I have been deep in thought lately about my life and the way I spend my time. I’m not happy about it so I’m going to change my course—-immediately. Not slowly over time, but right this second.
Two books that are inspiring me on this journey towards changing my life and the way I spend my time is:
The worn out woman: When your life is full and your spirit is empty by Dr. Steve Stephens and Alice Gray
Daily Steps to Living God’s Plan for you: Small Changes to a better life by Elizabeth George.
For most of my life I’ve prided myself on being a workhouse. I get a lot done. My husband has at times referred to me as a machine. I can churn it out. Get it done. Never mind that I’m exhausted. Never mind that I’m unhappy. Never mind that I skip meals to cram in everything I need to do in a day.
My perfectionism, guilt, exhaustion, unrealistic expectations of myself and the lifestyle I have created are wearing me out and sapping my joy. I don’t even have time to write anymore and that feeds my soul.
So I decided to change things and then I just did. I’m cutting back and I’m cutting out. The specifics don’t matter right now. The fact is that I did it…and it felt good. I felt giddy. Even if everyone else was standing around scratching their heads. What I cut out was apparently what they thought of as a luxury. I thought of it as a noose around my neck. Slowly strangling me and weighing me down. Keeping me away from what I really wanted and valued. Allowing me to have time to fill up with other things that kept me from what I believe I am called to do, first.
It felt good to just make the leap, but I will admit that one of the reasons I didn’t exactly get a round of applause is my timing appears (on the outside) to be a tad off. You see I’m in the middle of a major move and construction project.
What? You are probably thinking. Didn’t you just build a house and move? Well, yes. I did. I suppose you could say that while some dream of custom building, others dream of having a fixer upper. Apparently we couldn’t choose so we just custom built our own fixer upper!
The dream house we built was a scene out of Mr. Blandings builds his dream house. If you haven’t seen that movie, rent it and have a laugh on me. Cary Grant is in it. What more do you need to know?
So yes, I’m packing up a house during the month of Christmas with 5 kids, including a 5 month old baby. I am homeschooling. I am overseeing construction/repairs, I am moving into much smaller quarters temporarily and I’m putting most of my earthly belongings into storage. Again.
I’m going to use this situation to attempt to channel Paul (the one from the Holy Bible). I am going to work on learning to be content in all situations (Philipians 4:10-13) and circumstances. I am going to learn to live with imperfection. To live with a bit of chaos and disorder. To realize I cannot do it all and so some things just aren’t going to get done.
But most of all, I’m going to be happy. I’m going to laugh again. I’m going to have time to smell the roses and I’m going to enjoy my children instead of my perfectionism. Instead of my list of accomplishments and Things to do. I’m going to find satisfaction in the things that no one can see. You know the things you just keep having to do over and over again each day as a homemaker and mother.
Do you want to join me?
I’m also going to channel the inner Professional Organizer in me and give you encouragement, tools, and laugh out loud stories (and maybe video) along the way…because let’s face it. I’m going to need encouragement and reminders that this is all going to be worth it.
…and I do believe it is.