Find a quote that inspires you either positively or negatively and write about it.
In the days leading up to this prompt, I had several quotes on my "might use" list, but I'm shelving all of them.
Today was horrible. I had a complete emotional breakdown around 2 o'clock and sat down and cried for nearly an hour. I cried on the phone to my friend across the country (thanks, amigo). I cried as I texted my husband. I cried as the babies kept bringing me toys. It was just a hard day with two little ones who refused to give me an inch.
And at some point in the middle of the day, while I was diapering one of the two little heathens terrorizing my house and my sanity, a forgotten quote smacked me in the face.
"Nothing is worth more than this day." ---Goethe
I don't know why. I don't know where my brain found it as its little fuzzy feelers crawled around inside itself digging for quote dust bunnies.
I just know that it hit me out of nowhere.
Nothing is worth more than this day.
This day when Little Sweetie has her first puffy shiner on her left eye from a fall on the steps yesterday. This day when I'm recovering from an awful stomach bug.
This day when our little houseguest decided to run from me in the supermarket, in the parking lot, in the driveway, and any time I tried to put pants on him. This day when he learned to unfasten his diaper and spin in circles, one butt cheek to the wind.
This day when I spent more time with a toddler wailing in agony at me in the timeout corner than I spent breathing.
And it made me stop and realize that it was up to me to change the course of this day.
The under-2 set is not in control. I'm the adult. I'm the mommy. They need me. I will triumph.
I diapered them, got both of them down for a nap (not without plenty of screaming), and fell asleep on my bed with my daughter in my arms. Forty minutes later, I woke to see her snuggled and contented, and I slipped out from under her carefully.
I then spent nearly a WHOLE HOUR to myself.
I drank my cherished afternoon cup of coffee. I put away three loads of laundry. I stuffed my cloth diapers. I started another load of laundry. I cleaned the living room and bedroom. I prepped dinner. I even managed to scribble out a quick self-introduction to the Diabetes Advocates group (on which I accidentally hit send way before I had edited it).
I didn't do anything for me, per se, but I did the chores that were hanging over me making me feel like an out-of-control failure. And I did it in perfect silence - without a single toddler screaming in protest.
The babies both woke with a fuss, but ten minutes apart at least so that I could be there for each of them. I took all of us out to the backyard for some fresh air and I chatted on the phone with my friend and then another chat with my MIL while the tiny monsters scarfed down 2 containers of Gerber tomato cheese puffs.
Did the kids stop crying? No. Did I manage to teach any voice lessons? No. Did my husband come home early to rescue me? No.
But I rescued myself. I remembered that I matter. I remembered that the longest day I'll ever have is only 24 hours long. I remembered that every day that I love, teach, and cherish a child, I improve his life. And I remembered, most importantly, that it all starts with my perspective.
Nothing is worth more than that.