Please sing this song, prominently featured in Ice Age, while you read this post.
(woah, tangent: music video is delightfully weird)
Ahem. Guys, we are deep in the throes of PACKING. Hardcore. And feeling all the feels that come with packing up all your earthly belongings in cardboard. The other night I had to apologize to Paul for kind of losing it over something small because my inner peace was being assaulted by the disorder and chaos surrounding me. While I have done this before, I’ve never done it with KIDS. And let me tell you, folks: game changer.
Kids multiply the the amount of stuff you have by TONS. Now I know why my parents still have some of my things packed away in their house (things they are itching to give back to me once we have more storage space). Also, I now have a lovely inner conflict that shows up whenever I want to throw stuff away that’s related to my kids: will they wish I had saved it? Will I forget about this fleeting moment in their development because I threw away this thing which will conjure a memory?
I’ve decided, however, that I’m not going to obsess over what I choose to save and document. Other than what’s important for everyone’s health and well-being, I’ve given myself Permission to Throw It Away. This relates to the previously granted Permission to Not Take a Picture and Permission to Leave It Undocumented.
That last one came about when Dominic was a teeny baby. I was stressing about not filling in all the lines in his baby book…milestones like “first smile.” I didn’t remember when he smiled his first smile?!? What kind of horrible mother am I?? So I talked myself down and reminded myself that the empty lines in the baby book are totally arbitrary and I was allowed to leave them blank. Now my second kid doesn’t even have a baby book. Progress.
The permissions to Throw It Away and Not Take a Picture have come about more recently. I decided that, since we’re all going to die someday, I didn’t have to worry about perfectly capturing every childhood moment and milestone. Someday we’ll all go to our eternal reward and it won’t matter one iota how many pictures I took of my kids and how beautifully they were then placed in chronologically appropriate scrapbooks alongside the Walk Down Vaccine Memory Lane complete with the band-aid that lovingly covered each shot.
I’m not bad-mouthing people who are good at scrapbooking and documenting. Some people do these things beautifully and truly enjoy them as hobbies. For me, it was about coming to terms with what I enjoy and consider life-giving. Documenting things stresses me out. I know everyone’s name and their respective health histories; I consider that what’s necessary.
As we go along our way in life, we have to pick our battles, including what battles we’re going to fight within ourselves. If I don’t want to do something that truly isn’t necessary, I’m not going to make myself do it – just because other people like doing it or because there are a million creative ways to do it on Pinterest.
And now I’ve blogged it, so you know I mean it. Here’s to not having a complex about the unnecessary things! Now I can focus on not losing my cool as I navigate this cardboard jungle for the next few days.