my friends and myself. I need to get over myself.

And that my dears, although not exactly how it went down but close enough that you get the point, is how I had a turning point. I promised myself right then and there that from here on out, I would refuse the rat race. I would not go there again. I would wake up and be thankful, and I would go to bed being thankful that I have been blessed with another day, whether I got anything accomplished or not. I realized I had almost gotten into the habit of telling people, when they asked how I had been, that "I've been busy." (Phoebe, try not to laugh too hard at me on that one) And you know what, that just sucks. I want to tell people I have been great. Not busy. I do not wish to be defined by the race. I hereby announce myself disqualified. Confession: I've never really been a great sport anyway. :)

Now, Normal Amy still has her moments. She is human, and sometimes gets caught up and tries to pace with Rat Race Amy. But thankfully, it never lasts long. Normal Amy is getting used to being shady, and doing things on her on time. It's been nice.

So, obviously blogging was one of the things on my to-do list that I just haven't gotten around to. So, tonight I am going to try my best to get as caught up on life on West Clover as much as I can.

So, here goes...

If I could pick a theme for the last 2 months, this picture would summarize it.

Sickness and grumpiness has plagued the Norris family. Never in my life as a mother have my children been SO sick SO often. Out of control is what it is. Since the renovation is finished (that is a whole other blog post) I am having the ducts cleaned in the house as a last resort. I have always thought of the whole duct-cleaning hoopla as hog-wash, but I tell you...I am grasping at straws here. We have gone through an unmentionable amount of children's motrin and thermometers. Momma is done, and I know the kids are done too. Lawsy goodness. Goodbye germs, good riddance. Don't let the door (which by the way, that doorknob always falls off - no you didn't break it, promise) hit you on the way out.

But, on a make you smile note...we celebrated Mallard's (my beloved brown dog) 11th birthday in September. It is no secret how much this dog means to me. Byron will even tell you he falls lower on the totem pole than Brownie. This birthday was a bit bittersweet to me for a reason I cannot talk about long because I will be in tears and huddled in the fetal position in the corner of the room. I know my days are limited with my sweet brown boy. I cannot deny that he is aging and getting up there and I know that I won't always have him on my side of the bed moaning and groaning like he does when I tell him I love him before I go to bed. I cannot think of life without him. So, instead of dwelling on it and thinking about it (which makes me have a humongo lump in my throat and in a foul mood) I just embrace my brown boy and continue to spoil him rotten like I do anyways. :) 

I swanny I love these dogs more than I love most humans. True story.

This picture is JUST for you Katie and Dave...notice the wide-mouthed grin. It is like he is posing for his license!

Halloween this year was a lot of fun, crazy runny nose aside. Nash was much more into participating this year. He wasn't to keen on the whole ewwy-gooey insides of the pumpkin though...but honestly, can you blame him? Gag. And on a funny note - since Rat Race Amy is taking  a hiatus, we bought our pumpkin the day before Halloween on clearance for $2.50 and carved him last minute. Somehow a pumpkin just wasn't high up on that list of things to do. :)

To say I had a wild indian on my hands is a huuuuuge understatement. Oh dear me. That boy...



 Speaking of that boy, my oh my. I used to have a sweet baby Nash that was so sweet all the time and just happy go lucky and go with the flow, and now, this is what I see most of the time.

Grumpy, grumpy, grumpalumpagus. Now, mind you...were are in that awful, want to pull all your hair out because you are both so frustrated with each other and there is a huge communication gap phase of the beloved 18-24 months, you know - those crucial years before the terrible twos hit. Louisa has always been a handful, but I don't remember her causing me this much wine-drinking at that age.

But then, he turns into this kiddo who just melts my heart.

Those kids are sneaky. Just when you think you cannot take anymore they act all sweet and innocent and you feel the need to smell the spot on the back of their neck where their hair hits and they always smell so good. And you are mush again. At least until the next meltdown, in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Speaking of meltdowns, my sweet Louisa. Sadly enough (never thought I would miss it) she no longer creates tons of drama in our lives (knock on wood, knock on wood, knock on wood). Don't get me wrong, you still must walk on very thin ice around this fireball, but she's growing up so much that I cannot even believe it. However, I thought I would indulge yall in this lovely Louisa-ism from today. She still has it. :)

Lou: Mommy, do you know about the Indians and Pilgremlins? (no, that is not a typo...she really has them combined with gremlins, and you know I am not about to correct her!)

Me: (muffling a giggle) I do Lou, but it has been a looooong time since I learned about them in school.

Lou: Yeah, because you are so old. Did they have Pilgremlins when you were in school?

Me: Ummm, yes Louisa. I am not that old! Goodness.

Lou: Well, I just kind of felt bad for the Indians and Pilgremlins when we learned about them today. We were looking at pictures and they didn't really look happy to be there on Thanksgiving.

Me: Oh really? That is sad. Maybe the person who was hosting was a bad cook. Hehe.

Lou: (silence while she is considering it) Nah, I think it is because none of them were wearing pink or purple. OR sparkles. I mean, Mommy...people need to know you cannot have any real fun without sparkles.

Love her. My own little Fancy Nancy.


Okay, now that I have typed forever and a day and my glass of wine is now gone, it is time for me to wrap this thing up and head up to bed. I promise to have renovation pictures at some point, but I really want to do before and afters so you don't get all bored. And let's face it, at the rate Normal Amy works, it may be a year before rooms are finished. :)

On a lighter note to wrap things is a reel of bloopers. This is what I like to call "Trying to Take Photos Of and With My Children These Days." Enjoy and laugh, because you know it too well, right?

Seriously. That just happened.


It is all fun and games until someone needs a real picture. :) Mom, you asked about a family picture...does this answer why it may be some time before you get one?


Jenn said...

Love the pictures of Nash and Lou, the faces on Lou are priceless!!!!

Katie Ryan said...

That was a fine looking wide mouth! He should be on our Christmas Card :) Love!!

Kosek Landing said...

Great catch up! Great pictures! You guys all look great and I'm so glad that you are giving yourself a bit of a break from all the craziness that makes us all crazy!

Kate Wicker said...

I can relate to both Amies. But right now I'm at the "thank God for opening your eyes another day" stage. It's a well-worn cliche, but life's too short to be held ransom by a tyrannical to-do list.

I love all the photos. What a beautiful family - and life even when it's messy and grumpy - you have!

kathy said...

great pics! And duct cleaning is not a bad idea. Been there, done that.

Katie Williams said...

your pictures are awesome. what kind of camera do you use?