Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 5: Realistic goals

I realize that this is not actually day 5 and that it should be day 8, but the weekend happened and sometimes all the time it is more important to get tied up in spending time with your family and having fun than it is to blog. 

I had a great weekend.  Went out with a friend Friday night for dinner and drinks, cleaned the house with the help of my handsome husband Saturday and cooked dinner that night, and Sunday we have a weekly tradition of grilling steaks and watching a movie at home.  It's my favorite night!

During this time of hanging out with my family and getting stuff accomplished around the house, I realized that I was constantly thinking about what my next daily challenge should be.  I was being so hard on myself about it, that I was having a hard time staying in the moment and enjoying my family.  Then, I realized how silly that was.

I started thinking about how often I felt I should be doing something more.  I am my own worst critic.  I am so mean to myself!  I wouldn't put the pressure I put on myself on anyone else, so why do I feel the need to put it on myself?  I know it's good to challenge yourself, and it's good to have goals, but it's also good to realize that you're not perfect...and that it's okay to not be perfect.

I realized that I hold myself to such a high standard, that it is literally impossible to meet that standard.  In my head, I have a million things I feel I should be doing, and because it is seriously not even almost possible to get all of it done in a day, I feel like I've failed. 

Nick knows this better than anyone, but when I feel overwhelmed, instead of sorting out what needs to be done in order of importance, I tend to just give up and not do any of it.  We started cleaning this weekend, and I felt like there was so much to be done that I didn't know where to start.  I think Nick must have seen that all-too-familiar look on my face, because he handed me a trash sack, and told me exactly where to start.  He knows me so well. 

So, I need to start setting realistic goals for myself.  I am not superwoman but I am also not a failure.  Setting unrealistic goals can sure make you feel that way in a hurry, though.  I have a full plate, and not everything is going to get done every day.  It's okay.  It'll be there tomorrow.

“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” -African Proverb

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 4: Making plans

Today, I worked with my sweet friend, Margaret.  I absolutely love her.  We have a lot in common.  She's my age, has an insanely cute little boy around Grayson's age and another baby on the way.  She is almost finished with nursing school, and I am so happy for her.  She will be a fantastic nurse.

Margaret is also a Christian.  She is one of those people who can walk into a room, and just her presence alone makes you want to be a better person.  She's always smiling, has an amazing attitude, and handles stress with such grace.  I truly believe there are very few people in the world like her.

We were talking about my plans for nursing school, and I realized that I really didn't have any solid plans.    Honestly, I feel a little lost and very confused as to what I have left to do, and even where I want to go.

I think I'm scared.  Nursing school is no joke.  It's hard.  It's exhausting.  It consumes a HUGE amount of your time.  I think because I know my limits, I know that working full time is out of the question for me while going through nursing school. 

I am so thankful for Nick's job.  It will allow me to go to school without having to worry about working full time.  We will certainly have to be more conservative with our finances, but we can definitely afford it.  For the past few years, my excuse for not tackling school head on was the fact that we couldn't afford for me to work part time or prn.

On day one, my challenge was no more excuses.  By the end of next week, I hope to meet with an academic advisor and finalize my plans for nursing school.  There is no reason that I shouldn't.  I really don't have anymore excuses.

God has always always always provided for us, even when it seemed hopeless.  He has always been faithful.  I look back to the past couple of years when we were basically surviving on my income, and I have no idea how we did it.  I know that over the next couple of years, He will continue to provide for us.

Margaret offered me a lot of encouragement today, and she really made me think.  I am so thankful for people like her who make me strive to be a better person. 

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 3: Facing Fears

I had my appointment today to talk with the doctor about starting back on my ADD medication.  This was a tough one.  I said previously that it bothers me that my brain doesn't function the way other people's brains do.  It does bother me...but it is also just kinda who I am. 

I mean...I'm Cyndi.  That's it.  I'm crazy, talkative, disorganized, and scatter-brained.  I'm kind of charming in my own way, though, right???  Anyone?  Anyone? *crickets chirping*

Okay, but for real.  I want to be able to get things in my life in order, and I will, but I don't want to lose part of who I am in the process.  It scares me.

The doctor also talked to me today about how ADD goes along with depression and anxiety sometimes.  She was asking me all kinds of questions.  I'm not depressed, although I have dealt with some depression in the past,  however, when she brought up anxiety, it really hit me hard.  It wasn't something that I was expecting to deal with today.

I have always dealt with anxiety.  Always.  It's such a huge part of my day to day life, that I don't really know what it would be like to be without it.  If there is anything I am good at (beside making excuses) it is worrying.  I tell you what, if I didn't have something to worry about I don't know what I would do all day!

I really had a hard time speaking with her about this.  I guess when she mentioned it I starting thinking about my life, and after really talking about all of it with her I realized just how constant my anxiety is.  I also realized how much worse it had gotten over the past few months.

We have dealt with a lot of changes recently, and that always throws my anxiety into over-drive, with Nick's job being the biggest change.  His hours leave him driving home late at night, and I hate it.  He leaves work at 2:00 am, right when bars are closing.  Him being on the road so late is my biggest source of anxiety. 

I remember in high school, I would hear my parents leave for work in the morning, and I would start praying.  I would pray and pray and pray that nothing bad would happen to them that day, and I would keep praying until my mom would text me to let me know she made it to work.  I have struggled with fears like this for a long time.  Much longer than I should have.

All of this was multiplied and made a gazillion times worse when I happen to come up on that terrible accident that killed my friend's son.  Since then, I have literally had a daily struggle to keep from breaking down whenever I know Nick is driving late.  This kind of fear is so unhealthy.  It's immobilizing.  The thoughts that haunt me every night are horrible.  And I'm over it.

I can't even begin to imagine the feeling of being free from this crap that has held me back for so long.  I know that God is not the one putting those horrible thoughts into my head.  I know He has more planned for my life than that.  I know that He doesn't want this holding me back from the amazing things he has in store for me.

So, I started back on my ADD medicine, but she also prescribed me an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medicine that will hopefully help control my anxiety.  I'm excited and I am so thankful that my doctor made me talk to her about it today.

I guess we can say that day 3 of this challenge was about facing my fears.  It needed to be done.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." -2 Timothy 1:7

Goodnight, y'all!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 2: Put down the phone!

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” -William Penn

Today, I'm tired. 

I worked a 12 hour shift and although it wasn't a bad day, it had a very busy ending.  It always seems to get super busy within the last 2 hours of work.  Always.

I got home this afternoon to a tired, teething baby, and a wound up, ready to play 4 year old.  All I wanted to do was sit for a minute.  However, my minute always turns into an hour, and my hour turns into the whole evening, and before you know it, it's time for bed and I haven't done a thing.

Yesterday, my challenge was no more excuses, so I started thinking about what excuses I have been using to allow myself to waste my evenings away.  I realize that I am forever and always saying, "I just don't have time!"  As a matter of fact, it seems to be one of my favorite excuses.

Yes, I am busy.  I am a full time student, and I have a full time job, and with Nick's crazy work hours a lot of the time I am juggling two kids by myself.  However, somehow I find a ton of time each day to play on my phone.  I have time to check facebook, instagram, postsecret, failbook, text messages, my email, pinterest, facebook again...

None of these things are bad, but when I am choosing to spend time on my phone instead of spending that time with my kids, there is a problem.  It's amazing how my phone can make me feel so connected to the outside world, yet completely isolate me from the people who want and need me the most. 

So tonight, I put down my phone and played with my kids.  We rolled a ball around the living room, I wasted a whole roll of toilet paper wrapping Grayson up like a mummy and letting him chase me around the house, and then I let him "cook".  Eggs, red and green frosting, ketchup, mustard, Cheetos, half of a hot dog, salt, pepper, pieces of the egg carton, and plastic baggies were all included in the ingredients for his "bad gingerbread man". 

It was nice to let him get a little messy and have fun.  He really enjoyed getting to spend some silly time with me.  Nothing is more important than little moments like that...certainly not facebook.

I am going to make sure that I am getting at least one hour of uninterrupted playtime with my kids every night.  I need it as much as they do!  They're only little once, and time really does go by so fast.

Also, nothing is better than seeing this sweet little smile!

Time is precious.
"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." -Eph. 5:15-16

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 1: No excuses!

Well, today started day 1 of my 31 day challenge, and sure enough I woke up this morning FULL of excuses as to why I should put it off until the start of next month.

I am the queen of excuses.  I can excuse my way out of any situation.  Need help with a good excuse?  Come see me; I have plenty to share!

I wasn't really sure what I was going to do on day one, and after waking up and coming up with one million, five hundred seventy-three thousand, nine hundred twenty-two excuses why I should NOT start my challenge today, it came to me!  No more excuses.

It is so easy to decide to be complacent.  Mediocre, if you will.  Mediocrity is easy.  It's acceptable.  Most of all, it's safe.  I can choose to do what I've always done, and not take any risks, and stay safe in my little bubble, or I can choose to become a better version of myself. 

I started thinking back to the reason I felt the need to do this challenge, and my son popped into my head.  Sweet, precious boy.  He's my reason.  I am so disorganized, that I spend a good part of my day looking for stuff.  I wake up to take a shower and I have to look for a towel.  I have to look for clothes to wear.  I have to look for my hair brush.  I have to look for my keys.  It's really ridiculous.  Add in 2 kids to the mix, who also need to be bathed and dressed, and I spend a good part of my day not only looking for stuff, but griping at my child in the process.

The other day after looking for my purse all over the house, Grayson asked me a question.  He hadn't done anything wrong.  I lost my own purse.  However, when he sweetly asked me to put in his movie, I snapped at him.  He said, "Mommy, why are you talking ugly to me?  You hurt my feelings."

Instant guilt.

This isn't the first time this has happened.  Or the second.  Or the third.  Matter of fact, it happens multiple times a day.  I am so disorganized and scatter-brained that I spend a good amount of time frustrated, and my poor son is the one who takes the brunt of it. 

Part of my disorganization has to do with being off of my ADD medication.  I stopped taking it when I found out I was pregnant with Tenley, and haven't gotten back on it yet.  It's hard for me to admit that I'm not "normal".  It's frustrating that my brain doesn't function the way other people's brains function.  I have made hundreds of excuses as to why I didn't need to be on my medicine, but the simple fact is that I do need it.  So, today I set up a doctor's appointment so that I can start it back up.

Also, today I decided that I would stop making excuses as to why I couldn't help with housework.  My sweet husband does so much.  Without him, I would never have clean clothes.  The dishes would still be piled in the sink, the floors wouldn't be mopped, the trash wouldn't be taken out, and the kids' toys would be all over the place.  He does it all! 

We both work and we both go to school and somehow, he is the only one doing anything around the house.  He does it without ever complaining, even though I know it bothers him.  I also know that it would make him super happy to come home to a clean house on occasion. 

Tonight that will happen!  I washed the dishes, cleaned off the counter, swept and mopped the floor in the kitchen and living room, started some laundry, and took out the trash.  Grayson helped by picking up his toys.  Tenley helped by sitting there looking cute.  You know what surprised me the most?  We had fun!  Grayson and I sang along to Taylor Swift songs, and we danced and laughed the whole time!  I think I got more quality time with him tonight than I have in awhile.  Amazing.

So, that's day one.  No more excuses.  I feel great about what I accomplished today, and I know Nick will be happy when he gets home tonight.  There are even chocolate chip cookies waiting for him on the stove.  :-)

Just call me Suzy Homemaker!

Change is good.

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." -Romans 12:2

Goodnight, my friends!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Making a change...

Do you ever feel like a total failure? 

I do.  Every day.

I wear many hats.  I'm a wife, mother, Christian, full time student, full time employee, daughter, sister, friend...and the list continues.  I have so many roles, and there is no way that I can be perfect at any of them, much less all of them, and certainly not when I am playing many of these roles at the same time.  I am human, after all.

The logical side of me knows that I have to give myself some slack...but that dang voice in the back of my head keeps telling me that I just need to push harder, try harder, do more.  I hate that voice.

Lately, however, I have really been struggling with feelings of total inadequacy.  We have had many changes in our family over the past few months.  Nick got a new job and his hours are crazy, Grayson started preschool, college classes started up again, and we have a toddler at home (yes, she is 9 months old, but we are still adjusting to a new family member.)  All of this has left me feeling like I can never just catch up and take a breath.  I feel defeated at the end of every day, and I feel like I am always leaving stuff undone.

I have been reading a few blogs, and I have some friends who have been taking a '31 Day Challege' to living a more intentional life.  I didn't really know what they would be doing when I initially heard about this, and I truly thought at the time that there was no way I could add yet another thing to my already overflowing daily schedule, so I didn't join in but I was interested in seeing how things went for them.  Needless to say, I have been totally inspired!

Reading and hearing about some of the things they have been doing, and things they are changing in their lives and the difference it has been making is amazing.  They are truly working toward living intentionally, and they seem happier, healthier and more content.

I know I missed the October 1st start date, but I think if I were to use that as an excuse as to why I shouldn't do it, I would be missing out on something that can definitely make a difference in my life, and more importantly, in the life of my family members.  I need to make some changes, and there is no better way to be held accountable, than to post it for all of you to see!

One of my biggest and most driving forces for doing this is my son.  My sweet, beautiful, amazing little boy is growing up right before my eyes, and I feel like I'm missing all of it.  I'm so busy and so distracted by stuff that doesn't matter that I am losing precious time with him that I can never and will never get back.  He will grow up. I can't stop that no matter how badly I want to.  But I can make a decision right now to do everything in my power to make sure that he grows up knowing that he was loved.

So, starting on Monday, October 22nd, I will be revamping my life.  Over the next few days, I am going to make a list of things that are holding me back in life, and I will tackle them one day at a time.  I will be thinking of things that keep me tossing and turning at night, and I will change them.  No more excuses. 

Join me?  It's always easier with the buddy system.  If you aren't ready to join me, then please pray for me and encourage me.  I am so excited to see the changes at the end of the 31 days!