It should come as no surprise to long time readers that I am an extreme personality. There are no half-ways in my world. There is either all or nothing. Feast or famine. All in or all out.
Perfection or Abject Failure.
It shows up in all aspects of my life and makes it difficult for me to ever feel as if I am living the life that I want.
I either bang out 3-4 posts in one marathon writing binge or radio silence for weeks at a time.
I disappear down the rabbit hole of blazing through thick, doorstopper type books or I accrue $12 in library fines because I haven’t gotten to the stack of unread library books by the bed.
I either have fits of Angry Cleaning wherein I scream at the kids and throw a bunch of their toys into the donate pile, or all their toys are strewn all over the floor and we live in the filth of our own making.
The kids either only subsist on chicken nuggets, pizza, and snacks while they wander back and forth from the kitchen table, or they only eat food I make quickly and in silence.
We either homeschool hardcore all day or the kids are left to Lord of the Flies themselves and figure shit out on their own.
I am either not mad or HULK SMASH WHY YOU NOT DO WHAT I SAY WHEN I SAY IT?!?
It is a hard life with no room for softness. And children (and I, I guess) need some softness. Something with which to cushion the hardness of life that can grind us into a fine powder if we allow it.
Plus, a life bouncing in between extremes is confusing for the kids and they never get the stability children crave and need. They never feel safe.
And truthfully, life is lived in the in-between.
I need to embrace what my friend, Not Another DB MBA calls The 差不多(cha bu4 duo) Lifestyle. (Cha bu4 duo means “almost” or “close enough.”)
It is possible to write a post at a time or even a few paragraphs at a time. Harder, but possible.
It is possible to read a book a few chapters at a time versus reading 1000+ pages in one sitting. Annoying, but possible.
It is possible to go back to a time when we all put away what we take out, and the house can resemble some state of happy equilibrium of “lived in-ness.”
It is possible for me to cook 95% of the time and then eat nuggets or pizza occasionally as pinch-hitting meals when I don’t have time or energy.
It is possible to homeschool a little bit every day and just let the rest go.
And it is possible for me not to be angry all the time (this one is super hard and I will be addressing this in a later post).
All these things are possible, I just have to suck it up and get used to living my life in piecemeal.
A life of spurts.
I also have to remember that just because I mess up once or twice (or a lot), that it doesn’t mean I just throw in the towel and swing to the other extreme.
That life allows for hiccups.
And so, I live a life in the constantly interrupted trenches of parenting small children.
Slowly, but surely, I am getting more okay with writing partial posts, sneaking in reading a chapter here and there, paying bills and sorting mail immediately, watching parts of shows, folding and putting away just a few items of clothing at a time, and washing a few dishes at a time.
It is hard, but chips away slowly at the giant mountain of THINGS I NEED TO DO. Of course, the mountain gets constantly added to, but I am satisfied with a sense of treading water with the occasional leisurely swim versus feeling as if I am constantly drowning.
Ok, that was an egregiously mixed metaphor but in the spirit of The 差不多(cha bu4 duo) Lifestyle, I am just going to point it out but not fix it.