Something I’ve learned from my podcast guests and conversations I’ve had with people about topics discussed on the podcast is this: there are lots of things we don’t care about so we can pursue things we do care about.
There are lots of things I can’t care about so I can focus on what matters to me. These things have shifted over the years. When I was in my early 20s and without children, I cared a lot more about certain things. And now as an almost 30-year-old with two children, I just can’t care about those same things anymore.
Truthfully, I feel a tinge of worriedness when I think about the things I don’t care about. But then I decided something I can’t care about is what other people think. So, here are things I don’t care about:
+Wrinkles. As in clothing wrinkles. I believe once upon a time I owned an iron. But I’ve never learned how to use it.
+Wrinkles. As in the kind on your face. When I first noticed fine lines under my eyes, I freaked a little. And now I’m all, whatever. I could find a cream for that, I suppose. Or slather on coconut oil because that’s my go-to for most things.
+What my kids wear. Kate is adamant about what she wears. Therefore, she wears outlandish things, pairing together reds with purples, a tank top over a dress, two different types of socks. I just don’t care. I’d rather her get dressed on her own, without my help, so I can enjoy another cup of coffee than fight with her over clothes. Similar with Michael. Kate wants to pick his clothes. I allow her. Therefore, most days he looks like I dressed him in the dark. I just don’t care.
+What my kids look like, in general. I can’t remember the last time I brushed Kate’s hair. If we’re running late (spoiler alert: that’s all the time), I push on brushing her teeth and skip the hair. I feel a tinge of guilt when I see other little girls with neat ponytails and Kate’s hair looks cave-woman-esq. But she’s happy because I didn’t fight her and I’m happy because I didn’t fight her. So, win!
+That my laundry sits in laundry baskets, on the floor, until I get to it. I can’t keep up. I just can’t. Especially not now since we’re living with my parents while our house is under construction. So, for those keeping score, that’s 7 people. And 2 dogs. I’ve just got to get the laundry in the washing machine and into the dryer and out of the laundry room as fast as I can, so the next person can get in there with his or her stuff. So, that means our stuff sits in our room until I get to it. For how long? Maybe a couple days. Maybe more like a week plus.
+The general unorganized nature of our life. Truth: I love everything in it’s place. When we lived in our old house, I was good about keeping things picked up in and in the appropriate spot. But since our life is topsy-turvy with this housing issue, stuff doesn’t have a place. That means I have to shove random stuff in random places. I don’t like this. It’s not my way. But, I’m embracing it and deciding not to care right now because it’s just how it has to be for now. That means I’ve got a mess on our bedroom floor 95% of the time, an unmade bed, a mess of notebooks and pens and computer cords on my desk. And let’s not even get into the tangled web of jewelry mess on the dresser. It’s bad. But I just can’t care about it now because we’re in limbo until our house is done.
+The state of my car. When I was single and childless, I kept my car immaculate. I washed it religiously. I never, ever, EVER left trash in the car. And now? My car is my mobile response unit. I live out of the car most days since I’m traveling all over the Northern Virginia area for work, to pick up and drop off kids, for social outings, errand running, etc… because my life is back in Vienna but we’re living in McLean until the house is done. So, I’m often eating breakfast and lunch in the car on my way to and fro. I’m often transporting kids and things between my parent’s house and my in law’s house and our storage unit. It’s a mess. Whenever I need to get gas (which is often), that’s when I take the time to at least toss out the trash. So one day I had the kids with me, and I went through the car, picking up trash while we waited for the tank to fill up. No joke, this is what Kate said: “MAMA! LOOK! You can see the floor now!” Yep.
+That I wear the same uniform most days. When I love something, I’m gonna wear it all the time. As the theme of this post suggests, I don’t have much time to fuss. So I wear a uniform that looks like this: Athleta Bettona jegging capris + striped t-shirt/solid t-shirt + sparkly earrings + my favorite initial necklace from Tiffany’s + Lululemon vinyasa scarf. Done and done. This is comfortable, cute, and easy. I can bend over and chase Michael down the street and not worry my underwear is showing. It’s not super fancy nor do I look like a runway model. But I feel good and it’s easy.
+Cooking. I don’t know how to cook. I do hope cooking is something I can do more of in my new kitchen since it will feature larger than 1 foot of counter space like we had in our old house. But I’m not going to sweat it right now. Each week I chat with Dan about what he can grill, I pick up bagged salads and veggies. And that’s our dinner! Grilled item + bagged salad + bagged veggies/fruit. Done and done!
+Showing my imperfections. When I was in high school and college and through much of my 20s, I feared anyone seeing my imperfect self. Let me tell you, it’s exhausting keeping up that charade! Being perfect all the dang time is too much. Just can’t. So now when a mom friend says, Sarah, wow, you’re building a house and working part-time and producing your blog/podcast! That’s amazing! I don’t know how you do it! Girl, please. I don’t do it! See the aforementioned list! I’m not spending hours cooking or cleaning out my car or putting away wash! Real talk: last night I let the kids eat PopTarts for dinner because I had things to do! I do not apologize for this or feel guilty. I’m not judging my worth as a mother on one dinner of PopTarts. Look at all I did with them this week and all the nutritious meals I provided them (The aforementioned bagged salad and veggies/fruit.). We played, we danced, we cuddled. I launched into signing BackStreet Boys instead of yelling when Kate and Michael fought over a drinkable yogurt and it burst all over the floor. I could have yelled because, of course, we were late! But instead, I started singing EVERYBODY! YEAH YEAH! ROCK YOUR BODY! while removing Michael’s clothes and using them to wipe up the spilled yogurt. Everyone had a good laugh.
Something I work to remember everyday: this is a season. And I know, it’s kind of annoying when other people say that. But, the meaning is: this part won’t last forever. The small children part and the intense juggling. Or whatever part you’re in. To not just get through it but to embrace it is to not care about some stuff. And look at the rest of it with humor.
There are periods of my life when I look back and think, those were the good old days! I was too busy being in my own head and being perfect to realize it. I don’t want that to happen again. So if I need to be B+ (or maybe even C-!) when it comes to some things, so be it. Because that gives me space to enjoy my life and feel gratitude.
Okay, I want to hear: what do you not care about?! Tell me! What do you let go of? I want to know!