I was reading my Twitter feed the other day, and like I sometimes do, went to my profile to see if there was anything that needed to be updated, changed, revised, etc. They give you this little space to put a witty quote about yourself so that when people click on your twitter name, they know something about you and want to follow you because you are so totally cool and awesome and completely badass. My quote has been the same since the beginning.
“Seriously … always chasing the cart.”
This metaphor seems to have stuck with me for many years. I thought back to when it first came to me, and I remember that it was from about nine or ten years ago when I was taking private voice lessons from a professor at the nearby university. I was about 31 or 32 and was considering going back to school to get my masters in voice performance, and was working with this professor to get my instrument back in shape for such an endeavor. At the time, I had four kids under the age of 8 and I was busy with them, homeschooling and just being a mom in addition to teaching private lessons, and working on assembling about fifteen pieces for my upcoming recital.
The image of a cart filled with fruit and vegetables being pulled along by a powerful and capable horse came to mind. Sometimes I was driving the cart. Sometimes I was riding in the cart. Most of the time, however, I was running along behind the cart snatching up the apples and potatoes that tumbled out as the horse took off down unknown paths. The cart would inevitably hit a rut in the dusty, mud-caked road and everything I’d worked towards would come rolling out to be bruised and ruined if I wasn’t there to snatch them from destruction. I was trying to catch them before they hit the ground … sort of like a tennis player hitting balls against a machine turned on high. I’d get a majority of them, but many, depending on the speed of the horse of course, would smash to smithereens or would otherwise be rendered unusable.
Are you catching my metaphor?
I would get one thing accomplished before the Jenga-tower of the carefully built schedule would shift a little and the whole thing would threaten collapse. A house of cards, if you will. One breath of air at the exact wrong moment, and a homework assignment wouldn’t get done, or a preschool teacher wouldn’t get a Christmas gift. And I would label myself the loser-mom, so scatterbrained and yes, I DO know how all those pregnancies happened thank you very much.
So, has anything changed, you ask?
I stared at the Twitter profile and tried to think of something else to put there. Something else that summed up my life of kids and husband and kids and house and kids and coaching and kids and unaccomplished tasks. (Is there a theme here?) I suspect anyone reading this blog can completely identify even if you don’t have a bijillion kids. Honestly, if you are reading this blog, you are more than likely a mom, or if you aren’t, you have a life that is similar to a mom’s—a day that is built of small segments of time, stacked precariously and all dependent on the other. A day built of tasks and duties and responsibilities to literally ONE MILLION people. No, really. ONE MILLION. I swear it is that many. Minimum.
Or at least a cart filled with tumbling, bumbling fruits and vegetables.
So, this is where I am, unable to change my Twitter profile because, after ten years, I am still chasing the cart. I dream about the day when I will be able to sit proudly on the bench with my hands in my lap watching the scenery, having relinquished the driving duties to God. Until then, however, I will chase after it and try and save as many of the falling apples as I possibly can and maybe do a pirouette or two as I catch them.