What did you do last week -- as in, really do? a voice inside my head seemed to say. The college classes that I teach just launched, so I haven't been doing any intensive grading yet. Two-thirds of the child population in my household started school, so I've only been responsible for my three-year-old in the afternoons.
And yet the week induced a head-hit-the-pillow-but-I'm-too-tired-to-easily-fall-asleep exhaustion, which, I'll admit, is an especially unfortunate form of tiredness because (hello!) your body seems unable to relinquish control and yield to the one thing that would fix the predicament.
One night last week (I forget which since the days blurred together in a haze of it's-back-to-school-week-and-we-have-absolutely-no-semblance-of-routine) I served chips and salsa for dinner. Not with dinner, for dinner. Just chips and salsa. But it was homemade salsa with just the right amount of fresh cilantro, which somehow made me feel a little better about myself as a human and life in general.
It was okay to be tired. Everything in our lives -- our entire daily schedules -- had been overhauled. I had just met and learned the names of 100 new students. Within the span of two days, all five members of our family succumbed to pesky late-August head colds. It would have been strange if I wasn't tired.
But, of course, these things didn't stop me from looking over my house and noticing that I really needed to dust, or feeling frazzled that I was behind on laundry, or bemoaning the fact that I kept stepping in the same sticky spot on the kitchen floor, or being bothered that I was serving non-meals as meals.
This weekend, I've been able to catch up on a few things: the sorting of paperwork from my daughters' schools, the planning of my classes for the upcoming week, the answering of emails, the scraping of an unidentifiable sticky substance off my kitchen counter. The progress, admittedly, makes me feel better, but I'm also finding ways to be okay when I'm in the midst of the mess.
Life never will be perfect, at least not this side of heaven. Our work never will feel as if it's entirely finished. We can -- and should -- rejoice in good enough days, too. Chips and salsa sometimes works for dinner.
Let this be said of us:
Some days, she looked over her household -- the happy, sweaty-headed kids who still needed their baths, the pile of books beside the chair, the loose shoes at the door, the dishes in the sink, the floor that was way overdue for a good scrubbing -- and she saw that it was good.
Check out Then I Became a Mother: hope, humor, and encouragement for moms! Available in Kindle and paperback editions.