Embrace the Chaos

Embrace the chaos! I have seen this on shirts and heard many people say it, but it sure is hard to do. I am really trying today, though. I have one of those hectic days that seem to be becoming more and more frequent lately.  Things just keep getting piled on my list of things to do. I feel like I cross one thing off and then add 3 more.  I started feeling the stress of everything I have to do today about midday yesterday.  Then, I got a text from my daughter at around 8:00 PM stating that I need to make an orthodontist appointment for today because one of her brackets came off.  You can imagine that the thought of adding one more thing to an already crammed day about sent me over the edge. Why is it that when you have a lot of things going on, that is when disaster strikes? It is like disaster after disaster keeps happening.  Some are only minor disasters, but when you are already feeling stressed, those minor things become huge.  It’s the little things like running out of ink in my printer when I have a million things to print that that just add more chaos to an already chaotic day.  I won’t bore you with all of the many details of small to large disasters or my long list of things to do today. The point is that I guess am really not good at embracing chaos.  

My husband will tell you that I don’t handle stress well, and my kids would probably agree. My friends and outsiders, though, would tell you that I am great under pressure and that I handle stress really well. I guess that I would say that I am somewhere in the middle of the two extremes and that it depends on the circumstances.  I am really good at hiding my feelings and stress from most people.  It is the ones closest to me (husband and kids) who tend to get the real brunt of my stress. Those are the people that you let in and that you are free to show your ugly to.  They are part of your comfort zone, and you feel safe letting it all show to them. When you are around other people outside of your safe space, you feel the need to keep it together and not show how crazy you really are.  I assume it is that way for most people.   I would also say that stress in general doesn’t bother me as much as the stress of a time crunch.  For example, when I have to be somewhere at a certain time and things keep happening that make me feel crunched for time like today, I become really anxious and more stressed.  I don’t like to be late or miss things.  Those are the times when I become, as my husband would say, neurotic.  The hour before we have to be at a competition or we have to be somewhere important is typically pretty stressful for me.  That is really when my anxiety ramps up.  I get so consumed by the thought of being late or forgetting something, that I get flustered and I start yelling at everyone within ear shot.  We are very rarely actually late for things, but just the thought of the possibility makes me crazy. I don’t know why, and I so wish I could control it better in those instances.  I just can’t.  I swear that my husband will do things, like waiting to take a shower until 5 minutes before we have to leave, that make me feel like we are going to be late just to set me off.  He says it is his way of trying to teach me to chill out.  Well, he has been doing it for almost 20 years now, and I haven’t learned that lesson yet! I do think that maybe part of it is that I am really wrapped up in other people’s opinion of me. That goes back to my need for perfection. I have this warped thinking, and I don’t want people to have a bad impression of me. Being late gives people a negative impression. I know it is messed up and that 99% of people could care less, but it is how my brain works.

I really don’t think that there is any magic cure that is going to make me stop from freaking out and stressing over things like I am doing today. Everything today seems to be setting me off, too. That’s what happens when I am stressed. I am just a really high strung person who gets wound up easily, worries about other people’s impression, and has a hard time “going with the flow.”  I have just accepted that is who I am.  It doesn’t mean that I am not going to continue to look for ways to keep my stress levels down or that I am not going to at least try to embrace the chaos.  I really do want to chill out.  I don’t want to be wound so tight.  It’s not good for me, and it certainly isn’t good for my health or my family.  Honestly, I am not really sure what embracing the chaos even really looks like, but it has to be better than the anxiety and stress that I constantly feel whether I show it or not. If anyone has any tips, I am all ears! Maybe if I make myself a shirt that says “Embrace the Chaos,” I’ll actually start to do it. Wishful thinking, right?


Bring on the Insanity

The month of October is really the start of craziness in my house.  We have so many things going on between now and the end of spring that life gets messy.  It is when practices ramp up in preparation for competition season to start in December, school is in the thick of things, holiday activities get planned and added to the calendar, and it is the biggest season for my businesses and for my husband at work. I actually woke up with a migraine yesterday because I didn’t sleep well with all the things running around in my head that I needed to remember to do.  Then I couldn’t fall asleep last night and woke up at 4:00 AM this morning for the same reason.  Too much is rolling around in my brain.  It can all be a little overwhelming and super exhausting.  I have been hearing all of my friends saying the same things about their lives right now. It is so hard to keep up with everything, and sometimes you get that feeling that you are drowning.  The biggest thing that consumes most of our time is the girls’ sports, and I know my friends would agree.  They way kids’ sports are these days is pretty intense.   If you are really serious about the sport, it requires a million hours of practice and tons of games or competitions.  The world is so much more competitive now than when I was a child.  I was a dancer for much of my childhood, but I didn’t do competitions. We just had a yearly recital.  I am pretty sure I practiced no more than twice a week for an hour or two at the most. Then I quit dance so that I could play basketball and cheer in middle and high school.  I didn’t do basketball or cheer outside of school either.  We practiced for a couple of hours right after school, and it wasn’t nearly as intense as club sports are now.  I guess there were club sports when I was a kid, but I don’t recall anyone that I knew that did a sport outside of school.  It is the total opposite now.  Everyone we know is doing some kind of club sport outside of school sports and also tries to fit in the same sport or more through school.  It is insane.  My oldest practices 5 days a week for 3-4 hours at a time for gymnastics, and my youngest practices 3 times a week for 1-3 hours at a time for cheer.  It is a lot to keep up with because every day is different times and every day is a different carpool.  Then my oldest is also on the gymnastics team for her high school, which adds additional hours of practice after the club practice.  It really is insane. Trying to keep up with who goes where and when and who is driving who and when is nearly impossible.  Let’s not forget to throw in the fact that both my husband and I have jobs to do, the girls have schoolwork to do, and we all also have other outside responsibilities (like being the Vice President of the gymnastics parents’ club and helping to make all of the cheer gifts and spirit wear). It seems to never end.

Don’t get me wrong. All of these are things that we happily do and want our kids to do because they love it so much, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get to be too much sometimes.    It doesn’t mean that we don’t mess up and forget things occasionally, and it certainly doesn’t mean that we aren’t all totally exhausted all the time.  It is a sacrifice that we choose to make, but it is a sacrifice nonetheless.  I am telling you all this just to say that I am tired and it has only just begun.  Forgive me for grammar and spelling mistakes over the next several months, as my brain may not be functioning at full capacity.  Wait, who am I kidding? I make mistakes even when I am 100%.  LOL! Seriously, though, I am asking for grace…grace for me, grace for all those other moms and dads who are in the same boat, and grace for all of these kids who are doing way more than most of us ever even thought of doing at their age. When you see that mom or dad with the dark circles and bags under their eyes, don’t judge them. Instead, give them a pat on the back and tell them they are doing a great job.  Tell them that you know how they feel and that it’s okay.  I promise you, they will appreciate it. Then, to all of you parents who know what I am talking about, hang in there.  Enjoy the little moments because they will be over before you know it, and you will miss the chaos.  Just hold on tight and bring it all on.  You can handle it.  This is what you were made for. 


Chaos Central


I totally had a post all planned for yesterday to give you an update on my office renovation, but unfortunately life turned to chaos yesterday.  There is really no other word to describe the day I had other than that. It was pure chaos.  It all started the moment I woke up.  I had to get up earlier than normal because I had to be up, showered, and ready for the day before I took the girls to school. Normally I get up, get the girls up, pack lunches, take them to school, work out, and then shower and get ready for the day.  Anytime my routine changes, it just throws me off.  Anyway, I needed to take the girls to school a few minutes earlier than normal, but they, of course, were moving like snails.  They seem to have this innate ability to move as slow as possible when they know I need them to hurry.    It is like they physically cannot move any faster just because I want them to.  My youngest is the worst.  Rushing her causes her anxiety to ramp up and her to start yelling.  It is like a chain reaction and everyone starts yelling.  It’s awful.  It was just a bad start to a day that was going to turn out to be a disaster.  

The reason that I had to get up earlier and the girls had to go to school earlier is because I had to go to my husband’s work to renew my military ID. I had an appointment and it takes a little over an hour to get there. I was already pushing it to get make it for the appointment anyway because I couldn’t drop the girls off any earlier than I did.  I finally got the girls out of the house, dropped them off at school, and began the drive to the Metro station so I could ride my way there instead of fighting the intense traffic around here.  Well, by the time I got to the Metro station, the parking garage was already FULL.  I drove around in circles through the garage for probably 15 minutes. There was absolutely NO WHERE to park.  I was getting pretty anxious by now because I needed to get on the Metro soon to make it in time.  My husband told me to leave and drive up to the next Metro station and go from there.  I got back on the interstate and found the bumper to bumper traffic I was trying to avoid. I was crawling along at sloth pace. Then I missed my exit because I couldn’t get over in the traffic in time. I ended up having to circle back to get to the station. Well, when I got there, there was NO WHERE to park there either. I was driving around and around the station.  It turns out that there is no parking at that particular station. It only has a Kiss and Ride area. Needless to say, I was beyond stressed at this point.  I was starting to see that there was no way I was going to make it in time for my appointment.  In my anxious state, I was fussing at my husband as he was trying to figure out how to get me there on time.  It was becoming all too clear to us both that with the traffic and no Metro, I was not going to make it.  He finally told me to just go back home.  I got back on the interstate and headed home.  I got about halfway back when my husband called me back.  He had gone and talked to the people at the ID office and they told him to have me come anyway and that they would work me in.  I turned back around (by now I had paid like 4 tolls as this particular interstate is a toll road) and began the long drive to his work.  We were giving up on the Metro, and I was just going to drive the whole way in.  I was back in the bumper to bumper traffic which is stressful enough alone as my husband was giving me directions on how to get there.  He was going to meet me at the mall parking garage near his office.  I got to the parking garage at about 10:55. My appointment was at 10:30 and the people at the ID office go to lunch from 11-12:00. As I turned into the garage, my husband jumped in the back seat.  Believe it or not, we couldn’t find a parking spot in this garage either! I am not making this up! I drove around and around as both of our anxieties continued to increase until we finally found a spot. By now it was after 11 and we still had to walk about a mile to get to his building.  Let me not forget to mention that it was 93 degrees yesterday and we were walking as fast as we could.  I was sweating profusely by the time we got there. I needed a new shower for sure! The ID guys were, of course, already at lunch and the office was closed by the time we got there.  Frustration is an understatement.  They only do IDs until 11:00, so we had no way of knowing if they would take me when they got back from lunch.  My husband and I decided to walk down to the building’s food court for lunch ourselves while we waited for them to open back up.  At this point, I had wasted most of my day and he had not gotten any work done. We were both stressed to the max. We quickly ate and headed back up to the ID office so that we would be the first ones in when they opened back up hoping they would be nice and take me.  It is a fairly simple process to get a new ID if you get a new one BEFORE your old one expires.  Mine expired on the 7th.  It is a HUGE hassle to get one if yours expires.  It requires tons of documentation and stuff.  It was really essential that I get it now.  We waited so close to the expiration date because my husband was promoted a couple of days ago and he wanted to make sure his new rank was on my ID card. Many praises to the little guy that opened the door and agreed to take me! We were beyond grateful. After all the craziness, I got my ID!!! Let’s just say that it was quite the stressful few hours.  

I got back home with just enough time to catch my breath before having to spend my daily hour in the carpool lines and then begin chauffeuring everyone to their practices. In the midst of all the chaos, I did receive an email from my daughter’s doctor stating that her biopsy results miraculously came back normal.  I am still in shock over the news.  I reread the email like 10 times thinking I must have missed something.  I just don’t understand how it came back normal after what she told us she saw during the scope.  I was totally convinced that the news would be bad.  God heard our prayers and provided us with some incredible news, and I am so grateful.  Despite the chaos of the day, good prevailed.  Needless to say, you will all have to wait until next week to see the progress in my office.  That just gives me more time to work on it.