All I wanted to do on Thursday was vacuum. At 10pm, as I made my way to bed, I glanced over at the vacuum and shook my head. There is was. Sitting in the same spot. Untouched. All day. I hung my head and thought, Geez. Why can’t I get anything done around here? Trudging the rest of the way to my bedroom, I added ‘VACUUM THE HOUSE’ to my list of things to do Friday.
When I write my To Do lists, they tend to be a mile long. I give myself an entire week to accomplish the tasks though. Returning phone calls, scheduling appointments, sorting through paperwork and getting to the housework can’t be done in one day around here anyway. With Ronan’s school and therapy schedule, and with juggling my other kids’ schedules, I’m on the go and out of the house more often than not. Giving myself the entire week to check things off the list is more doable. I can plan better and can usually get everything done. This week, knowing we’d be hunkered down all day Thursday because of a winter storm, I looked forward to being home all day and to crossing things off my list. That included vacuuming.
But it didn’t happen. And I was hard on myself for not getting it done.
Dust bunnies and crumb bits under the table reminded me that my floors were screaming to be cleaned. I was upset at myself for letting something so trivial bring me down. But it was the one thing I wanted to do. Instead of being able to look at the day as a success and remembering what I had gotten done, I only saw what I didn’t do.
Midway through beating myself up about not getting this chore done, I stopped and laughed. I had made a phone call earlier in the day (which was on my list of things to do) to my parents. The topic: me focusing on and worrying about what Ronan can’t do; not on what he can.
More often than not, when I see what Ronan isn’t doing, I stumble and fall landing in a heap of tears as I go down. That happened around the same time I could have been vacuuming on Thursday but didn’t. It happened when I distracted myself choosing to read a story about a boy who’d recovered from autism. It happened when I also beat myself up for not being able to provide Ronan with what this other family can provide: an independent future.