Good, Better, Best

The kids spend almost every Friday night at their dad's house, and every other weekend they stay through until Sunday morning. The other day I told a friend this and he asked "wow, don't you think that's so great?" Yes, it is great for me to get a break and it is great that they get to spend time with their dad. I still don't always completely enjoy their time away because they really should get to spend every day of their lives in their own home with two parents. But I still enjoy the fact that I get some time for myself every weekend and I try to make the most of it. However, I have realized that no matter what I do, I will never have enough time to do all the things I want to. This is an interesting development in my life because for a number of years I felt content with my life and I felt like I had enough time for the things I needed and wanted to do. Spending forty hours of my week working has a way of throwing a wrench into things.

Yesterday was a typical Saturday, spent in making choices and trade-offs when it comes to spending my time and money. I woke up early in the morning and went down to my local library because they were giving away tickets to see Lois Lowry speak in a few weeks. I thought I would need to get there early in order to be able to get some tickets but the line was not very long at all. Thankfully a friend of mine was there and we got to spend an hour chatting. After picking up the tickets I stopped by the grocery store on my way home to get some produce and milk. I got home about 10:00 and I knew that S-Boogie would be done with a birthday party within about 40 minutes. Despite the temptation to spend time on the computer or read a book, I decided to use that time to clean the kitchen. It needed it.

S-Boogie came home from the party, and I took her back to her dad's house. I had agreed to take her back and then pick up Little Dude and deliver him to a party he needed to attend. After dropping him off, I took the car to a nearby auto shop for an inspection and renewal of registration. They told me that  the wait would be an hour and I was hungry, so I walked to a nearby Zupa's restaurant and treated myself to lunch. Probably not the best use of my money, but definitely the best use of my time. After I got the car, I stopped at a second grocery store to get some things that were not available at the first store I went to today. 

The grocery situation is something I have been pondering for a while. I think that I am both blessed and cursed by an abundance of choices: within an easy drive from my home I have four different grocery stores, Winco, Costco, Super Target, Super Walmart, and Sprouts farmer's market. I often end up shopping at two or three different stores each week because each fills different needs for me. None of them have produce that is as cheap or as fresh as Sprouts, but that store has a limited selection of other products and they are all expensive. I shop often at Target because it's close to home and I can get a variety of things in one trip, but their produce selection isn't very great. I like to get basics at Costco but we don't eat enough to justify buying produce or some other things there. So what happens almost every week is that I make a trip to Sprouts for produce, eggs, and yogurt; a trip to Costco for milk, bread, and a few other items; and at least one trip to SuperTarget for toiletries and other grocery items. Yes, I know I'm ridiculous. I just need to compromise and either spend more money or be OK with different things since I don't have time for this any more.

After my second grocery store trip I also stopped to fill up my car with gas. I got home, put the groceries away, and finally hopped in the shower (I'd skipped it in the morning because I was in a hurry to get to the library early). At this point I still had other things to do but I chose to relax and read a book for a while. Then I finished getting ready and drove to Salt Lake because my sister-in-law invited me to attend the Relief Society broadcast with her and a few people she knows. I was grateful that I agreed to meet at her house and drive together because getting in to the broadcast was much more chaotic than any of us had anticipated. I was a bit flustered by the time I got a seat, but the talks and music were excellent. After I got home last night I had a snack and stayed up way too late chatting with a friend on Facebook and reading a book.

I know that everyone's life is just a series of choices between good, better, and best. For some reason making those kinds of choices has been hard for me lately. There are some things now that just aren't an option for me at all. There are other things that don't matter and yet I find myself incapable of making a decision related to them. I feel like there are always a thousand things left undone for every thing that I do. I didn't mow the lawn yesterday, I didn't write the blog post I have due next week, I didn't make Little Dude a new scripture bag, I didn't clean my refrigerator, and so on. The list is infinite. There are some things I could probably cut out, but I'm not going to. I'm not going to stop reading books. I need to accept that I can't read as many books as I used to and I can't read them as fast. But I can't stop. Time I spend with friends or writing or blogging sometimes seems useless. But then I remind myself that at least things last, wheras every time I buy food it's gone within a week and every time I clean the bathroom it's dirty again in a few days. That's why I'm writing a blog post right now instead of doing something else. Hopefully I won't regret doing this.


Earth Sign Mama said…
Ah, it sounds like you're discovering Real Life. Chores are chores, and they will have to be done again and again and again. There's nothing you can do about it. Just think how many more things we get to do than our grandmothers because we don't have to build the fire, heat the water, and then wash the clothes. And just go to three grocery stores if you feel like it. I go to the Mexican market because their produce is the best. I go to Walmart because their cleaners and toiletries are cheapest.
But if I need an unusual item, then it's Albertsons. We're so lucky to have choices. There isn't a time in life when everything is "just right"--all of life is a series of compromises. Writing is good therapy and it does last. There will always be chores to do. There are plenty of things in your life that you can't change and make exactly how you wish they were. So, just enjoy those parts where you get to have control and choices. And, yes, that 40 hours really does alter everything.
AmyJane said…
Yep. I hear ya. Loud and clear. Trade offs, trade offs, trade offs. My issue is that I rarely have or take the time to consider and make an actual decisions the day jus flows and some stuff gets done and other stuff doesn't and at the end of the day I either feel great or not so great. :/

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