When I left campus this afternoon after teaching my classes, I felt behind. When I arrived home and saw the state of my kitchen and family room, I felt behind. Tonight when I face my to-do list after the kids have gone to bed, it's likely that the feeling of being behind will perpetuate.
Have you noticed that being "caught up" is such an elusive state? We catch up with household chores, and then the first piece of garbage is tossed into the trash can and a dirty shirt is thrown into the laundry basket. On and on it goes: filling, emptying, filling, emptying. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Even as I type, my head hurts. Little chores abound tonight: picking up a birthday gift for a kid's party this weekend, putting away the blocks, wiping down the kitchen table, changing the sheets, finishing a chapter for work.
In light of this, I'm going to do something as I run errands with the girls after dinner: I'm going to drive the long route that leads me along the meandering street with the house that burns a wood stove. I'm going to slow down, breathe deeply, and pay attention to something so simple -- the warmth of a smell.
I can't just enjoy life when I'm entirely caught up. (Being caught up is lovely, mind you, for the four minutes that it lasts.)
In the meantime -- in this mess of unfinished business that characterizes the most typical of days -- I'm going to hug my kids, love my husband, and breathe in the scent of that wood stove.
I'm going to choose joy, even when I'm behind.