It’s Monday night, it’s a little after 10:30, and I am not doing the laundry.
Before you start in with #firstworldproblems, let me explain. Mondays are my laundry day. Mondays are also a work day and cello lesson day and Cub Scout night, but it’s one of the only consistent days where I’m home with the kids, due to a really whacky custody schedule. (It works well, except for minor details like finishing projects around the house and remembering which house I’m in when I wake up in the morning.) It’s tempting to just do it every other Saturday when I’m home, but we’d run out of clean jeans and underpants. Also, my son’s dirty socks would probably achieve sentience and take over the neighborhood if I left them alone that long.
So, Mondays it is. But not this Monday. I’m just as tired as I am on most Monday nights – VERY tired, since they tend to run for about 18 hours with only a few minutes’ break here and there, with at least one meal a day eaten while I’m working or standing up. I’m just as busy. The clothes are just as dirty. But tonight I am putting my weary bare foot down and saying no to the laundry.
The next five weeks will be [insert bad word here]. I made a quick estimate of the number of lessons, rehearsals and performances I’ll be involved in over the next five weeks, and it’s around 120. Some are half an hour long, some will approach five hours. Nearly 100 of those will be in the next 19 days, building up to a hellacious three-day period with two major evening performances and a day-long student competition. It’s not my favorite part of the year, but it’s a crucial part of making enough money to survive the summer.
I’ve decided to do a few things every day of the next five weeks, in order to keep my sanity. They’re everyday, obvious things – drink water, sleep, take a walk, spend 15 minutes reading something non-work-related, that kind of thing. But these are things I will forget to do this month, if I don’t remind myself.
I blush to admit it, but I made a rewards chart. It has little squares for star stickers. (I paperclipped the stickers to the chart so I wouldn’t lose them.) Today I got five stars out of the seven. The sixth one (quiet meditation on Scripture) I can do right before bed. The seventh one involves sleep.
And that means going to bed.
Even if the laundry isn’t sorted.
This shouldn’t feel like an epiphany, but it does. I am so accustomed to doing one more thing, sorting one more basket, stuffing one more thing into an already too-full day. I’m trying to make tomorrow easier, but the truth is that tomorrow is going to be a lot like today no matter what I do tonight – I’ll just be groggy from lack of sleep if I try to get too far ahead of myself. This seems painfully obvious, now that I think about it.
The small, homely epiphanies are the ones that most thoroughly surprise me.