Quote of the Day: Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing! – Phyllis Diller

In case you were wondering what it looks like to be covered in Love, look at us all snuggled up on the Loveseat at Grandpa and Grandma’s house during our New Year’s/Christmas celebration. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by motherhood! And, yes, I let the dust settle, and the bathroom mirrors get spotty, and organize with less panic. We’re a busy bunch.

I used this photo as the header of my holiday letter, which I wrote on Jan. 3, will pick up at the printers today, and send out some time during the next week. There’s no deadline for quality correspondence. I received my share of holiday letters and photos of smiling families, and I’ll have to say, that when someone wrote a personal note on the card or letter, I felt like they really wanted to stay connected and cared. The smiling faces with no words seemed a little fake. As in, “Look at us, we’re one big smiling family. No worries here.” Why is it so hard for people to be real?

The day I went into the lawyer’s office for our “Settlement Agreement” conference, I couldn’t get this song out of my head: “Bye bye love. Bye bye happiness. Hello loneliness. I feel like I could cry.” I was subconsciously singing it out loud, and the boy in the purple up there said, “How can you be lonely, Mom. You’ve got all of us.”

Thank you, Charlie. I needed to hear that then, two years ago now, and I need to be reminded of it every day. I am not alone. I have those four guys to love and care for and they love and care for me in their own loud and messy boy way. And, God sends people into my life when I need them most.

The other night, we were playing songs on the piano. Charlie took a turn, then Eric found my old Disney song book. We stayed up past bedtime singing and laughing. All of us, even the big one. It was totally worth the sleepy, slow start we had the next day because of our late night carousing.

This year, my goal is to be more focused. I can be so scatter-brained. I check out, mentally, during conversations. I plan dinner while I’m working out. I think about writing while playing the piano and playing piano while I write. I start to declutter one area, move into another, and forget why I went there in the first place, and I get overwhelmed by the tasks that pile up and feel like my sole responsibility.

Focus, Mary, I say, and by the end of the year, many of those goals and aspirations will be accomplished. Tune in next January for the results.

My new song, at least right now, is Bridge Over Troubled Water, “…Sail on silver girl, sail on by, your time has come to shine, all your dreams are on their way, see how they shine.”

Journaling prompt: Who or what builds you up when you’re feeling down?