threw out the list, living day by day

I have been trying to accept who I am the last few days, but it is hard. It is so ingrained in my mind to compare my actions to The List, that I can't get through the day without thinking about it. I am trying to change my language toward myself, and get to the real reasons why certain things bother me. This afternoon, I was going to make a big salad for myself with roasted squash, garbanzo beans, dried cranberries, flax seeds, and more. But the thought of heating up the veggies and chopping the leaves and whisking the dressing just became too daunting to me. As healthy and pretty as it was going to be, I didn't want to go through all those tasks just to eat a salad in ten minutes.

I asked myself why. Because it takes too long. Because it's Austen's nap time. Because I have to finish the laundry. Because I need to sweep the kitchen. And a list of probably ten other things, but I stopped. I have an idea of what I think I have to get done today (and tomorrow, and the rest of the week, and next month), and without even thinking about it, I am comparing all the those things to what's happening now, accurately assuming that I will fail at getting them done, and then I feel that if I don't take the time to make a salad and we just eat eggs and sauteed greens for lunch again, that I am failing somehow at being a mother, or at least as a lunch-maker.

Why do I have such a problem with eating eggs for lunch? Is that not better than running to a fast food restaurant? Who says I have to make a glorious salad for lunch and Instagram that ish? Why do I have to sweep the kitchen, anyway?

I know I'm writing about my thought process of deciding what to make for lunch, and I'm not sure there's anything more mundane than that.

Then something else happened. The dog needed to go out, so I asked River to take him out, and then Austen followed him, and they decided they wanted to play outside, and I came to stressful decision: Do I let them play outside and eat lunch later? How long are we going to play outside anyway? And if we do play outside, we will have to clean up all their toys and bring the dog in and Austen will throw a fit and is playing outside for 15 minutes worth all that? (I wasn't literally thinking these things in terms of actual words, just sort of standing there stuttering and picturing Austen screaming as I attempt to drag her indoors.)

I constantly have to tell myself to chill out. Sometimes, the easier way is the way to go, and I shouldn't feel bad about that. And sometimes, the harder way is the way to go, to enjoy the journey along the way. Yep, still talking about lunchtime and playing outside.

So today, we played outside for twenty minutes, halfheartedly threw the toys from the grass onto the porch so the apartment manager won't leave a note on our door (I'll pick those up later), and had scrambled eggs and carrots and cups of water for lunch. Austen didn't take a nap, but she'll just go down for bed early tonight. What is so bad about that?

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