Today’s Chore: Caring for Myself

Sometimes I get a bee in my bonnet about something I want our kids to do. Last week it was having more structured responsibilities around the house (aka chores!). We’d been asking them to do certain things regularly, like set the table, but I was ready for some more predictability – and increasing responsibility.

So I scoured various systems online, and found these paper chore charts to get us started.

They come with stickers. Mr. six-year-old is highly motivated by this. Stickers! Fill up my list with stars! Mr. eight-year-old not so much. We’re on week 2. Let’s see if we can stick to this.

This week my youngest asked me if I was going to do one for myself. Why not? I won’t list every responsibility I have around this house (that might be depressing) but it couldn’t hurt. And the good news is, you get a new list every week. So that to-do list doesn’t seem so daunting and endless. Second piece of good news, the list is short on purpose. No endless goal making that exceeds my capacity and makes me feel defeated.

One of the categories on the chart is “Caring for Myself”. For kids, I think this means stuff like brushing their teeth.

But what does “Caring for Myself” mean in my world – this week? Not next week, or later this month, but today, tomorrow, the day after. I realized that caring for myself is different from “treating myself”. I treat myself to an amazing cinnamon roll, but I may not feel so great when the sugar rush crashes.

Chore Chart

Caring for myself gives me more energy or peace, or nurtures a piece of me that’s hurting.

This week, that’s my hips. They have been cramping up on me when I run! I keep saying that I’m going to stretch, but every night comes, and I think I’m too tired to do it before I go to bed.

So this week, caring for myself means listing one simple thing that will address what ails me now. Today.

What does “Caring for myself” mean for you this week? Post it in the comments!

Getting it Right (all over again!)

Frozen is really big around our house these days, especially if you’re six. Reluctantly so if you’re eight. Much loved if you’re thirty-something and of the female persuasion. The movie is definitely worth watching, even without little ones in tow. It’s probably my favorite Disney movie of all time, a sentiment apparently agreed by many as the movie has become the top-grossing animated film of all time.

But a gem arrived in our house last week in the form of a birthday gift: the Frozen Soundtrack. After awesome renditions of “Let it go” and other great ballads, the second disk played and I was shocked and elated at the content. They included ten songs that never made it into the movie, and the songwriters’ discussion of them, and how the storyline changed a bit dramatically during the course of the project.

It was completely fascinating to me that the original storyline and first attempt at songs were so different from the final movie. I looked at the amazing finished film and never guessed at the process needed to get there. Writing ten songs to get the one song that people everyone won’t stop singing. Writing thirty storylines to get a nuanced, exciting romp through a Norwegian? land.

It’s a lesson that has been replaying through my mind again and again these past two weeks. Even the best-grossing movie – especially the best-grossing movie – had to go through multiple iterations to get to a final product.

So often I want the results to come quickly in those things I pursue. And yet I know that those most important things often require a bit of a slog to get the true rewards. Hopefully I can find joy in the slog too. Someday I may write a book. And today, I must make time for writing, even when I feel too tired or distracted or both.

Luis Menjivar, one of the more youthful pastors at our church, gave a great sermon last Sunday on “Now, but not Yet”. He gave the example of how he decided to start riding his bike to work, and he knew that joy would come from it, but really it took weeks before it stopped being painful, and started to become a bit more enjoyable.

Here are my calls to myself this week: Make time for process. Remember that nothing worth doing ever happens on the first try. And of course, “Let it Go!”