Monday, March 23, 2015

Tirades on Boughten Brooms and Must Be Nices

"It belittles us to think of our daily tasks as small things, and if we continue to do so, it will in time make us small." 
-Laura Ingalls Wilder 

I love Laura Ingalls so very much and have since I was a little girl! Pioneering was totally my jam. Bonnets! Cornbread! Aprons! One room school houses! In second grade my teacher was reading to us out loud from "Little House in the Big Woods" and Laura and Mary were so excited about getting a "boughten broom". I remember a classmate making fun of it and saying some comment about how it was lame to get all worked up about a "boughten broom". To which I promptly FLIPPED my lid and went on a tirade about how they didn't have things and lived miles from the nearest town so a "boughten broom" was most CERTAINLY an exciting occasion! They made a ball out of a pig intestine for heavens sake!!!  All that to say, this post is getting off track and I was easily fired up with rants locked and loaded even as a kid. In attempts to bring this story around to the POINT I want to make with this post, is that I always loved how Laura's books showcased the tiny ins-and-outs of daily life, and how important they were to the big picture of life. 

I have always struggled with the concept that there are people out there who want you to vouch for your time and who judge you if you aren't as "busy" as they think you should be. That the tasks you accomplish aren't as concrete as their tasks so hence you must have a footloose and fancy free life and should feel guilty about it! Haha. Obviously this is a sore subject for me. I mostly get this in regards to not working a 9-5 job and being involved in every church activity ever. (Because what do you do with free time if you don't have kids?!?) I love the above quote from my girl Laura. She totally got that simply washing the dishes and cleaning the laundry (which granted was 1,000 x's harder in her day so way more of a feat, haha) were IMPORTANT and USEFUL and TIME WELL SPENT. Everyone has their version of "dishes" and "laundry" and somedays just accomplishing SOME tasks is an uphill battle. And for me if I added on 1,000 more things to my list simply because "I technically could" would be a nightmare.  On paper it's easy to spell out your day and proclaim to the world naively that you will accomplish x,y,z with vigor and a flourish with time and energy to spare at the end of the day. When will I ever accept that I'll probably only accomplish x and maybe part of y and almost never Z? It's taken some lessons in humility to be able to just let people make their comments about my life. "Summers off? MUST BE NICE." Said with side eye and glaring and TIME OFF SHAMING. Anyone who says this I would love to place into my classroom just for five minutes and see if they wouldn't also enjoy "a summer off". Hehe.  I do really want to DELETE the phrase "must be nice" from the english language. No one ever has ever said that phrase sans condescension. (Sans Condescension? BAND NAME!Or new font!I guess as a font it would be "Condescension Sans". Well now I'm going have to create that font. That way anytime you typed something in it the font itself would be giving you the business and judging you!)

Anyways-- let's all keep our "must be nices" and "boughten broom" comments to ourselves or I might have to email you in Condescension Sans. And then demand you explain to me what you do with your time. 
AND THEN PROCEED TO ARGUE WTIH YOU ABOUT IT. Sigh. Yes I'm feeling sensitive can you tell? Am I typing this in Obvious Sans? 


  1. So much yes.

    I get a lot of "technically I could" guilt, not from anyone specific, but from the part of my brain that thinks I need to defend myself in everything. I know a lot of people don't get it, but for me, thinking, researching, reading, writing, finding creative inspiration--these are all valid forms of busyness. It has taken me well into my adulthood to develop some balance between doing this brain busy work and also getting my physical busy work done (or mostly done), but I've had to dismiss the notion that I must get ALL THE THINGS completed right now or I'm a big lazy bum. Embrace your pace, I say. I know that I will not be able to help others effectively if I am burned out from doing too much. Introverts need time to recoup their energy between the doings!

  2. This is hilarious! I love your blog. And I love that you flipped your lid over the boughten broom!!! Hahahaha. I so wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. I also am not a 9-5er, and I happen to really like it that way! But I still defend myself in my mind about it because I know some people think that's not enough. It's so true that we all have our own pace and know what we can and can't do to stay sane. I would venture to guess that most people who take on everything do it out of some sort of guilt and don't lead a very balanced life...something's gotta give! I have loved finding my pace in adulthood. I'm trying not to let anyone get to me with their Condescension Sans over it! LOL.