Thank you for kind words yesterday, it is heartwarming to hear your concern and encouragement.
I wanted to talk more about what I mean by refining aspirations.
Refining your goals doesn’t mean making them less or lowering your standards or expectations. Refinement means losing the extras. It’s about focusing your sights like an arrow. If anything, your aspirations become even greater when they are not diluted by all of the possible things you could be doing.
In the moments when I sit and hold the baby, I don’t doubt the purpose and significance of my role as a mother, and I know that the rest of it will get done in its own time.
But when the kids drift off to sleep or are happily occupied and don’t need me at the moment, suddenly the flood of possibilities opens up, and I think that is where I start feeling overwhelmed.
It can be hard for moms to focus because our lives are a series of five minute tasks and interruptions. “I can only do one thing at a time” is a common saying I repeat to my kids each day. We have so many things to do, and it’s very easy to add a few more tasks to the list if we don’t stop to focus.
The continual process of refining my aspirations is how I decide how I will use those pockets of time. Instead of remembering everything that is possible, I went through a mental checklist, keeping some things, and crossing off others. Here are few examples of what I decided to focus on, and things I won’t be doing after all:
Keep: Taking care of my two children.
Drop: Plans for a vegetable container garden on the patio in the Spring. I love plants, but we had too many to water last year.
Keep: The writing project I feel passionate about, that I think will have a positive impact for other women.
Drop: Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts. A neat book for sure, but I have more ideas than I can do at the moment.
Keep: The back room clean out project. An organized storage area will help our apartment function better, especially when the baby starts crawling.
Drop: Organizing the fabric collection. I can just stick it under the bed, and it will be fine.
Keep: Buying someone a gift to let them know I was thinking of them.
Drop: Making a handmade gift, when it’s the thought that counts.
Keep: Replacing the light fixture above the dining table so that we’re not sitting under a spotlight.
Drop: Hope of finishing the crochet afghan I started in 1997. If you see a book called something like “Easy Afghans to Crochet in a Weekend,” do not believe it. It is a TOTAL SHAM. I hate to think that people who crochet could lie, but someone did!
When each item has been chosen for a purpose, and the rest has been dropped, then it seems easier to know that there will be time to do it. And if I don’t get to it one day, that’s fine too. It is a continual process of refinement, after all.