If you have ever spent much time with my grandfather, you will know that after all other business–comical, serious, tender, or otherwise–has been taken care of, he will ultimately take your leave with an offhanded, “Well, take it easy.”
It may be that this parting admonition is simply a phrase as automatic as those polite exchanges you endure with casual acquaintances at the grocery store: “Oh, hi! How are you?” “Good! How are you doing?” It’s not like he says it after an in-depth conversation about the stresses of daily life. He just says it.
But it got me thinking as I set goals for this new year:
I’m a boring mother. I’ve always known this. Boring, boring. Everything has to have an almost life-or-death reason for existing or being done. I live with the equivalent of this quote burned into my consciousness (and my conscience): “Life offers you two precious gifts–one is time, the other freedom of choice, the freedom to buy with your time what you will… . Every day, every hour, every minute of your span of mortal years must sometime be accounted for.” (Richard L. Evans)
Yeah, that’s the balance sheet I’m always eying. But at the same time, my heart resonated along with so many of yours when Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, last October, “If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.”
In short, as I’m making my goals I realize that I need to inject a little joy into this most serious business of getting from morning to morning. Ergo: Take it Easy Tuesdays
That’s right. You just got a taste of Manic Monday, in which I will probably gripe and complain and maybe even snicker about the challenges of life, but today, you get, well, a week by week accounting of my attempt to have a little fun.
To start off with, today I stayed in my pajamas. Yes, that’s right–it is two thirty in the afternoon and I am still in my Tinkerbell sweats. I work from home and I sit on the floor a lot, so it’s perfectly acceptable. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of it before.
Lest you think that fun just naturally occurs to me, let me tell you that I’ve been giving this day a lot of thought for the last few weeks. (I even cleaned my kitchen and the daycare really well last night so that I wouldn’t have to do it today.) What do I think of as fun? When Grandpa recommends that I take it easy, what does that mean? I don’t find it relaxing to leave essential tasks undone, nor do can I enjoy personal conveniences at the cost of someone else’s comfort.
As of this morning, even at nine a.m., I had no idea what I would do. I did, however… have a box of borderline overripe apples on my kitchen counter. In my cost/benefit analysis of things probably the biggest waste of an entire day would be to make that box of apples into something edible. I can buy an apple pie for four bucks at Franz. I can buy a gallon of applesauce at Costco for three.
But for whatever reason–I felt like making both. In one day. Yes. And, I sang along with iTunes today. Out loud.
The toddlers thought my singing far inferior to their own. The applesauce, however, got rave reviews:
Notice the kid with the green plate has not only consumed all she can with the spoon, but it now rubbing her fingers on the plate and licking them. (Yes, Angie, that is bread on your daughter’s plate…sorry, it’s Take it Easy Tuesday, it had to happen. Heheheh, that’s a good excuse…)
Her brother didn’t want to waste a drop, even after the third serving:
As for the infants, it was simply overwhelming:
No, she isn’t dead; she’s simply passed out from the sheer joyfulness of the day. The pies are in the oven, and for dinner, we are ordering Domino’s. (Two-for-one Tuesday special, that’s right–and no, don’t bother pointing out the incongruity of the fact that pie and sauce making is as much work as dinner making.) I might even play a game of checkers with my nine year old. Not because I think it’s fun, but because he does. And because he watched his eleven year old brother whip me soundly last night. Somebody has to set the record straight…