Cocaine in the Soda
Cocaine In The Soda (Inspiration For When You Feel You Are Failing)
My mother wasn’t very good at keeping house. She didn’t enjoy cleaning and never really made an effort at it. Dishes and laundry. Those were the main two things she always made sure she made time for. Dishes to eat off of and clean clothes for her family. She also wasn’t a very good cook. She never tried many new recipes and when she did they were usually a mess. She was, however, an amazing baker. She loved making chocolate chip banana bread and brownies and loved to make homemade bread and friendship bread. She loved snickerdoodles and butterscotch cookies. She made amazing treat bags and always had a gift of food for everyone she would meet. She loved making chocolates for weddings, graduation parties, and funerals. She loved blessing people with her talent for baking.
My Grandma Charlotte was a caterer. Weddings, funerals, and special events. She also wasn’t a very good cook, but appetizers and finger foods were her forte. She was also a great hostess. She seemed to always have the table set with her beautiful Italian plates in case a meal needed to be served. She decorated for every holiday and loved to have her family over for Sunday lunch after church. She was always helping someone, loving someone and showing others a better way to do things when they were struggling.
Both my mom and grandma were amazing women who seemed to always get so much done. My mom managed the finances and class schedules for my sister’s dance studio for many years. She oversaw all fundraising ventures for the high school band and for my music school. She organized church youth group fundraisers and seemed to have the natural ability to always recruit all the help needed to make every new venture successful. My mother often worked part time and even full time during most of my growing up years. She usually worked in an office setting as office manager or as an executive assistant. She was articulate, hardworking, focused, task and detailed oriented and amazing with people. She never struggled to find a new position when it was time to move on. My mom also would find the time to play games with my sister and I. She made sure to save plenty of time for swimming at the lake and family outings in the summer. She also made sure that any activity that my sister or I wanted to be involved in not only happened but that we always had a ride to and from. How is it possible? I remember believing that she must have cloned herself and that is why she was always able to get so much done.
My grandmother was in charge of counting and depositing the offering from church each Sunday. She was in charge of the kitchen and all of the events held at the church when it came to serving food. She was helpful with neighbors, parishioners at church and loved taking care of and spending time with her 6 grandchildren. She checked in with those that were ill or just had a baby and made sure they had everything they needed. She always took time to watch the news and wheel of fortune and play a few hands of gin. She loved downtime in the evening and she enjoyed snoozing in the front of the t.v..
These two women were amazing examples. Neither of them were perfectionists. But they always got the job done. When they saw a project to be completed and they knew they were able, they claimed ownership and followed it through to completion. They were perfect examples of always focusing on what is important. People. Relationships. Loving others and caring for them. Family. Children. Fun. I am so thankful for my grandma and for my mom. They were inspiring and funny. They were generous with their time and loved others as if it was always the most important task at hand. They served others well without being asked and never asked for anything in return.
On days when I seem to be failing and a million projects have gone untouched, I fondly reflect back on my mom and grandma. When I think I have failed, it is usually because of some unobtainable goal that I myself have created. I am my own worst judge. I am my own worst critic. Not once did anyone ever say to me, you are an amazing housekeeper! Your house is so clean! And I am pretty sure that no one ever said that to my mom or grandma either. But they have said thank you for helping me. Thank you for seeing my need and taking care of it for me. My children smile at me when I pause and play games with them and read with them. I am missing smiles when I feel the need to focus on the housework and packing backpacks for the next day. I miss out of the stories my kids are ready to share when I think laundry has to be completed at that very moment. I miss out on time spent with friends when I focus more on work and what I think needs to be accomplished at that very second.
I don’t want to miss out anymore. I don’t want to have a perfect house and life that looks like I have my act together when I am not able to enjoy life as it passes me by. I want to play Scrabble at the dining room table with my husband when he asks. I want to read with Zach four more books before bed. I want to discover new arts and craft projects that Lily is now interested in. And I can do all of this when I focus on what is important. My family and experiencing each new day with them.
So please excuse the dust bunnies and the carpet that needs a good once over. Please excuse the dishes that need to be put away and clothing baskets of clean clothes that need to be folded and put away. Please ignore the pile of paper on the corner of the kitchen counter. I may or may not go through it tonight when I sit to watch a movie with my husband. My kids are 12 and 15. We are still in the process of memory creation. And I want my kids to remember that I was there. That I was available. That I was present and not racing off to do something that I felt was more important. I want to take a breath and enjoy each new experience with my kids as if it is also new to me. I want to live each day to fullest and if it was my last.
And those dishes. Those dishes can wait.
Catch more of Kelli J. Gavin with her other entries at The Ugly Writers:
Check her own website here.