One of the biggest challenges in the layout of our house is that we don’t have a pantry. Because of that, I have pantry items stored in our cabinets, which means my mixing bowls have ended up in an unusual cabinet, above our microwave. The problem is that the bowls have to be stacked a VERY specific way, or they won’t fit. More times than I can count, I realize too late that haven’t put the orange mixing bowl inside the mesh colander, which fits inside the glass mixing bowl – and have had a large stack of bowls precariously wedged on the ledge of a cabinet above my head, while I stand on tiptoes trying to put them away.
I’ve noticed lately that my life is a lot like these bowls. Basically, with a full plate and busy schedule, things have to be done a certain way in a specific order. Otherwise, my whole week gets thrown off. For example, I grocery shop on Saturdays, so by Friday evening, I need to have my meal planning done and my grocery list made. If we are going to get out the door on time in the mornings, I need to have lunches planned out (or even better, packed!) the night before. If we want to have a date night, there is the task of finding a sitter. It is best to start checking around a week ahead of time because no sitter = no date night. I have a full-time job, so I have to fit errands, personal development, other interests (reading, blogging, etc.) into non-working hours. And then there is scheduling the much-needed and much-too-infrequent time with friends, whenever schedules align. It’s all a delicate balance, much like trying to fit the bowls in the cabinet.
It can be draining to have to do everything “just so,” to have to stack life in a very particular way. Sometimes I get overwhelmed or exhausted, but then I remind myself that I do love every bowl in my stack. I value my job. I love my husband and my kiddos. I enjoy cooking, so meal planning, while time-consuming is usually a creative outlet for me. Reading and writing are life-giving to me, so I make time for these things in the margins (during naptime on the weekends, after bedtime some nights). The stacking, the planning, the preparation might not be easy. But so worth it.