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Following Natural Routines

I have finally decided to stop fighting it! I have a natural sleep cycle of waking up at 4 AM. I spend the first hour and a half of my day in quiet reflection. I will get up and get my cup of coffee made and then go outside and feed my dog and breath in the fresh air for a few minutes. Then I will get out my bible and journal and spend some quiet time in reading, journaling, and prayer. It really helps me to have a calm spirit throughout the day. Usually I am always agitated and emotionally unstable.

I started my new sleeping/waking routine yesterday and did fantastic. I did pretty well today compared to my slothful days, but my mind was not at peace as much as it was yesterday. I need to learn to be gentle with myself and not say negative things. My feelings were a bit all over the place.

I am still trying to figure out my natural fall asleep time because I have been staying up late-ish still and it is making me a bit tired. Today my 2 year old dunked our two phones in my water cup while I was out of the room and I lashed out with my words at him. So I decided that what we both needed was a nap because he usually acts out more when he is tired and I do as well :) I was planning on taking a 1 hour nap, but it turned into 2 hours. I felt refreshed when I woke up, though, and that was the important part.

I have 6 “themes” that I have for my daily planner. They are the 6 roles in my life. Under each I have A,B,and C written. Every day I write down what needs to be done putting the things that I absolutely need to do that day as an A. I completed all of my A items and also some of my B ones. I will be transferring the items that are left over to tomorrow’s day. This works well for me because the things that I feel are the most pressing or most important won’t get forgotten and I won’t feel bad for not doing the B’s or C’s because the A’s are the ones that I MUST do. I am glad that I have finally found a natural routine that helps me to get done what I need to during the day and also does not make me feel like I am taken advantage of and have no free time.

Epic Fail

I have had a busy couple of days, but mostly just busy internally. I had a 5-page research paper to write that was due tonight. Not done. I found out I could complete it by tonight on Monday, but it was Halloween so I didn’t get anything done on it that day. Tuesday I wrote out all of my homework for the week so I wouldn’t forget it, but didn’t actually work on it. Wednesday I had it written down on my “Bonus” to-do list which I never got to. I did get quite a bit done on Wednesday, though, just not this paper. Thursday I had a meeting with my therapist and she said that I did well on Wednesday but I needed to get over my bad mood from the fight with my husband so that I didn’t get depressed. It didn’t work. I couldn’t shake it. She suggested writing down things that will de-stress me and then doing one of those anytime I feel stressed. I haven’t done that yet.

Thursday evening I decided that I needed to stay up all night and research for my paper. I didn’t know what in the world I was doing. I looked through some articles online but I had no clue where to go with it all. I think that my topic was so broad that I just didn’t know how to pare it down. I wanted to do all of the subtopics on it, which would have made it at least 20 pages, not 5. So I wrote down a bunch of articles that I wanted to find. That was about 100 and I never got around to finding them because I would get sucked into an article and it would remind me of something completely unrelated and I would go google search that. It was a big waste of time.

Today I slept in until 1 PM because I didn’t get to bed until 8 AM. With nothing done toward my paper. Well I had looked things up, but I didn’t know what to do with the information. I haven’t written a research paper in a couple of years because I have been taking “easy” courses. I really think I am getting worse as I get older :( I thought that I was supposed to mature and blossom into a grown adult, but my brain seems to be deteriorating at a fast pace. I can’t get anything together. My brain is a jumbled mess. It is pushing me and my husband apart because he can’t handle all of my failures. I have no idea what is going to happen as far as next semester is concerned because I probably screwed up my financial aid and won’t be able to complete my 1 course I need to graduate. I am officially a screw up.

Overwhelm

I had a really bad day yesterday and didn’t even type up a post. I just felt overwhelmed with all the things that I felt like I had to do, so I did none of them. Well, that is not correct I did get a lot written for NaNoWriMo that I just found out about and decided to participate. It is a “competition” of sorts where you write a 50,000 page novel during the month of November. You are supposed to write 1,668 words a day or something like that. It wasn’t as bad as I thought and actually I quite enjoyed it. That is the only thing I got done, though. No, that still isn’t true. I went for a walk with my boys. That is my habit I am practicing this month. Some type of exercise every day.

I am supposed to small goals for myself everyday and also writing down 5 accomplishments, but I haven’t been keeping up with it. I have cycles of my moods. I will do really well for a while and then start feeling depressed and not do anything for a while. When I am at my lowest I won’t even get dressed or go outside for days. I know that this is effecting my children and a few months ago I went to seek help from a therapist. I think it is going pretty well, but I am impatient and want to be “better” already. I know that this is a process and I have to just work on it a day at a time, sometimes a moment at a time. One of my goals it to be more in the moment, so I definitely need to work on that.

I was planning on writing about overwhelm and how it takes control of me, but I think that many people are already aware that this is their problem. So I am going to write about some things that I KNOW help me and also make up some post-it notes to put around the house so I can remind myself of them. First, going outside everyday. I remember growing up my dad would stay inside for days on end with the curtains closed and his sunglasses on. I am a lot like him and when I am feeling low the last thing I want to do is to step outside in the sun. It feels like it is mocking me. “Haha, I am so bright and happy and you’re not”. So I need to remember that going outside is helpful and very beneficial.

Secondly, getting dressed and putting on makeup in the mornings. If I don’t put on makeup then I am having a bad day. I am blessed to have a nice complexion and don’t feel like I need makeup, but if I am feeling happy I will put it on so I am going to be putting on makeup everyday to trick my mind into thinking I am happy on days that I don’t feel that way. Also, along those lines I need to wash my makeup off every night. I have a bad habit of not washing it off and then in the mornings my eyes feel nasty from sleeping with the mascara on. I am sure it probably isn’t very safe either.

My last thing I am going to remind myself to do is to exercise everyday. It releases endorphins and makes me feel better about myself. Also, it makes me healthier so in the long run it makes a HUGE difference. I have a habit of comfort eating when I am depressed and then I get depressed more because I feel fat and unhealthy. When I exercise my body craves healthier foods, so another good reason! Since it is my new habit for the month I think that I will do really well with this one, but I am still putting up a reminder just in case. Hopefully these tips will help someone else who may have the same problems with overwhelm that I do.

Pretty Good Mood-Nothing Done in the House…

Well, the title says it all! I was in a pretty good mood today (probably because it was Halloween!!!!), but I haven’t really gotten anything done. I picked up a few things from the dining room the other day, but it wasn’t much. I have been sleeping A LOT. My nights and days are actually mixed up, so maybe it just seems like a lot because I don’t wake up until around noon! I have discovered that I am actually a morning person, except that I have a hard time falling asleep at night so then in the morning I feel groggy. Actually, usually around 3 AM I wake up, wide awake, but I always feel like 3 is too early to wake up. I may start trying to just get up then and take a nap after I have some things done. That way if I feel groggy after my nap, things will still have gotten done that day! That’s about all I have to report today. Nothing spectacular.

 

Bad Couple of Days

I have been in kind of a funky mood the past couple of days which means I haven’t got anything done. On a positive note, I have made myself a goal to get the house cleared out before Thanksgiving and my reward is I am going to dye my hair! I haven’t dyed my hair for a couple of years so this is going to be exciting. My husband and I have found a hair color we both agree on according the the pictures online. We will have to see if the color is as true on my hair as it is on the model! So I have some new found energy to get things done. Unfortunately I have not done anything today and it is already 6 PM. I MUST finish the coat closet (yes the one from earlier this week) tonight and also the dining room. Wish me luck!

What’s Most Important?

Well I am still awake at 12:51 AM. Why? Because I realized I hadn’t checked my math homework since Tuesday and found out I had two assignments due at 11:59 PM. So I forsook everything else to get those assignments done in 2 hours. I got one done. Although then I found out that my teacher extended the due date until Monday at 11:59 PM. So at least I have one assignment done and a chance to catch up on the other one.

I am a student. I am also a wife and a mother and as such, a homemaker. I am involved in our church, but would like to be more. I would also like to volunteer my time in the community somehow, but don’t really have any definite plans on that. Also, I am hopefully starting up a business. So I have 7 roles in life and I am not sure how I am supposed to know which is most important at any given time. I didn’t get our laundry put in the washer because I had to get those assignments finished. I should have taken 10 minutes out to get the laundry in the washer so that I wouldn’t be sitting up waiting for it to finish, but hindsight is 20/20. I went with the most pressing issue rather than the most logical one.

I didn’t want to have to plan my days, but I am still not quite at the place of being able to just live in the moment. I think that will come after I get rid of 90% of our items. Once the most pressing issue of clearing out the house is gone I can get my roles more evened out. I had to drop a couple classes again this semester and that is frustrating. So that is definitely pressing. I just feel guilty because I feel like my role as a wife, mother, community member, and friend are going to the back now. I want to make it so that I have balance in my life. I don’t want to feel like I am giving up one of my roles for another. Seven roles is a good amount to balance. I have an active life, but am not overwhelmed with it all. I think that it will be easier once I graduate next spring. The role of college student takes up a huge chunk of time, but it is only for 4 years (or in my case 6…and no I am not getting my Masters or Doctorate…)

So maybe that is where my problem lies. I feel like “Student” is defining my life too much, but in reality it will not be a defining role overall in my life. Sure, while “Student” is on my list of roles it feels huge, but it is tiny in comparison to “Mother”. I have 2 children so far and that has been a part of my life for 7 years. “Wife” has been a role for 8. So I am not seeing the big picture. I am looking at this moment and time and panicking. I am still going to be working on making things a little more even with some planning, but I don’t need to make them “even” in the sense that I do the same amount of work on each role, each day. It will all work out if I trust myself. I have the ability to feel at peace with my choices. I just need to quiet my mind and dwell upon things.

Edited to add: I was sitting here thinking and realized that my role as Homemaker is not as big as I thought. I think about cleaning on the time. I know I should get up and clean a lot, but I don’t make it a must. It isn’t something that I just do like most people. I am constantly thinking about it and that is why it seems like since a huge role. If I am not actually doing anything, then it isn’t that big of a role after all. Of course, that is all changing now since one of my major goals in life is to create a peaceful environment, both in my house and in my spirit.

Living Intentionally

I have been working on trying to live intentionally. You know what? I have actually gotten more done. This morning I decided that I wanted to get the boys a bath, so I did. Then I made the bed and got myself dressed. Because I wanted to. My oldest son has been home sick with a stomach virus and he wanted me to watch some TV with him, so I did. It is amazingly freeing to do things intentionally.

I used to think about things that I really thought I *should* do, but I never actually did them. It always put so much stress on me because I knew that I should get more done, but I felt pressured to get certain things done. I wanted to do everything that a “good” wife and mother should. But what I thought I should do was based upon others preconceived notions of what the definition of a wife and mother should be. I am now creating my own definition of who I am; as a wife, a mother, and most important as me.

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