Preparation is the first line of defense against chaos.
Sunday evening, while someone is in the bath, is time to prep for the week. Lunches are planned for school, little containers filled, drinks and yogurts are counted and arranged in the fridge. The nap mat is located and put on the table so it’s not forgotten in the morning. At some point, clothing for the next day is selected.
And in there somewhere, I’ll actually do something for myself: set up the coffee for the morning. Ok, that step might be as much for myself as those around me.
Then there’s laundry, which is the most perpetual thing in the universe.
And yet, when I complete all this and sit for a moment before heading up for reading time, there’s a bizarre sense of accomplishment. It’s not much, it’s not even a herculean effort. It feels more like the quick, tiny, precise non-stop motion of bees in the hive than something epic. And yet, whoa… look at everything all ready for the week: coffee, stacks of fruit for lunches, all the bits and pieces ready to go out the door.
Why is this so satisfying? Perhaps because each moment spent in preparation removes any number of delays, decisions, and moments of chaos later in the week. Or perhaps because I’ve been subsumed by motherhood and domesticity. Or perhaps I’m just happy exerting control over what little I can these days…
Control is important, too, when your 5 year old is keeping 51 reindeer in the kitchen, training them for Santa, of course.