Doing Too Much

My mom is pretty awesome. Actually she’s more than pretty awesome, she’s flippin fantastic and could give any superhero a run for their money. Growing up I never really understood all that she did or how incredible it was. Now that I’m old enough to see the big picture I am blown away by her incredible inner strength and resolve to do everything. When I was growing up she worked full time as an RN, raised 4 children almost single-handedly, cooked most nights, kept the house in order, and ran a Sabbath School program every Saturday at church. That was in addition to getting each of the four of us to softball practice, piano lessons, and a myriad of school activities while helping us with homework most nights.

Today she works full-time, is raising my youngest brother, cooks every night, cleans, runs a Sabbath School program every Saturday, runs a Pathfinder program every week, and still manages to make time for gardening and writing and illustrating a book because she loves it! How does she do it? I haven’t figured it out yet. But she has unknowingly set the bar very high for me. I see everything that she accomplishes and I think I can do the same thing. Maybe its because she’s a mom and I’m not yet, I don’t know, but I fall far short of getting everything done that I would like to.

There are always a great multitude of things vying for my attention- my work, class, my animals, organizations I like to volunteer at, reading, working out, obstacle course racing, church, time with friends, etc. The list seems to grow weekly. With so much to do I usually find myself with my hand in everything and my whole heart in very little. There just isn’t enough energy or time for all that I would like to do. Simply put: I try to do too much. I always mean well , but often times more than one activity or project suffers because I can’t focus everything on just it. My time management skills continue to improve, but this generally leads to me simply taking on more responsibilities. Case and point- I agreed to pet sit/house sit for someone for 2 weeks while they are away on vacation, which would be fine except it is 4 dogs and I need to stay over there every night. This means my own 4 dogs don’t get the quality time with mom they are accustomed to in the evenings and there is a lot of necessary, but “dead” driving time between houses.

I am aware that this post may sound like a lot of whining, and some of it is, but most of it is just me taking a step back and realizing that as much as I would like to be sometimes, I am not my mom and I am not superwoman. I have limits and when I reach them (like now) I have to be able to tell people no and take time for me. I need to better prioritize my time and energy. I have learned the hard way now that there is such a thing as too much no matter how great you may think you are at getting stuff done.

Blogging After Way Too Long

It has been a long while since I blogged last. I finally started writing again a couple weeks ago, but stuck to my notebook. Probably because it was easiest and most familiar. In the beginning I wrote with a fervor and passion I haven’t felt in over a year. Thoughts and emotions poured out of me and I couldn’t seem to keep my hand from my pen. Now, the thoughts and emotions still come, but I find my hand seeking the pen less often. Why?

I honestly don’t really know. It makes no sense to me really, except that my mind is ever-going, never ceasing. I suspect that has some influence because my touch of OCD doesn’t like me mixing different trains of thoughts. They have  to be separated by paragraph and page breaks. But so many times those breaks mean short paragraphs that are aesthetically unpleasing and hard to return to.

I know myself well enough to admit that consistency is not part of my life right now, but I would like to think that my writing and blogging will become more present and often in the coming days and weeks. During my year of silence my desire to share my thoughts and feelings never left, my fear and self doubt simply overrode it.

I am very happy and proud of myself for the obstacles I have overcome to get to where I am now. I am excited about the doors God has opened for me and I look forward to what He still has in store. New things are on the horizon!

What Does Your Box Look Like? Part 1

It’s been almost exactly six months since Darla passed away. Six months since I realized that I was in love with a man who didn’t love me, care about me, or respect me.

Six months always sounds like such a long time when you talk about it in future terms, though generally not as much in hindsight. Back then I’d hoped that in six months the pain would be more bearable, less heart-wrenching, but now I think that was just naivety on my part. After all, how can you put a time limit on the healing process? The pain is no less heart-wrenching now than it was six months ago. Of course, I’d never have imagined then that so many changes could happen to one person, inside and out, in six month’s time, but they have.

What do you do when you find out the person you hold dearest is gone forever, without a goodbye? What do you do when you finally realize that the one person you have spent years supporting and loving with every ounce of your energy and feminine being doesn’t care about you? What do you do when you wake up one day and get hit with a thousand thoughts and emotions that challenge what you stand for, what you value, and who you are as a person?

I’m not the only person to have that happen, and I’m certain I won’t be the last. What makes me different, and yet in some instances similar, to those other people is how I reacted; how I’m still reacting. Some people cry and bury their head in the sand waiting for life to magically change itself and them. Others plod along saying that there’s nothing they can do to change it, it just is what it is and they are who they are so they should accept it.

Then there’s people like me. Men and women who cry, fall, pick themselves back up saying, “I accept this as the challenge it is,” and begin the painful process of changing into the person they want to be.

And it is a challenge. It is a challenge to you as an individual to become the person God created you to be, regardless of how radical a change it might be from where you’re at.  And when I say painful I mean earth-shattering, soul-shaking, rip-your-heart-out-and-watch-it-bleed painful that makes the circumstances that started all of it look like a cake walk.

 

Many, many people recognize the fact that their life isn’t where they want it to be. In fact, most of them feel stuck in a rut, either as one shunned by society or accepted into a certain mold. The problem on both sides is that they are afraid of what it will take to change! They look at it and say, “yes, I’m not happy with who I am or where I’m at, but at least this is familiar. Don’t challenge me to change, I don’t know what will happen.” In layman’s terms, they are too afraid to step out of the box, however lumpy, disfigured, small, or miserable that box may be.

Before the circumstances that challenged me at that level happened I felt the same way. I wanted to change, but I didn’t really know how. I wanted where I lived and what I was doing to be different, but I was in such a mental, emotional, and financial rut I didn’t have a clue how to start getting out. My box had been torn and taped back together and rained on so many times it looked like a piece of cardboard the dog had tried to eat, but couldn’t swallow, tried to lay in, but couldn’t fit, and finally peed on and left alone!

But God is so good! He gave me the resources, the strength, the courage, and the light to step out of that box completely, brush off my hands, and walk away hand-in-hand with Him. I had to say, “Ok, God, I’m ready to let You handle my life.” And only then did I realize that God doesn’t want me to be in a rut or a box at all.