laundry... life... the future...

You know when you're young and you cast judgment about, well, everything because you are sixteen and know all there is to know about the world?

Well, let me tell you, those days will come back to bite you.

This morning I walked down the stairs to see this:
I will tell you, I was never going to be that mother.  I would baby-sit for women whose couches were buried in loads of laundry, growing more wrinkled by the day, and I would walk in, silently vowing to myself that I would do better.

Fast forward 14 years and here I am, at thirty, with a couch covered in laundry.  Yesterday was a long day. I am worried about the lump on my face, which is growing larger. I am worried about the boys who seem to be coming down with yet another cold. I am worried about travel, getting things done in time, and the last crazy push for Josh to get the yearbook done, which requires some insane hours the last few days of school to get it printed.

So when Krista wanted to go for a walk last night once the kids were down, I glanced at that pile, pulled on my boots, sloshed through the mud (I haven't told you about the mud here... Oh the mud! It's thick and oozy and awful, and if it's cold, it's dangerous because it can become mud-ice... Awful stuff!) and we went and walked a million laps around the gym.  

When I came home, I looked at the pile again (just to be sure it hadn't up and folded itself), sighed, and went upstairs for bed.  I had a fitful nights' sleep. I am feeling anxious about everything lately, and it's exhausting.  I am apparently so desperate that I dreamed I ran into Dr. Phil.  He yelled at me for not finishing the book of his I ordered.  Ha!

Before I knew it, it was morning again, and there was the laundry.  Finally after my shower I folded it. But now it sits at the bottom of the stairs, needing me to heft it up the 16 steps and place it all in its rightful drawers, in its respective rooms.  Did I mention I did four loads of our laundry yesterday? And I'm doing towels today?

It never ends. Perhaps this is what makes a big transition (like, say, going home for three months this summer) so overwhelming. My everyday is busy enough- disciplining, cooking, cleaning... Add to that the massive to-do list I have for our travels, and you've got one BUSY mama.  Plus, I can't actually do a lot of it yet. Most of it has to be done the day or two before we leave. It's like knowing, no matter what I do, or how I time it, I'm going to be stuck in traffic for two hours. I'm going to end up jammed up with not a second to spare, no matter how much planning I do ahead of time.
In other news, I have had a lot of people ask me about our plans.  
So I will clarify:

We are going "home" to Vancouver, Washington for the summer.
We will leave Marshall, Alaska
(which, I also call "home", which makes things more confusing, I know) 
Saturday May 18th.

We will be in Washington through July 31st, 
then spend a few days in Montana for Josh's masters program, 
then race back (AKA road trip home with three small children from Montana), 
hop on a plane at PDX a day later, 
arrive in Anchorage, depart for Bethel, 
and finally go back to Marshall for what will be our third year.

Josh's masters program will take eleven months to complete (August 2013-June 2014)
and when he's done he will have the ability to hold many different positions
within a school district, but the most obvious will be principal.

Our "long term" plan is to complete at least five years in Marshall, maybe more, and then to move on to perhaps a larger metropolis in Alaska, as Josh would like to retire from Alaska.  Their retirement plan is so awesome you only have to work twenty years!  He could retire at 48 from education, and move on to do something completely different if he wanted.
  Of course, that said, you never really know what the future holds, and we are open to many different options... but for now that's the plan.

"Happy is the person who knows 
what to remember of the past,
what to enjoy in the present,
and what to plan for the future."
-Arnold Glasow


Andrea said...

Hi Shelly!
Please let me know when and where you are going to be in Montana. I live in Bozeman and am totally willing to help you 5 out in anyway.


Meshelle and Ken said...

I was thinking this exact same thing about laundry today as I attempted to fold 4 loads that had piled up overnight. I tried folding with my 1 and 3 year old boys and it was just not happening. I remember thinking the same thing, "now I know why all those houses I would babysit for had laundry piled on the couches"! Thanks for writing such an honest and great post (like always). I wish ya'll the best of luck on your summer adventures.

Rox said...

I remember feeling the same way about the eventual to-do list every time we've moved. The tasks sit there on the list but can't be done yet... Taunting you! But when moving day comes and it's all done- oh the rewards! You'll get to it (and through it) just like you always do. I hope the time flies and that the strange lump that came out of no where goes back where it came from! PS Good for you for going walking instead of chores!!!

Barb Miller said...

Shelly, it's clear you are stressed about your upcoming move, but take a few minutes to think about how organized and detailed you are and appreciate that you have those qualities. While I am sure your last days in Marshall will be very busy, you can be confident that you know what you need to do to make a smooth transition for your family. YOU DO AMAZING THINGS EVERY DAY! (Repeat that sentence as needed.)


Marilynn Raatz said...

Shelly I get the laundry thing. And I must say, I am sooo proud of you for going walking, and coming home and going to bed instead of folding it. GOOD FOR YOU!!
I remember coming home from camping with four kids, and thinking it could be Halloween before I ever got caught up. And if the washer or dryer acted up - sheer panic!
But in the grand scheme of things, it is just laundry. It's like a barometer of your mom life.
I love you and can't wait for the hectic, tough job of preparing to come to be over and you'll be here!!
Then I can help you!!