Can I be real for a few minutes? Really real? Ever feel so overwhelmed you don't even know where to start?
[This will be a bit lengthy, so if you're in the mood please grab a nice cup of coffee and come on in to my virtual kitchen. All set?]
We all say that periodically, and the statement has become cliche. But I'm talking about the kind of sheer fear and desperation that is really paralyzing. That terrible feeling that things, important things where you won't get a do-over, are falling through the cracks while you're busy putting out the latest fire. The fact that your list of things to do only keeps growing, and you never seem to cross anything off as accomplished. The nights where you have to work late (again) and, in your mind's eye, see all the things you had planned to accomplish that evening sliding away (again). The birthdays and occasions dear to family and friends that you miss (again) or are woefully late for, so late that you're embarrassed to even bring it up by the time you get around to it 8 weeks later. And the worst part is, you know the date, and you had it on your calendar weeks ahead to buy a card, or you even HAVE a card in the huge pile-of-cards you keep for just such occasions...but you don't get around to it. (Did I mention you even have stamps on hand? No excuses left here.) The bigger things, like the stress of loved ones dealing with chronic illness that you can't control or really help with. Big decisions to be made there. The smaller things, like the years where you didn't even get Christmas cards out and, as a result, feel even more out of touch and disconnected. The times where you look around the house and don't even know where to begin, while in your head tumble visions of all the things you'd like to do, if you could just find time. The meals you could make if you had half a chance of getting home in time. The workouts you forcibly make time for, but the weight doesn't come off (probably because your stress level is sky-high). The coupons that you've collected that would save you money, if you'd had time in the last 8 weeks to go through them. The time you'd like to be able to relax and spend with friends and family and really feel "present" in the moment, instead of spending those moments mentally trying to get a grip on your schedule, your life, even your sanity. The constant stress (which shouldn't be stressful, but is) of trying (and failing) to get pregnant. The devastating irony of hearing about a friend's 18 year old who is pregnant, and doesn't want to be. And then the days where you just throw up your hands and want to go to bed and forget about it all.
That, my friends, is pretty much how life has gone around here for the last few months. I'm not throwing all that out there to ask for your sympathy. We all have the same sorts of challenges with our lives, priorities and time. Many of you deal with all these things and more, plus kids...My challenges are nothing unusual. But I'm tired of feeling like a victim of my own procrastination, which is a large part of my scheduling, timing and stress issues. So, I'm inviting you to come along with me as I get my act together, one step at a time. I'm committed to sharing with you guys how things are going, the victories and the challenges, and I hope you'll follow along with this little journey! I'm going to be making some changes (more life related and less blog related, but you'll get to see some of it here) and I want to share with you guys what works and what doesn't work for me, in case it will help someone else! Please feel free to share any ideas or suggestions you have, as well as what works for you. And let me know I'm not alone. Ready?
So first things first. For me, it all begins with Christ. He's the beginning, middle, and end of why I was put on this planet. When that fact doesn't take center stage in all areas of my life, everything else will, by definition, be out of balance. Like a wheel without a center, nothing will turn correctly if it's not centered and stabilized properly. So you're going to see that I will try to get back to basics in my faith, resting in His grace, trusting in His provision and control over my life and circumstances, and RELAXING into His care. Easier said than done, certainly. But He's promised that I am not meant to carry all this myself, and He will be there in each moment of my life. Thank you, Lord, that you don't leave us to carry things alone! Thank you that I can bring you my messes, and you don't yell at me, you just say "we'll work on this together."
Next, because my out-of-control schedule and procrastination is the root of many evils in my life, you're going to see my attempts to simplify things and focus on what really matters. Another cliche, but that's because it's a home truth. How much stress could we collectively get rid of if we'd just say no to the unimportant things, and yes to those that matter? I for one get that backwards a lot, and it's costing me. In my relationships (both friends and family). In my health (hard to lose weight with stress hormones I can practically feel constantly flowing through my body!) Along with simplifying is going to come...
Decluttering. We're going to get this house finished (several random projects lingering from the move...4 years ago. Go ahead, laugh! It's all I can do at this point!) We're gonna get it organized and cleaned up and get rid of all the things that make me feel guilty just looking at them. Unfinished projects, things I bought and don't use, time and money wasters, junk I've kept for years and don't really know why I still have. For me Flylady is a huge help in this area. She's already helped me, in the last five years or so, to make big steps in this area, but there are certain things I keep falling off the wagon with. Mail still piles up, paper clutter is everywhere, sticky notes are everywhere (though this is getting better with Evernote, something you'll hear more about soon!), half-read books are everywhere, recipes and coupons are everywhere. I'm tired of the chaos!! And lastly, I'm going to work on the e-clutter, which (ironically) multiplies faster than the other types of clutter, and somehow makes me feel even more out of control of things. I actually shudder when I see "you have 5,403 emails in your inbox." And "you have 3,452 unread items in Google Reader." Emails I want to respond to get lost in the 10 or so "special offers," spam and other junk that flows freely through my inbox each day. Posts I want to read and respond to slide away each day. And like most people, I've got several inboxes, one of life's little ironies (exactly how many ways do we need for people to reach us?) So please share anything that works for you, and I will do the same.
And while I'm on this subject, technology (which is supposed to help us, right? ;-) is getting more overwhelming by the day. Does anyone else feel assaulted, from about 7 different directions, by electronic correspondence that it seems we're expected to keep up with minute-by-minute? It's great to have all these ways of keeping in touch, and don't get me wrong. I love hearing from friends and family any time. But lately it seems that it's just out of control. Between work email, work phone calls and voicemail, cell phone calls, text messages, picture mail, home phone calls, facebook postings, facebook messages, facebook chat, twitter, and regular old email (plus friendly-fire 'spam' from companies I really do want to hear from, just not six of them each day...) Then of course there are our blogs to post to, friends' blogs to read, contests and giveaways that are fun to join in, and oh yeah I should read a couple news headlines at least once a day...I have a hunch I'm not the only one feeling this way. Or if I am, please lie to me, okay? ;-) LOL!
If you're still reading, you probably know just where I'm coming from! Thanks for hanging in there. So...all of this is just to say, I refuse to give up or give in. With God's help and a LOT of support and love from my family and friends, I plan to get my act together and get a better attitude.
Just as soon as I have breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day, I hear!
So please speak up, let me know I'm not alone and you still love me, LOL! I need affirmation and I want to hear what works for you guys.
Love and hugs!
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