Too many programs running at the same time
Programs that typically run smoothly stutter as requests are made
The automatic programs need prompting
Error messages stop me in my tracks
Productivity is at a standstill
There’s only one real option:
pull the plug hit the reset button
Somehow, my life has mimicked a stubborn computer–unwilling to budge, refusing to perform tasks, with giant error messages flashing in front of me. At the risk of taking this analogy too far…my task manager needs to be opened, programs need to be ended and the reset button pushed.
Something happened in October, because when I look back at September things were good. I worked out harder than I have in years. I ate healthier foods. I lost 15 pounds. I taught my children lessons at home. We played. We laughed. We danced. I planned meals and snacks. My pantries were organized and my floor was mopped. I sailed into October with high expectations, which fizzled out somewhere along the way. I can’t really pinpoint the exact reasons. We had some difficult moments in our family…including the loss of my grandma.
But my husband is likely correct when he said we need to stop scheduling so many things. Perhaps I got a wee bit carried away when we ended up with something scheduled every weekend from September 22 until October 20. Following those 5 weekends, I spent the weekend of October 27 at home…making 5 costumes and embarking on the massive summer/winter clothing exchange of 2012. Rounding out this last week of October…Trunk or Treat on Monday night, Pumpkin Patch on Tuesday night, 4-hour round trip to visit family on Wednesday followed by a few trick or treating stops, Baby Shower on Thursday afternoon which will likely be replaced by Senior Football Dinner, Senior Night on Friday, Family Pictures on Saturday (been discussing these with my photographer friend basically since the weekend the kids moved in…but hey, I’ll go ahead and try to get outfits figured out the night before or the morning of!), Birthday Party on Sunday….
Yeah. Maybe Rob is right. Scheduling a few too many things.
I like activity. I like a full calendar. In fact, I have hung on to a few old calendars* just to look back with fondness on my busy, fun life. I have a Ziggy calendar from my senior year in high school…filled with athletic events, band contests, academic tournaments and there’s probably an occasional social event written in glittery gel pen. During my senior year of college I was the co-chair of the homecoming committee. I also completed practicum hours for my special education degree, worked as an RA in the dorm, and made time for social events sans glittery gel pen (I think). And it’s not like Rob didn’t know what he was getting into when he married me. I have that calendar, too. Monday night bible study, Tuesday night basketball or bible study again, Wednesday night confirmation class, Thursday night Weight Watchers (oops…should have stuck with that a bit better) and Friday night basketball. Working full time, spending quality time with my little sisters, helping to care for my grandmother, and maintaining enough of a social life that I snagged an amazing guy.
Then a year ago we adopted these amazing kids. Yes, they are amazing and it is simply the way God made them. It is because of his protection and provision. Because of people on our side of the story praying for our children before we ever knew them…and because of people on their side of the story praying for parents to say yes to the five of them. It is not by any perfection in parenting that we ended up with great kids. It’s just because God loves us enough to give us blessing up on blessing. Ahem. But I digress.
Amazing kids also require an amazing amount of work. On top of that, last year I worked outside of the home. The seven of us left the house each day at 7:00 am. On Monday, Wednesday and Thursday we came home after speech therapy…as early as 5:30 or as late as 7:30. Those made for some long days. We survived each week and recovered as best as possible every weekend. We said no to a lot of things that I wanted to say yes to. We missed birthday parties and Buddy Walks, pumpkin patch and spontaneous trips to visit grandparents. And in some insane quest to make up for lost time…I do believe I overbooked our family in recent weeks. It’s time to evaluate the programs we’ve got running. It’s time to clear out our task manager.
It’s time to hit the reset button.
What does that look like for us? I’m not entirely sure of all the details, but I imagine it to look something like this…
Seven or eight hours of sleep each night for mama (instead of five or six)
One hour of exercise most days for mama (instead of two or three days each week)
School day schedule for mama & the Fab Five (instead of what has become our “go with the flow” attitude)
Weekly & daily chore schedules (instead of the caffeine induced all-night cleanfest)
More time reading God’s Word (instead of screens)
Nutritious and tasty meals prepared at home (instead of purchased from Papa McSomebody King)
More time playing (instead of pinning)
Preparing our hearts and our home for the holiday season (instead of focusing on less important things..ahem, HIMYM)
November is going to look a little like No-Media November. It’ll just be alittlemedianovember instead. It’s time to take control of my household, to create the best environment for my family, to serve my children and my husband, to grow closer to the Lord and eliminate distractions. For me, that means less Facebook, Pinterest, blog reading and general web surfing. It means less television and more reading–to my kids and for myself. I hope it means more blogging. It means working with and loving each child individually. It might mean saying no to things I’d like to say yes to. It means putting my home and my family first.
“Motherhood as a mission field is giving up yourself. Lay yourself down. Sacrifice yourself here, now. Cheerfully wipe the nose for the fiftieth time today. Make dinner again for the people who don’t like the green beans. Laugh when your plans are thwarted by a vomiting child. Lay yourself down for the people here with you, the people who annoy you, the people who get in your way, the people who take up so much of your time that you can’t read anymore. Rejoice in them. Sacrifice for them. Gain that which you cannot lose in them.” ~Rachel Jankovic
If I can work it in to a schedule that is good for my family, I’d love to blog about this on a regular basis. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Life is oh, so good. And life is oh, so hard. Every mother knows this. Pray that God will allow me to focus on what is good and surrender the hard things to Him.
We are officially 6 minutes into November…ready, set, SLOW!
*When/If I run across these calendars…I will be throwing them out. They do not fit into my unclutterer philosophy…Would I take it to the minion field? Would I pay to keep it in storage while I am gone? If not, out it goes!