How we begin to remember not to let our priorities get out of whack. Volunteering, children, grandchildren...don't forget the husband.
Several years ago I felt it my duty as a civic-minded young matron to be actively involved in many different groups in our community. Like lots of women, I had my hands full with a zillion volunteer activities, but I kept at it and continued to meet myself coming around corners. The busier I was, the better I liked it.
Needless to say, tending to my boisterous battalion of four children and performing church and civic duties took up so much time that some things had to be neglected. The victims were my housekeeping and my husband--and not always in that order.
There's an old saying: "We judge others by what they do, but we judge ourselves by what we're GOING to do." In my situation, this meant I couldn't tolerate lazy folks who didn't take care of responsibilities, but even though there were aspects of my life that needed to shape up, I didn't fault myself. After all, at some point I was going to clean the house top to bottom and give my husband a little extra attention as well. There would be time . . . later.
Thank goodness, I'm blessed with a patient husband. He understands me. He's a wise man. He knows how to communicate with his spouse. I want to give you the perfect "For Example."
For weeks, the hub had been asking me to purchase razor blades for him when next I dashed through a grocery or drug store. Weeks, you understand. A long time. One would think after weeks of requests from such a good man, this simple plea would be satisfied. But no. I couldn't remember to get those razor blades to save my life.
Honey, did you get my razor blades yesterday?
"Oops! No. Sorry. I'm writing it down, sweets. I'll pick them up today, I promise."
Ahhh. another empty promise. I don't know why he didn't give up and get the razor blades himself. I think it finally became a "waiting-her-out" game. Will she or won't she (remember)? In the meantime, as I continued to run from the children's ballgames and Scout meetings and PTA events to my auxiliary meetings and church committees and art council projects, his poor face was getting rawer and rawer. One morning, he decided he'd had enough.
"Honey," he called to me from the bathroom.
"Honey," he said, slowly and deliberately, "the Junior Auxiliary needs SIX PACKS OF RAZOR BLADES. Could you take care of that?"
He got his razor blades that very day.
Beth Boswell Jacks writes for children's magazines, literary journals, and ezines.
Her work has been accepted for publication in LADYBUG, HOPSCOTCH, SHINING STAR, KIDS' HIGHWAY, BOYS' QUEST, LIGHTHOUSE STORY COLLECTIONS, WORKING WRITER, THE BALANCED WOMAN, LONZIE'S FRIED CHICKEN, DEVO'ZINE, CHOCOLATE FOR A TEEN'S HEART, CHOCOLATE FOR A WOMAN'S DREAMS, STORY MATES, STORY FRIENDS, U.S.KIDS, WEE ONES MAG, and NORTHWEST FAMILY MAGAZINE.
A weekly personal essay columnist for the Bolivar Commercial, she has also published one book of creative non-fiction--GRIT, GUTS, AND BASEBALL--a story of sports and race relations in the Mississippi Delta.
Jacks is a full member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).