Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On Stacks

My son is a tiny engineer. His favorite game in the whole world right now is "stack." He will stack anything. (Blocks, legos, books, crackers and chicken nuggets.)
Occasionally, he will try to stack things that negate the laws of physics. Most of the time, these attempts don't pan out. (Balls, crayons, Barbie dolls--sorry son.) But every once in a while, he will work something out that totally surprises me, like the time he managed to stack an empty 2 liter onto an empty milk jug.
Tonight as I watched my son attempt to "stack" lego towers on top of his sister's head, I began thinking about how my life has been stacking up for me lately.

I tend to pile a lot of responsibilities onto my plate at the same time. As if taking care of house and home with my two preschoolers while my husband is deployed wasn't enough, I still hold volunteer positions for two different organizations, and I wouldn't be opposed to taking on another. My weekdays are usually booked pretty solid with the kids' classes, errands, playdates, and meetings, and it looks like I will be using my weekends to check off the items on my New Year's Resolution list :)
Call it hasty, overzealous, or whatever you like...I just like to be busy, and I have a really hard time sitting still.

However, I have watched my "towers" topple over after I've stacked them too high. Take, for instance, this holiday season. I was trying so hard to give the kids a happy Christmas even though Daddy was gone that I turned into one of the who-characters from the Dr. Suess stories. I did more baking than I've ever done in years past. I made cocoa from scratch on several occasions--something I've never done ONCE while my husband was home. I decorated the entire house inside and out (fun putting it up...not so much taking it down.) And I planned a three week trip back to my hometown in Dallas--three weeks away from home with two small children: NOT RECOMMENDED. I cannot tell you how many times I broke into tears last month trying to create "happy" Christmas memories. We all survived this Christmas-on-steroids, but I think in the future I will scale it down a bit.

I've also seen myself attempt to pile things up that negate the laws of physics, and therefore, hardly get off the ground. My semi-recent failure as an FRG leader and grad student with a newborn baby is a testament to that.

And once in a blue moon, I surprise myself at what I can keep standing. I still can't believe that I completed my degree right after having Sammi. (Might be my one crowning acheivement that I reflect on when I'm feeling down about myself.) I was also initially really worried about how I would handle this first deployment. And while there have been a few shaky moments, overall I'm holding steady :)

With all of the variants that come into play when talking about construction, it seems to me, your stack only has a standing chance if it is built on a solid foundation...glad I found the rock.

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