Ten Days to Serenity

November 15, 2018

Ten days ago, I decided I’d had enough of our dirty, messy house.

We rearranged two rooms. We rearranged wall hangings. For ten days, I took room by room and decluttered. I dusted. I vacuumed. I swept. I’ve kept dishes and laundry going.

Ten days ago, I was depressed. Ten days ago, I decided to do something about it.

I don’t know how to describe the mental headspace having our whole house clean and neat and straight has given me. Serenity is the closest thing I can come to a description. I feel like I can face the world. I am no longer depressed. I feel a sense of pride in my living space and belongings. I feel a sense of pride in myself.

Dining Room
I am under no illusions. I understand habits have to change. I understand that in order to maintain my serenity, I will have to work daily. I am ready to commit to that change. I’ve already kept the sweeping up for a week and a half, almost, daily. I feel ready for this change.

It is almost intoxicating, the balance this clean space brings to my brain. I am thrilled.

Must remember this on harder days.

An Ode to My Coffee

October 24, 2018

I start every day with a large cup of coffee. I don’t feel awake at all unless I’ve had it.

My coffee of choice currently is a budget indulgence but it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice. I drink McDonald’s McCafe Breakfast Blend. Good stuff. I use my pour-over Bodum system, which I’ve talked about before. I do choose to use a paper filter in addition to the system filter because I found the coffee too thick otherwise.

As I said, good stuff. I won’t be willingly without it.

Balance is a Constant Struggle

June 26, 2014

I have got to remember:  it’s all about balance. Last night, I was a scattered jumble of nerves for no good reason.  I’d had a great day with all my boys and there was absolutely no reason for the anxiety I felt at bedtime.  There it was though, sure enough.  I felt like I could jump out of my skin.

Those of you who know me know I have gotten into photography.  Looking at my life through that viewfinder or LCD screen has lent a lot of positive perspective on the things that are good in my life.  How many pictures had I taken yesterday?  Not a single one.

I also love crochet.  I recently unloaded a ton of my yarn as part of the “get rid of what isn’t needed” project, but I’ve still got tons of it left to work with.  Rather than picking up the project most pressing, I’d started a brand new one yesterday afternoon.

That morning routine?  Yeah, yesterday morning, it was a hurried jumble of mess.  I haven’t done my yoga in a week, probably, and yesterday morning in particular was rushed trying to get out the door with the boys to get them to Bible school (secretly, I can’t stand shortening it to VBS).

I read some of the online musings I routinely visit yesterday, but it was midday before any of those daily readings happened. The point is, without that morning routine I wrote about a little while ago, I’m just lost.  And at the end of the day, I can feel like a jittery jumble of skin-crawling I-don’t-know-what if I don’t adhere to my sleep and morning routines.  The sleep part, ironically, has been fine.

And that cleaning out project?  It has got to continue with gusto.  I felt so “together,”  so peaceful, in the days after the room repurposes and rearrangements and after I got a ton of clothes out of my possession.

So today, art, cleaning, and yoga are on the agenda in between baby and child-oriented duties.  Carving out time for the activities that make me feel more like me and less like just a Mom is essential and my whole family would be better served if I remember and act on it far more often.

Motherhood in Summertime

June 23, 2014

Summertime has hit and with it, the summertime dissonance has hit.  The boys were genuinely sad that the school year ended– sad that they don’t get to see their friends every day.  Instead, they are stuck at home with their mama who just isn’t a “go all the time and make it fun” kind of mama.  Even if I didn’t have an infant in tow, I’d be hard-pressed to get them to the pool even once a week by myself.  The day we all made it to the zoo was a major triumph.

As I said, all this would be difficult even if Oliver weren’t the age he is right now.  With Oliver being three months old, though, he still wants to be held much of the time.  I’ve tried to resist this in favor of doing more to keep the house picked up and to work on cleaning it out.  But ignoring Oliver’s need to be held has meant also ignoring my own need to hold him and engage with him when he wants interaction.  It’s been to my own personal detriment, too, as that old self-doubt and depression have seeped into the background of my life, threatening to rear their ugly heads full-force.  It’s all better when I take time to tend to the baby.

I know what needs to happen….I need to slow down.  I need to worry less about what gets done and when.  I need to hold the baby more and I need to worry a lot less.  It’s summertime and my big boys are really, really good at entertaining themselves and I need to remember that fact.

And best of all…this is all temporary.  The routine that keeps us all anchored, the schooldays routine, will be back in full-force in less than two months and for that everyone in this household is grateful.  For now, a few hours a day worth of video games, a few hours outside every day, and holding this sleeping child currently in my arm as much as possible is all that’s required.  It would serve me well to remember that.

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