Monday, January 14, 2013

A Different How-To

Want a quick way to feel bad about yourself?

Well, sure.  Who doesn't?

Just follow these simple steps that I've been following in my own life.

Step 1:  Assess all the areas in your life that need improvement.

For me, these areas need improvement:
  • Organization in my house
  • Cleanliness of my house
  • Meal planning
  • Recipe variation
  • Finances
  • Health
  • My appearance
  • Home improvement
  • Mothering
  • Therapy for Griffin (Asperger's)

Step 2:  Set specific goals to improve these areas.

For me, these are some of the 5,432 goals I set at once:
  • Follow some program to organize my house room by room
  • Set up and follow a cleaning schedule to keep my house immaculate at all times
  • Plan meals on a weekly or monthly basis
  • Try 1-2 new recipes per week
  • Learn how to match up sales and coupons to get cheap and free groceries and necessities
  • Set up a budget and follow it
  • Somehow cut spending from our already strict budget
  • Somehow get to fully restored health after nearly one full year of health issues
  • Lose 10 more pounds
  • Tone up my whole body before our beach vacation in June
  • Refinish our wood floors or install carpeting over old ones
  • Repaint kitchen cabinets and replace countertops
  • Spruce up our house to get ready to sell it
  • Stop yelling at my kids and learn better parenting techniques
  • Figure out which resources will be best for Griffin and begin therapy
  • Oh, and try to be more relaxed

Step 3:  Spend hours on the internet reading about people who have mastered all the areas you're striving to improve.

I spent days with dozens of tabs open on my computer, jumping from blog to blog to read about women who have award-winning houses, plan months of meals at a time using ingredients that they bought for next to nothing, all while raising children who are super polite, clean up after themselves, never cry, and the whole family loves Jesus.  Then I became keenly aware of real women in my own world who also seem to be succeeding in the areas where I'm struggling.  Then I got on Pinterest to find good visuals of everything I should be doing but I'm not.

Step 4:  Compare yourself to other people to see just how far behind you're falling.

Don't waste time justifying the differences ("They're older than I am.  They experience the trade-off that comes with having two incomes.  They have fewer children.  She spends all her free time exercising.  She can afford all the gadgets, bins, labels, and space to organize everything.")  Just stick to feeling the weight of knowing that everyone else is doing what you can't seem to do.  And don't look for other areas where you're already doing well.  We're just trying to focus on weaknesses here.

How did you do?  Did you follow along to meet me in this place of complete insecurity?   

Ok, so I can identify how I got here.  I can even joke about it.  But I'm still working on how to stop spinning my wheels and get out of this mess.  I've been trying to follow my own advice to "just do something" each day.  The problem is that I'm trying to do something about everything on my list.

I can feel that I'm right at the edge of burnout.  I know it.  I need to simplify my life.  I need to say "no" to a few things and cut out some things.  I just don't know what. 

My pastor is preaching a series that is speaking directly to me.  I seem to have misplaced my notes from last week, but I'll share them if I find them.  Last week, he said something like, "You don't have time to do everything, but you have enough time to do what God has planned for you." 

I think there are changes on the horizon for me.  I'm not sure what.  I think I may have to shift my focus, even away from things I actually want to focus on.  I need time to get my footing with Griffin's treatment.  I need to figure out how far I'm willing to push my body and how much I'm willing to do for my house.  I don't want to lose touch with people and activities that are important to me.  I hate thinking about stepping away from things I love, like crafts and some activities.  But I know I can't juggle everything.  I have to let God help me sift through things and work on what's most important for this season of my life.

I don't see myself cutting out blogging altogether, so I'll still meet you here.  :)  As I work on figuring all this out, I actually hope that you don't find yourself in the same place.  I'll share better how-to's in the future.


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