Saturday, June 24, 2017

     When planning a trip, the process can be overwhelming. The dictionary’s definition of “overwhelm” is to “feel inadequate” in approaching a project or issue. I don’t completely agree with this definition. “Overwhelm” to me, is to feel like the project has too many parts, and the thought of doing what’s necessary requires too much thinking or energy. The “inadequate” part only applies in certain situations. 

     We love planning trips, and we’ve learned that like any other project that has multiple parts, we just take one step at a time. Now that we have returned from a 34-day trip, having left all responsibilities and obligations, we are feeling somewhat “overwhelmed” with the catch-up process. This doesn’t mean we feel inadequate; it means, wow, there’s a lot to do. What’s step one?

     Today, I am thinking about how I felt every morning of our trip. “What will we explore today? What new experiences will we have, and how will I feel about them? But first, let’s just have breakfast and relax.” When we return from a big trip, always a bit let down after all the excitement, we forget the peace and relaxed state we left instead of trying to transfer those feelings and behaviors into our daily lives.

    Family is expected tomorrow afternoon. This arrival date gives us very little down time to catch up before entertaining our kids who have never seen our new home or visited our wonderful town. So, at 4:53 a.m. when my eyes popped open, I said to myself “Small steps.” 

    Does the entire house have to be cleaned from top to bottom for our kids? Does the lanai have to be scrubbed down and all the plants trimmed to perfection? Do the floors have to shine and the porcelain have to sparkle? If none of these tasks are completed, what will our kids think? Probably, “Well, they’re old. What can you expect?” Right now, it would be just fine with me if they thought that, as it’s partially true.

     People visit to spend quality time with you not to judge your housekeeping expertise. Somewhere in my upbringing, I was taught that guests secretly run their fingers along your baseboards and peak into your cupboards to see how neat and clean you are. Who would teach a child such rubbish? Someone whose parents taught that to them, undoubtedly.

     Today, I will take time to do things for myself. I will call a friend. I will send a gift. I will make a difference to someone, and whatever time is left, I will clean. On my bucket list:  hire someone to clean the house. Deadline:  before I don’t recognize it needs it. The only “overwhelm” I want to experience is to be overwhelmed by how good I feel doing kind things for those I care about. (about whom I care, for those grammar nuts out there)