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I need to make a confession. I’m determined to make a change, and ‘fessing up you is my first step toward that change. I am embarrassed to say I am struggling with a weakness that is taking me away from my real life far, far too much recently.
Booze? Drugs? The drive-thru at McDonald’s? No, I’m talking, of course, about Downton Abbey. Lord Grantham! Matthew! Lady Mary! Oh, heavens, I first dialed in to this well-dressed fantasy just over a month ago, and I’m hooked.
Am I kidding? Maybe just a little, but very seriously, this gorgeous and frothy little time suck has taken large chunks of my life lately, and it’s got to stop. The dresses! The maids! Nothing to do but wander around the house and wait for the dinner gong! Talk about a working mom’s fantasy.
I know it’s a soap opera, and no, not everything I spend my every minute on has to be deep and meaningful. But it occurred to me last night that I’m addicted to the thing. My husband was sitting next to me, and my kids were playing around me, and I was watching a computer screen. Ugly, huh? So ugly.
Why do we do this? Why do we reach for things we know aren’t good for us when there is so much in our real life that needs to be done?
Because it’s easy. It’s an escape.
And being a Working Mom is many wonderful things, but easy isn’t one of them.
Well, I’ve caught myself. I’ve caught myself, and I know that this is not who I want to be. This is not living life according to my priorities. I know that Lady Mary and Lady Edith and their dresses and maids are make-believe. And that the time (precious time) I give to these pixels on a screen is time away from my actual life with the actual flesh and blood human beings who love me.
A little is okay, just like a little chocolate or a little ice cream is okay, but a steady diet? No, ma’am. No more.
Today is Saturday. Big, beautiful, mommy-all-day Saturday, and my family will be up and about any minute now. My life is a finite period of time, and my children are only children for a small portion of that. Today I’m going to make sure I am in their lives – ALL in. Today, we’ll make memories, share experiences, spend the time to know each other – before this brief time known as childhood is gone.
Today, I will be careful that the things I spend my time on are real things. And that the people I care about are people who love me back. I hope you will too.
And Downton Abbey? Well, I’ll enjoy it just like all the other treats in my life: a little at a time, infrequently, and never to the detriment of the people I love.
Maybe once a week. Maybe with a small bowl of ice cream.