Part of the Process...

[sometimes you have to put on your Batman hat and just accept life]

I hate the word "mantra." It's too Earth Mama or something for me, I guess. That being said, I find myself repeating the phrase "it's part of the process" to myself constantly these days.

Baby teething and waking up every few hours? It's part of the process... of raising the kid I willingly signed up for.

Hand-washing dishes every night, despite the expensive, brand-new dishwasher in the kitchen? It's part of the process... of being fortunate to own a home to buy appliances for. 

Trying to be understanding of changing social dynamics? It's part of the process... of getting older and deciding what, and who, is worth accommodating.

Student plagiarizes on an essay? It's part of the process... of teaching teenagers what's academically acceptable.

Have a (hopefully) great idea for a novel but no time to write? It's part of the process... of having a full life.

Capt'n Crunch Donut Cereal tearing up the mother-effing roof of your mouth? It's part of the process... of being a legit cereal connoisseur.

lnterestingly, this has been partnered with a recent feeling of contentedness that I'm most definitely embracing, since it's probably a fleeting emotion surely catalyzed by the beautiful weather, a perfect sleep/caffeine ratio, and the anticipation of spring break. Nonetheless, I'll take it.

I've been running through life a million miles an hour the last few months, trying to get everything done yesterday. And while I'm not a fan of complaining, my inner monologue has been doing that on repeat (and sometimes the outer one, too). This need to rush and accomplish has pushed me since I was small, which has had it's positive and negatives. But after a stressful month or two, I've realized I need to change my perspective. All this shit? The cleaning, the grading, the house maintenance, the bill paying, the laundry, the paperwork attached to work? It can wait an extra day. Or maybe even two. And despite it being a nuisance, it's part of the big picture. Necessary evils that are part of the process leading up to contentedness, or, dare I say, happiness. Not that I've going to let my house go to crap, the essays remain ungraded, or the utilities shut off. Instead I've both simultaneously embraced the day-to-day rigamarole and learned to manage it a bit better, knowing that everything is a means to an end. So, sometimes I buy frozen, pre-cooked chicken for dinner and once in awhile laundry sits for a day. I laugh at the fact my kid is starting to develop some true food preferences instead of getting frustrated. I suck it up and work out at night instead of sitting on the cozy couch, happy that I have a little window. Where I'm at right now is never going to happen again (just ask the fortune cookie I'm sure that is written on somewhere).

Last March we received an unfortunate blow that wasn't the fault of anyone, but inevitably rocked our world for the "better" part of a year.* When I look back at the last twelve months I've realized that things tend to correct themselves over time, like the stock market. Things were very low for awhile, and now they're pretty high, relatively speaking; a market correction will happen soon and we'll end up somewhere in the middle. My point? We have to keep chugging along, realizing that most things, big and small, are just "part of the process." All of those things that keep you up half the night planning contingency plan upon contingency plan? Chances are a week, a month, a year, or even five years from now there will be a market correction of your own and things will be okay. Maybe the ideal will have changed to accommodate life, but that's okay. 

And please don't worry. The dishwasher is under warranty and I'm switched to Kix this week.

*I know, I know, "vague-blogging." I hate it, but I will say that it was not related to health or in anyway my kid (he's been the best thing ever).

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