On Monday, I woke up with the kind of anxiety I often have when I feel behind even before I get my butt out of bed. We spent a lovely weekend in Disneyland celebrating the fact that some friends of ours have been married for twenty years and like Disneyland enough to decide to go there for the occasion.
While I was visiting the Small World and debating which Disney mountain is best (Matterhorn, but feel free to debate among yourselves), I was not doing laundry or shopping or yard work or cooking or anything else. Unfortunately, Tink’s magic doesn’t extend to my house (or, perhaps more to the point, Wendy wasn’t here to be Mother—I don’t think Tink is much for household management). Even before I left, I lost a day or so to the depression monster, so even more things to do had piled up. I also ate badly while I was gone and my body was letting me know it doesn’t like the abuse.
Since crawling back under the covers with my fingers in my ears was not an option that would get T. to school on time, I was faced with the task of creating order out of chaos.
I did create some order out of some of the chaos. No surprise. But what was different was that I began, at last, to figure out which chaos was the most important chaos to address. Here are my new priorities, in order.
One: keep breathing. Most people don’t find this much of a challenge. Me, well, that’s another story. In practice, this means that if my meds make me sleepy, I sleep because I have to take the meds. If dirty dishes are messing with my chi, they become the next most important task. If order needs to be restored to the universe by neatly writing crossword answers in the appropriate boxes, that is ok.
Two: be healthy. This is not the same as keeping breathing, although it is related. This means that, for example, riding my bike is more important than ironing. Having conversations with friends trumps weeding. I get to move enough, eat enough (but not too much), work enough, and play enough.
Three: take care of the people I love. This is where the cooking and cleaning go, because nothing says love like not running out of underwear or like restoring food at the end of a busy day. But it is not just about that stuff. It’s listening and flexing and cuddling and killing monsters and asking about homework and giving an extra snooze alarm.
Anything else I do is gravy. Or perhaps I should say organic strawberries, since gravy is not particularly healthy.