OPTICAL ILLUSION: an experience of seeming to see something that does not exist or that is other than it appears; something that deceives one’s eyes and causes such an experience.
My “to do” lists have been long this week. I’ve been complaining and feeling overwhelmed.
But, somehow in the light of early morning today, my Friday list looked different. It still says the same things:
Policy review and analysis
Daughter’s preschool paperwork
It’s a lot to do and will likely make for a long day. But, as I looked at each item on the list during my morning coffee I was struck with a healthy dose of gratitude. Yes, it’s a to do list. But in that quiet, caffeinated moment I was also able to see it as a list of blessings. Sort of like this famous optical illusion:
I’ve been seeing (and feeling like) the haggard old lady instead of the young woman. But, I can see my list a little differently now.
Post office. I strongly dislike going to the post office with kids. They have designed the lobby to appeal to the parkour gene present in all children. There are things to swing on, tip, kick, jump and vault. But, the reason I’m going to the post office is a good one. I need to mail a birthday gift to my niece. She is a miracle. She has survived a series of heart surgeries and procedures to become the most spirited, adventurous, and fearless child I’ve ever met. It is a privilege to know her and a joy to celebrate her special day. A little dose of parkour-infused madness may just be the perfect send-off for her gift.
Food prep/Policy review/Interviews. The reason I’m interviewing replacements and trying to stock my freezer with meals is because I’ve been offered a job! A real job! No more piece-meal, uncertain, squeeze it into nap time projects. I’ll be returning to the firm I left 6 years ago when Son was born. It is a pain to try to finish months worth of work for clients in two weeks, a hassle to review resumes and do interviews to replace myself for one particular client, and a bummer to spend a sunny day in a hot kitchen. But…I can see this for what it is – a transition from a six-year sabbatical to a family friendly work schedule and regular paychecks in a difficult job market.
School tour/Preschool paperwork. I think it’s easier to prep for Armageddon than kindergarten and day care. Some of the supplies are the same (emergency blankets, flashlights, non-perishable food) and the emotions too (help! will we survive?), but the paperwork and getting-to-know-you activities are far more extensive. But, again, I understand that this hassle is a blessing in disguise. The activities facilitated by Son’s school have made him excited and confident about the start of school. And, the meet-and-greet we did at Daughter’s school left her in tears…because she didn’t want to leave! All the hassle may just translate into a smooth transition.
So, I’m going to take a deep breath and try to keep my eyes on the pretty lady.