The Crazy Busy Life: How to slow down when you can’t slow it down.

Ylkphotography
 Life is truly going by in a hurry lately. I started back to work last week, which of course was bitter sweet, but surprisingly much more sweet than bitter. I’m beyond grateful to be able to stay home most days with my sweet baby #3 and still squeeze in the luxury of human interaction a few work days a week. Not a bad deal. But, none the less adding work into the mix has made my busy life busier.

I’m not one to like being busy. I’d much prefer a lot of boredom than action. Busy tends to equal stress in my experience. But, the thing is I don’t have much choice anymore. Taking care of 5 people, myself included, means there’s a lot going on most of the time. Sitting down is a vacation I embark on at 9:00 at night, 30 minutes before bed. All the rest is just a lot of “doing”.

The funny thing is that I’m actually enjoying  this crazy new lifestyle… For the most part anyway. To be honest I’m surprised by how much I like it. Knowing myself as the introvert that I am, in regular need of quiet down time, I’m perplexed as to why I haven’t imploded with anxiety yet…. what exactly is keeping me sane in the midst of this insane life of taking care of 3 kids, 1 husband, 1 job, 1 self, family, and friendships? That’s the question of the night…

To be honest – I don’t really know. But if I had to take a guess it would be this –

1) Stay in the moment.

It is so incredibly easy to get caught up in what’s NEXT. The next thing on the list, the next task to be done, the next place to go, the next thing to do, the next, the next, the next. There is always something next. When I’m focused on what’s coming next, I find myself uber stressed, irritable, frustrated, angry even. It’s like I’m resentful of everything going on because I just can’t get to a quiet calm place. The “next” is getting in the way of that. Or! If I can be present to the “busy” as it’s happening I find that I do enjoy it more, even when it’s hectic, loud, and hurried.

2) Embrace the interruption.

My day, and night (hello, I have a newborn), is one big interruption. I can’t have even one thought without someone, say a 5 or 3 year old, butting in with a question that could most reasonably be answered by anyone else but, of course mama mama mama is the name of the hour. Every hour. If I get annoyed by this, and believe me I often do, then I’d be setting myself up for a lifetime of frustration. The interruption and disruption isn’t going to stop any time soon, so I may as well accept it. Embrace it. It won’t last forever. The kids will grow and when they do I will definitely miss it.
 
I’ve been surprised that with each addition of a child into our home I’ve found myself chilling out a little more. I still freak out, like a lot, in a different way. I just can’t take myself too seriously. I’m a mess most days. I make bad mom choices, I forget things constantly, and I’m late to pretty much everything. If you knew me before kids, you’d know this would have sent me straight to anxiety hell. But now I’ll just text you a warning ahead of time – I’ll be there but, most likely I won’t be on time. Deal with it.

The lesson that I’m learning is that peace and calm aren’t found by doing less, they’re found by paying attention more to what is happening right here, right now. It all goes by so fast; I know I don’t want to miss it.


Photo credit belongs to YLK Photography

How Was Your Day? New & Improved

There a few things I would like to do with my carpool line sign.

None of which are appropriate for publishing on this blog. Those of you who have read my previous posts know how much I adore waiting in the sweltering hot sun (sans my cell phone) to pick up my little cherub.
 If you feel the way I do about carpool line, you might be planning to use your sign as kindling for a summer bonfire or for the environmentally conscious reader, recycle it....but don't do that just yet.

I have an idea that beats recycling it….but first, let’s talk about the one part of carpool I actually do enjoy: greeting my  sweet little man after a long day at school. 

Typically I ask the same standard question as he climbs into the back seat: “How Was Your Day?” Only to hear him mumble back the even more standard answer: “Good.”  

You know the drill… I continue to hopelessly probe with questions that usually end in “YES or NO”….and if your child is anything like mine, the token answer for “What did you learn at school today?” is “Nothing”.

NOTHING?? What??? REALLY???  I know for a fact that you learned A LOT today and I know that your teacher is amazing… So this answer is just not gonna fly with me today.

Back side of Carpool LIne sign
Front side of carpool line sign

After pondering the uber frustrating carpool phenomenon of “I did nothing today!”, I decided to change my approach for next year.  I have found a few more specific questions that I plan to have conveniently pasted on the back of the car pool sign, so I can get the real scoop about his day. Yes..some of the questions are gross…BUT you might actually learn A LOT by asking them.. Maybe even more than you bargained for.

If you aren’t crafty, (or don’t own a laminator), I have another suggestion that has helped me a time or two….

PITS AND PEAKS!!!

When your kiddo climbs into the back seat, ask him/her to tell you about their PIT (the absolute worst thing that happened during the day) and their PEAK (the absolute best thing that happened).

You will be amazed by how much information this simple question yields. It is at least a great way to get a conversation started.  Happy last day of school!

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some days i just need a few more hours

The last few weeks have felt like a race.

life is not a race

End of school projects, events and parties. Wrapping up sports…I am not sure why I broke my one sport each rule. Wait, yes I do, so they can find their favorite. A packed work schedule, plus travel for a 3 day conference. Not to mention Mother’s day festivities and a staycation weekend with my hubby. I did not get to make it to dinner with my tribe one night because both kids had to be on separate parts of town at the same time. I did not finish the craft project for sister’s nursery. I haven’t seen my BFF in months and I need some guacamole! I have not been eating as healthy as I’d like and I sure have not been making it to yoga. My house looks very lived in and we are expecting a letter from the HOA any day about the weeds in the flower bed. Some days I just need more hours in the day.

I laid in bed last night with my mind racing of the many to-dos I need and want to do. I laid in bed last night feeling guilty I have not been present enough for those I cherish the most. I laid in bed wondering if I should just get up and get to work. I laid in bed wishing I had a maid and lawn service on call. I laid in bed wishing I just had more help. I laid in bed wondering if my priorities are off. I laid in bed wishing there were more hours to the day so I can just catch up.

This is all very convicting because if you have been following me I am all about showing up, not glorifying being busy and setting priorities. Okay, so my dilemma is ALL this is a priority. My marriage, being a mom, being a good therapist, being a good sister, being a good friend, growing my business, staying mentally health, staying physically healthy. With all this comes being real, honest, and authentic. This is all convicting because even though these are my priorities and I preach this all the time to others, it is hard. This is a day I could use just a few more hours.

Today I am feeling a bit defeated.

Today I am feeling sad.

Today I am feeling overwhelmed.

Today I am feeling like a failure.

Today I am feeling tired.

Today I must take one step at a time.

be present

Today is a refresher course of being in the fire. Today I gain wisdom about myself, my relationships, my goals, my priorities.

Today I dig for strength to put one step in front of the other. Wake up, get up, put on my makeup, one step in front of the other. I dig for strength to show up, my kids need me as they are a bit run down from all the rush rush lately too. I dig for strength to trust that even my though my marriage is not perfect, we are forgiving of one another for times of disconnection and discontent. I dig for strength to show up for my client’s as they work on their story.

be kind

I am reminded that I must be kind to myself. Another reminder to practice what I preach. Be kind and loving. Kindness comes from a practice of mindfulness to not allow all the self-sabotage talk to soak in. Kindness is reminding myself that perfection is an illusion, perfectly imperfect is the goal. Taking one step at a time is good enough.

Today has been hard.

I pray tomorrow is better.

Right now I will pray, I will rest, I will reset.

Mother’s Day Hangover

I woke up with a hangover Monday.

A Mother’s day hangover.

Before the 5:30 alarm went off my mind was racing with all that had to get done since I “took the day off” for Mother’s Day.  As I had mentioned I did not want breakfast in bed, I knew our day consisted of football games and basketball games, leaving my main request for a Mambo taxi by the end of the day.

How did the day actually go down?

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sometimes you have to push the RESET button

I didn’t want to get out bed this morning

I just wanted another couples hours sleep

snooze sleep

I had to get up

now its a ponytail hair day since there is not enough time to wash it

kids are up

nope

youngest’s alarm didn’t go off so rush to wake him up

have I mentioned yet how hard it is to get him up some mornings?

he’s up!

but now having a meltdown since he slapped himself in the face with a coat hanger

Kids are at school on time!

rush home to shove some breakfast down and grab something from fridge for lunch

pour coffee in to go cup even though it’s cold now

time to get on the road for the hour commute to the office

crap, not enough gas to get to work

quick stop at gas station

nope…

1st pump was broken, have to wait in line for one that works

gas is pumping so it’s time to clean out the trash

open back of truck to find oldest’s baseball bag

the one he needs for his 6pm game

tonight

the 6pm game I don’t plan to be at since it is my late night at the office

immediately decided to not call hubby to tell him

believe me, it is easier this way

I don’t have time to meet him or run it back to house

the game will go on.

On the road

refresh Waze

waze navigation app
have I mentioned this one of my top 5 apps?

I will be at office with 3 minutes to spare before my first is scheduled to arrive

I’m stressed as I hate to be late but there is nothing else I can do

traffic is not in my control

turn up the radio and enjoy some me time

success, I beat WAZE by 5 minutes

I have 8 minutes to press my Rest button

reset button

We all need to stop and push our RESET button sometimes