A decade or so ago, when my next-younger brother was at the peak of adolescent energy, the father of one of his friends commented that his son and my brother considered everything in life to be a contest as to who could "run the longest, climb the highest, and spit the farthest."
I smirked at their testosterone overload. But now that adolescence is a rapidly-receding memory, I realize that I'm not so different after all. Instead of comparing myself to a real person, unfortunately, I tend to compare myself to that mythical composite mother who is homeschooling her eight children under ten in ancient languages while she operates a thriving business, feeds them all a whole-foods diet, and runs three miles every day. (I'm sure I came across her blog once.)
No doubt it's a good thing, then, that I get reminded every so often that not only am I not winning this imaginary competition, I'm not even entered. Not only can I not do it all, this week I can't do any of it. The ducklings are at Grandma's house, the church is bringing dinner, and I am under strict orders to ignore the dust gathering on the unwashed dishes and rest. No exciting symptoms to report, I'm just very, very tired after a long, cold, sick winter.
I hate resting. Laziness is seldom among my faults or virtues. I hate sitting around in my pajamas (for the record, I'm not). I like to read, but only for a limited time. I want to Do Things. Clean the house. Play games with the ducklings. Write profound books. Instead, I'm ready for another nap. And I feel like a wimp.
So no doubt I need this time as a reminder that life is not a contest to see who can cram the most in. That it's OK that I didn't go for three kids under three, or that I struggle to walk around the block while others run, or that I hardly ever can get the kitchen clean before I go to bed. There's no prizes for doing the most, just for doing what you have faithfully. Today, that's going to take another nap.