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    Friday, April 26, 2013

    Piece of Cake

    Right now I’m trying really hard not to eat cake. The thing is, it seems like eating cake might make my day better and, you see, I have so much of it.

    I had my own little Cake Wreck yesterday. I didn’t take pictures because it was just your run-of-the-mill crumb and frosting collapse.

    Yesterday was Chunky’s birthday. Poor kid. I bombed my role of party planner. As you know I’ve been a little distracted with a certain novel, so when Chunky asked for a Minecraft party, I groaned and said, “I don’t know how to do a Minecraft party.”

    He said, “How about a vampire party then?”

    I said, “Ok, you can have a Minecraft party.”

    But as we got closer to last weekend’s conference and I got crazier with my deadline, I realized I couldn’t pull off a party at home. We agreed to have it at LaserQuest and have Minecraft-themed food.

    Yeah, that fell apart too. Honestly, at one time I was good at this stuff. We once had a pirate-themed birthday at our house with 34 kids in attendance. Yes, you read that right.

    But I had to knock my youngest’s expectations down once again when I realized my ideas for cubed food and green Minecraft Rice Krispie treats wouldn’t materialize without magic.

    He didn’t mind as long as we could construct an elaborate, many-flavored cake landscape complete with mountains, a canyon, and a lake.

    I talked him down to a simple layered cake. And then that fell apart! Talk about shredding my Super Mom cape. Chunky was a good sport when we had to run out last minute and buy a cake, and he did have a lot of fun at his party.

    Me, I’m feeling the weight of what I didn’t do this last month. I didn’t:

    1. Pull together an awesome Minecraft party.
    2. Clean my house. At all.
    3. Cook a nutritious meal.
    4. Shower regularly.
    5. Feed the turtles more than a couple times a week, which is about how often they should eat, but Roger sits in his food dish and looks at me with sad turtle eyes. Guilt! 
     Yes, I did finish a book. And I did pitch that book and get a request for the manuscript from an editor. Woohoo!

    As I head back into another month of intensive editing on this story, I’m very aware of the choices I make in order to pursue this dream. I sometimes let my expectations and other’s expectations cause me guilt.

    But the truth is, Chunky had a fantastic day yesterday. He happened to be off school on his birthday and we spent the whole day together. I didn’t touch my manuscript once, but I did give my nine-year-old lots of hugs.

    I’ve intentionally let the housework slide and though it bugs me, my life’s goal isn’t to die and have people say, “Her house was always clean.” I hope they have something more interesting to say, even if it’s just, “Evangeline was never one to pass up cake.”

    What about you? Is there an expectation you’ve let go—or trampled—in order to pursue a worthy goal. Will people talk about your clean house at your funeral?

    By the way, I totally ate a piece of cake.


    Cindy R. Wilson said...

    There was something about cake in the post title, so of course I had to drop by :) I'm so happy you got an editor request. Congrats! I meant to ask you about the conference and you answer my question.

    Yeah, I let things slip by. I MEANT to sweep and mop the kitchen today, but I am deep in these edits and actually enjoying it. I can sweep tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month :)

    Jennette Mbewe said...

    That's awesome! Yeah, I've got 4 & 2 year old, and I've let the house slide. I'm getting a twitch in my eye just thinking about it. And some how I think I can pull off a garage sale next Saturday. I bite off more than I can chew but I definitely don't want that to interfere with my kiddos needing their mama. So we play tickle kiss a lot and try to let go of my expectations. And I would totally have eaten a piece of cake! Glad you had fun and it worked out for ya! Congrats on the MS!

    Donita K. Paul said...

    Living up to other's expectations is equivalant to making your bed in the swamp of despair. My mother-in-law made it easy for me. I tossed the towel when I saw her tilt a dining room chair and dust the bottom of each leg. I knew I'd never live up to that standard so I never tried. By tbe way, she was the sweetest nonjudgmental MIL a woman could have.

    Beth K. Vogt said...

    You gave your son the best gift of all: Your time and attention. And you gave him an invaluable life lesson: that life doesn't have to be perfect to be good/fun.
    Brava, Evangeline. Brava.