Today I skipped getting up earlier than my earliest riser. I regret this. Sometimes our kids are slow to getting up. I get it. That was me. I decided to sleep just a little longer thinking it would be beneficial. But I am finding (I have only been doing this parenting thing 19 years 😉 that rising before my kids is a billion times better than rushing and feeling frantic as I try to get kids out the door fully dressed, fed and with all the pieces they need for their day like water bottle, glasses, etc.
Yesterday I woke earlier, read my encouraging devotional book and walked a mile in the cool morning as the sun was coming up. Today I did not do that. I was rushing. Kids were rushing. Thus leading to meltdown over shoes. Our youngest likes to wear these croc like shoes without socks and often removes them after school while driving in the van and we all get the pleasure of inhaling moldy cheese odor. Anyways this morning I put foot powder in there to help but he can be sensitive to different, anything different in routine, textures etc. Starting the day with a battle is never bueno.
So finally got him in the car and as he is getting out I notice he forgot his glasses. Ugh another thing to add to my overwhelming long mental to do list.
I notice in my spirit that this day has the potential to be uber frustrating unless I change up my thoughts. I gotta flip the script. I know I don’t need more stress since just yesterday I felt the physical effects of anxiety like racing heart and the need to focus on my breath. Anytime anxiety rears its ugly head it can be unnerving especially if I haven’t felt it in a while. I often rack my brain as to why I am feeling this way. It helps me to see that it’s normal to feel anxious with all that is going on. Of course I don’t want to feel these physical things but helps me realize my body needs me to slow down and be gracious to myself. I can forget that we just moved across the country just 3 months ago. So there is a lot of new and unknown. I am thankful to know the city since this is home. But new house, new schools for all 4 kids, new job for Jeremy, new rhythms to figure out since this it has been 4 years since my middle too have been in school, new family rhythm with Jeremy being gone a lot with his job, new church, new friends (but also so thankful for old friends), new Little League, new yard (dogs don’t have the expanse to run and be free and out of my hair), new neighbors etc. I also have to remember I am an empath and that I can easily feel other people’s stuff and so it can be easy to hold others’ stress.
Before I share how I am flipping the script- I gotta share the internal dialogue that needed to be flipped. Some of the thoughts:
- I should be unpacked by now.
- Why am I not unpacked? All the kids are in school. I should have time
- Why is my house a disaster?
- Why can’t I keep up?
- Why is it so hard to keep flat surfaces clutter free? (my friend jokes that they want only slanted dresser tops/counters tops so clutter can accumulate) I wanted to include a picture but trying to remember how to do that was more mental energy that I wanted to expend.
- How long will that unfolded load sit on my kitchen table?
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with my physical space feels chaotic. They say outer clutter certainly contributes to inner clutter. But I have to be careful that I don’t guilt or shame myself over it. We have lots of kiddos. They have 1 extra curricular thing each but times by 3 that’s a lot. I have 2 dogs that need walks and watching. Like yesterday I came home to find a glass cup of smoothie shattered on the floor with no evidence of smoothie because our dog licked it all up but still needed to clean it up.
So I had noticed I need to flip the internal dialogue script so that anxiety doesn’t reign. I knew I needed to focus on where I am winning instead where I feel I am losing. I have enjoyed this practice mentally and sometimes I will get out my gratitude journal and list the wins. So for today, some wins:
- I sent my youngest to school with a smile and feeling connected
- I planned dinner for tonight and tomorrow night. (sometimes a week feels like too much effort;)
- I bought groceries for those meals.
- I found chicken on sale and put it in freezer bags and put it away.
- I washed and dried a load of laundry. The folding and put away is often where I stall out. I used to just wash stuff and would not dry and end up rewashing the funky smelly stuff. So I am progressing.
- I picked up a photo from Walgreens for my daughter’s project
- I am baking a batch of cookies to mail to my daughter. (moving past the fact that first batch looked horrible- I think because I had the convection fan on)
- I am writing!!! This is a huge win for several reasons. I love the therapeutic/cathartic value of it. I hope to write books one day and I know this takes the discipline of daily writing. And the biggest win is that I hope that this encourages someone out there.
- Prayed for a young lady who feels like she doesn’t want to live. Praying she feels hope and joy today.
So 3 things that have helped to shift my outlook on today:
- Listing the “wins”
- Turning on praise music. My recent fav: Fear is not my Future by Maverick City
- Thinking and praying for others
What I can do to help tomorrow be more peaceful:
- Go to bed earlier
- Get up before the kids
- Walk/exercise before they wake
- Ignore the giant mental and written to do list
- Instead write on a post it 3 simple tasks to do for my fam and 3 things to nurture myself
P.S the worst thing would be if you read this and then beat yourself up for what your day looks like. Never compare yourself to others. Someone (not sure who;) said- Comparison is the thief of joy.
So if you look at my wins and then think you suck because your wins are different or fewer then that would be the opposite of my hope for you. We are all on different paths and different points on our journeys. I remember some days as a young mama where most of my day was spent nursing and rocking my baby while I watched a ton of Dr. Phil (not even sure that is still on). That was enough. Way more than enough. I remember reading in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality that we will all die with unfinished to do list. Tasks will always be there.
Let today be about what matters. Being present to those you love. Loving others and loving yourself. Being a conduit of God’s light and love. And if you do anything else- it’s a bonus 😉