Do the Next Thing

Do the next thing. It’s been my mantra for the past few days. When I would rather give up, give in, stop trying, I make myself do the next thing. When my kids are bickering and whining and sassing and I just want to run away to a quiet, peaceful place, I take a deep breath and… do the next thing. Sometimes, it’s the only way I get through the day.

Strong coffee helps too.

I make the coffee. I make breakfast. I change a diaper and then change it again almost immediately. I help kids get dressed. I resolve sibling disputes. I reply to a few important emails. I read and teach and answer questions. I make lunch. Now — naptime, and a coffee break with my sister, a much needed respite. Then… I build block towers. I kill a spider. I make dinner. I clean up the dishes. I play Mario Kart. I supervise toy pick-up and getting ready for bed. I read stories. I give kisses. I sing a song.

The kids are in bed, and I wish it was over, but it’s not. I pick up Legos and put away books. I lock the doors. I observe the ants near our front door, trying to figure out what they are after. I conjugate verbs in the imperfect subjunctive and wonder if I’ll ever be able to use this language in normal conversation. I check email and there is a text from Rusty — they are having a wedding at Kumanii tomorrow and want to make a wedding cake. So I search online for a simple white cake recipe and email it. It’s now time for bed.

Tomorrow: Rinse and Repeat. Do the next thing.

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