Jessica Latshaw

musician. writer. dancer.

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only so many sticks a day.

Posted By on September 26, 2016 in I Lift My Eyes Up, Loved Ones, motherhood, there are pictures here, Thoughts and Feelings | 1 comment

I should probably be removing the many things crowding the kitchen counters right now–putting them back in their rightful places–but man, I’m just not sure that the changes this world needs will come from a tired sense of obligation.

I’m not sure the changes need will come from a tired sense of obligation.

I mean, the counter isn’t going anywhere and, although tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, if and when it comes, I will certainly be able to organize my corner of the world then. But until that time there’s now and there’s so many different words and there’s the relief that comes from describing the former with the latter. And though there’s also a certain kind of relief I get from having beautifully empty, decluttered kitchen counters–not even sarcastic here; that is some sexy, shiny, peaceful stuff right there–I just want to talk on paper right now, if that’s okay.

Let me put it this way: my sweet and garrulous little nephew apparently asks his teacher lots of questions. Which I think is probably fine, considering he’s at school and one is supposed to learn at school and how do we learn without all those questions driving us to find answers? I mean, right? But this teacher doesn’t have time to be interrupted with so many questions, I guess–what with all those teacherly activities that apparently don’t involve answering students’ questions–so she now gives Judah three sticks at the start of the day. For every question he asks, he has to hand over a stick. Once he’s out of sticks, he can’t ask another question until he gets three more sticks the following school day. With that said, I feel like I wake up with only so many sticks and once it gets to evening I have maybe, like, one left (if I am lucky. Read: if I got to sleep past five that morning and Christmas came early in the form of TJ taking Luna on her last walk of the day). So I look at the counter and I think about my precious one remaining stick and do I want to give my stick over to clearing off counters? Or would I rather save this stick for something else, something a little more LOOK MOM! I’M TIRED AS HELL AND CHARLEE POOPED IN A BASKET TODAY, BUT MY SOUL STILL SPEAKS!

It does.

And she did.

She totally pooped in Luna’s toy basket today. It was wild; potty training is LIT.

Yesterday afternoon, TJ and I went shopping for a dress.

(For posterity’s sake, the dress is for me.)

We went all up and down Newbury Street and I saw so many dresses I have no interest in. But I would sometimes linger over a color or fabric and TJ would ask me one question: “Do you love it, Jess?”

The answer was usually no. There are so many dresses I don’t love. There are so many dresses not worth my time trying on or hard earned dollars. And this is just a dress. I mean, there are things that matter more. Lots more. What I am saying is that as I get older, I realize that I only have so many sticks and so much precious, finite time. With that in mind, it’s good to pare down, to simplify, to say there is only one thing I can do this evening, and I choose to sit down and write. I will wake up with counters that are cluttered and it will be okay because look, my soul speaks and what it’s begging for is not necessarily to wipe down the counter for the thousandth time this year. (But I will wipe the counter down tomorrow, absolutely, because it is part of the beautiful job I share in managing our home.)

It’s easy to do the bare minimum. It’s so easy to simply do the things that have to be done. Like wiping the counters. I don’t necessarily have to take time to write. But I don’t want to look back someday and only see a neat home and spotless counters (I wouldn’t mind seeing that in addition to other things, though!). I want to see choices I make that line up with my goals (I want to write books! looks like writing a lot–even when you’re tired; I want to be fit! looks like working out a lot–even when you’re tired; I want to do the things I love! looks like choosing to invest in (i.e. DO THEM) the things you love–even when you’re tired).

Oh, and I found a dress that I love, by the way. TJ sure knows how to hold a high standard, and thank God he does this for more than just the dresses I buy.



1 Comment

  1. Lyndsay September 26, 2016

    I don’t know how i feel about Judah being limited to 3 sticks/questions a day….BUT i love the way you used it here. I like your applicaton of it far better than the teacher’s, but i suppose their reasons must be valid, or one probably shouldn’t be a teacher, in my opinion. His wonderfully imaginative little mind must ask a LOT of questions!!

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