Monday, June 11, 2007

I think I might be addicted to Redemption.

I was talking with Chowder about what it is about us that we can't seem to stick with things that we know are good for us. Not just know are good, but that we actually physically, mentally, and spiritually reap huge rewards from. Whoever said that 6 weeks of something forms a habit, has never met me. Right around 3 months is when I throw in the towell. That was the absolute hardest time when I quit smoking. You get a little complacent. You think you have it all under control, so one little slip won't that big of a deal because you can just hop back on the wagon. and then, it's all over.

As I finished my laundry, I went to open the drawer in the kitchen to get a bib out for Ladybug. And lo and behold, there was a bib. A little wash cloth to wipe her down? a neat little stack of them sitting right next to a similar stack of bibs. How easy. How convenient. How much more smoothly mealtime went. needed placemats to set the table? A whole drawer of the buffet filled with crisp ironed table lines. Or this morning when the kids went to get dressed? get this. They opened their drawers and chose some clean folded clothes, made their beds with all of the right sheets on them, brushed their teeth and went downstairs. ingenious.

You see the last few weeks have gone more like this...get up and go into the laundry room, dig around in the pile of clean laundry that's on the laundry table and then through the dryer searching for clothes for the kids. Decide that my son wearing girl's underwear for a couple of hours is not that big of a deal and throw the clothes from the dryer onto the pile on the table and then realize that the washer has gone sour so I re-wash the clothes in the washer and throw in a couple of pairs of Porkchop's underwear. The same looking for bibs. The same trying to be creative looking for something to act as a dishtowell. etc. etc.

Obviously scenario 1 was much, much easier. My life was much calmer. much more in control. It lead to everyone having a better, easier day. So, what is my problem? Why can't I keep it up for longer than 3 months?

Same with cooking.
Same with money.
Same with prayer.
Same with exercise.

As I thought about this, what is the big payoff for my "sin?" What am I getting out of this cycle of behavior? I realized I am a Redemption Junkie. I love the redemption. The honest truth is I get a huge rush from taming the chaos. I switch into manic mode and I redeem myself. I redeem my finances, my laundry, my soul. I get to wipe the slate clean. get a fresh start. I'm all Prodigal Son coming home.

Think this is too far a stretch? Don't think for one second that I didn't mentally kill the fattened calf when I went from this to this. Because I can tell you people, I did. And Chowder killed me a fattened calf, too, when I cleaned our room. Even my absence from people's lives. Sure, I need to retreat sometimes, especially when my OCD is acting up (which it is), but isn't there part of me that is just a little brat loving you all killing the fattened calf for me? for my homecoming?

But, let's face it folks. The older son is boring with a capital B. Yes. yes. Slow and Steady wins the race. But, don't you think that the Tortoise is eyeing the Hare and just wishing he could have so much fun? I know letting things slide into mayhem is hardly whooping it up. And I know I didn't fall into a bout with wine and prostitutes (well, with prostitutes, anyway). But, didn't I "squander my wealth in wild living?" Didn't I know that God's life of order is best, simply because it is the easiest way to live? So, how do I find that rush in the simple maintenance of living? How do I live the life of the older son without the need for tangible redemption? How do I make it past that 3 month mark?


Jenni said...

Oh wow, what an awesome post.

My life is so very bipolar. I don't have any answers for you. We are in the midst of the biggest household clean-up I think we've ever done to date, and after the garage sale this weekend, guess what's for dinner?

Oh yeah, baby. Moo.

julie said...

Oh my, girlfriend, believe me you are not alone. It took me 6 hours last week to go through all the unopened mail, pay bills and figure out how much money we actually have because, I HAD NO IDEA.

I have been having panic attacks because our lives are so out of control and busy. I have done some things to change that in the last few days, but I never understand why I wait until I am at the breaking point before I act.

Great post, wish I had some words of wisdom for you.


Niki said...

Hey Cakes! Have not commented for awhile, but had to today as this post really hit me!

I am SO the same way! (Except that I usually only keep things up for about 2 months!)

It has challenged me to be consistent. And faithful. And disciplined for the long haul. I'll let you know how it goes!

Multi-tasking Mom said...

WOW, brilliant post. This post really hit home for me. I am the same way too, and I'll be doing some more thinking about this one.