blogging from the road. Not beside the road at a hotel…I’ve done that before. Not next to the road in a campground, I’ve done that too. I mean, I’m literally on a fucking road in a car blogging at 80 miles per hour! Specifically, I-49 E straight for New Orleans. Passenger side. After 5 days and almost 2,000 miles of road behind me…from Los Angeles to Arizona to Colorado to New Mexico to Texas to Oklahoma back to Texas then finally into Louisiana!

I’d be drop dead exhausted if I weren’t so freaking excited!

June is about inspiration, and nothing inspires me more than adventure. Road trips make me so happy and fulfilled I will put up with and do just about anything for them. Even when it was 110% guaranteed that I’d have multiple kids puking in the minivan due to a genetic oversensitivity to carsickness, the cleanup was worth it. Even when whining and crankiness from the same pukers in the backseat was also guaranteed in direct proportion to how long we were on the road, it was still worth it. It was worth doing laundry on the go in laundromats, extreme budgeting and only eating ramen so we could afford it, and the hyperorganization it took on my part so I stayed on course without losing any children along the way. One time I brought my 4 nieces and nephews on a road trip and in effect had 7 kids between the ages 4 and 10. I loved every second of it.

That’s the power of inspiration. When working in its zone, we become superhuman. We can do more, think clearer, and be happier.

What inspires you? Do that more.

I can’t go on road trips 24/7, but there are other things that inspire me. Music, food, fun.

Things that don’t inspire me: cleaning, organizing, budgeting, paying bills, laundry, grocery shopping, meal planning. Drudgery. I used to force myself to do it, though, because isn’t that what we’re all taught? Work before play. Discipline.

It seems that in our culture, a benchmark for maturity is how much you can make yourself do without wanting to. It almost becomes mandatory. I counted how many times my friends have said to me, “I don’t want to do …x, y, z…but I don’t have a choice.” And it ended up being a high number of times. Most of us run around doing shit like someone is putting a gun to our heads.

This is bullshit.

We always have a choice in our own lives.

This week, only do what you want to do. Wait to be inspired to do something before you do it.

Doesn’t that sound frivolous and irresponsible?!

Maybe it will be at first. Maybe you’ll be so punch drunk on freedom you’ll stop cooking and cleaning for the full 7 days. Maybe the laundry will pile up and everyone will run out of clean clothes and have to cobble socks together with staples and tape to cover themselves. Maybe you’ll boycott food shopping and you all will live like savages for the week, scrounging around the cupboard for crumbs. Maybe your kids will wander around in their sad sock clothes, begging your neighbors for small pieces of bread. Maybe you’ll not go into work all week and get fired. Thank god your family will already know how to live on crumbs and frankensteinian sock tunics.

Or maybe just knowing you don’t have to do it will give you space to realize that you still want to do it because it makes everyone you love so happy. Or you’ll realize that what you do is important and needed. Maybe you take a little break and the people you love realize and become appreciative of what you choose to do for them.

Who knows what will happen, isn’t that the nature of the challenge?! What is the worst thing that can happen? What is the best? There are worse things than absolute chaos and upheaval for a week. 7 days isn’t a crazy long time. Fuck, last year I boycotted baking for the whole 365 days. If it wasn’t frozen or easily reheated, I didn’t make it. The kids were confused at first. Then worried. Then a little sad. Then they learned how to cook things they wanted. Then they told me how much they loved when I used to bake muffins and shit for them. Then they told me how much better home cooked meals were than frozen and even restaurant meals were. Then they asked me what they could do for me to help me have enough energy to cook again. My son even offered to go to IKEA (a store he’d usually whine and complain about going to) and let me take as much time as I wanted walking around the kitchen section so I could buy stuff to use for baking. As I gradually gotten back into making stuff (small steps…muffins and breakfasts mostly…) I’ve never seen more appreciative kids. And I’ve never felt so happy about choosing to bake. It’s been great!

So, remember. If you hear yourself saying, “I don’t want to do …x,y,z… but I have no choice!” don’t do it this week. Find what inspires you and use it to do what you want to do. You always have a choice in your life. Choose to do more of what inspires you.

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6 Comments

  1. Hey! That’s what I’ve been doing for *weeks*. Mostly. I still think “I have to…” occasionally, but it’s really more wanting to do it because I like wearing clean clothes, or eating food so I’d better wash something.

    Nothing like having occasional health problems to teach you that you *can* let everything go and everyone lives. (OTOH, it tends to make me obsess a little more about trying to get ahead to we can survive me being useless for 1 or 2 or more weeks.)

    Coincidentally, I just submitted a post for the Carnival of Homeschooling all about being sick and watching the kids basically accidentally do a full day of learning anyway. :D

    I never did the assignment to have a week of rejection. Maybe I’ll do that. If I WANT do. Hah!

  2. sometimes i stand in the middle of my house and don’t know where to begin. i would like to read a book, but i would also like a clean-er house. i would like to take a nap. but would also like to get those nagging things done. i would like to say f*ck it and get into my car with the kids and head to Moab. but then i wonder if we will have enough $$$ to cover our ER visits last week. so i just stand in the middle of the house frozen in confusion of what i should do…

    then i check facebook.

    and it all seems very…wasteful of the life energy i have. yet i find myself standing in the middle of the house again wondering, “what now?”

    :)
    jen

    • Brooke /

      OMG, I thought I was the only one that did that! lol

  3. ZOMG. Totally had this breakthrough last week! ROFL A couple of months ago, I decided that I would start cleaning the house once a month. This was not a reduction for me, it was actually a get-off-my-otherwise-occupied-ass-for-one-Saturday-a-month-and-cleaning-the-fucking-house decision. Because even for as much as I hate how filthy my daughter’s socks get from running around on nasty hard floors (we have zero carpet), I simply don’t prioritize cleaning unless people are coming over–which almost never happens, because inviting them over would mean I have to clean the house, haha! So the first few months I did this, things got in the way and it ended up being every 6 weeks instead of the first Saturday of the month, and by the next time, it was just an impossible mess and I was kicking myself for letting us live in the filth and leaving it to the last minute to run around like crazy cleaning up before my parents got in town, or whatever was happening. So this past weekend, my husband was out for the day and I packed my daughter off to her grandparents so that I could wake up and clean the house with no one underfoot for no reason other than having a clean house I could feel happy in.

    IT. WORKED.

    I didn’t clean for guests, I cleaned for me. I taught my daughter to start picking up her toys from the den, the kitchen, and her bedroom each night. (She totally needs step-by-step instruction, but it’s soooo worth it.) And–the big one–I managed to keep the dishes done regularly. Not in the evening right after dinner when I’m exhausted, and it’s time to pick up toys and get A ready for bed, but in the MORNING, when I have to take a break from my work to get her dressed and fed. So while she eats, I turn on the radio, and dance around doing the dishes, and it’s actually become fun–because she gets finished, and she wants to dance too! And it’s less time that we have the TV on, and less mess in the kitchen, and less stress in my head.

    But you know what? This weekend when by golly I didn’t roll my ass out of bed until she was calling for me around 9:30 and fixing her breakfast meant fixing my own at the same time and then going out to run errands and then lunch and then naptime (and finally squeezing in some precious writing time, because WRITING, more than ANYTHING else, is what makes me happiest these days), and then dinner, bedtime, blah blah blah–the dishes sat. They piled up. Not tons of them, because Friday’s dinner was a frozen pizza and Saturday’s was Greek take-out, and last night was leftovers. But still–the dishes sat, and I couldn’t give a fuck, because my plan was to take care of them Monday morning. And so I have…except for a couple of pans I need to scrub, but–eh, I’ll do ‘em later. Feels good. :) Looks good (enough).

    Now on the other hand, what I need motivation for at the moment is getting my work done. It’s due today, and of course I didn’t start it until today because–hey, it was the weekend, right? But if I want to write, I’ve got to work, and if I want a paycheck and a continued job while my husband is unemployed, I’ve got to work, so… ;-) Guess I’ll choose to turn off the distractions and get the work done so I can play with words later on. <3

  4. Brooke /

    This has been an issue between my husband and myself forever. He wants things done right away and I like to do it when I want. We finally decided that if he needs something done (the dishes) he’ll do it and won’t complain. And I won’t complain about him doing it (I know that sounds kind of fucked up… a wife complaining about her husband helping out. lol) So we quit nagging and let the other person be themselves and it’s been awesome! I even clean every Sunday when I couldn’t keep any kind of schedule before. ;) And Satudays are mind to sit around and do whatever I want and I don’t feel guilty anymore.

  5. I live my life just like yours and proud of it!
    I follow you on IG and will now come sit a spell here with you on occasion
    I love your writing!
    Have a great trip and keep writing and posting !
    And hope you will stop by my bloggy spot for a visit!
    As well as sheisthree.com where I really tell my stories in a different light!
    Deb