Refocus

Today is one of those days when I start to feel overwhelmed by all the things that have to happen in the next week.  There is so much to do and so little time to do it in.  To give you an idea of how overwhelmed I am starting to feel, I am seriously considering not going to my daughter’s high school gymnastics meet tonight so I can get stuff done. That is totally not like me.  I ALWAYS go.  Now, to be honest, she isn’t actually competing tonight so I technically wouldn’t be missing anything. She had a little fall and landed on her head on the beam yesterday, and her coaches are being extra cautious and not letting her compete.  She is totally fine, and I really do appreciate their caution.  Maybe it is a blessing in disguise.  She gets a night off to rest her body, and I can maybe get some things done.  As I have mentioned before, this month marks the start of craziness in our house. It really kicked off last week with the first gymnastics meet on Wednesday.  Then there was an event at the youngest’s school Friday night. I had two vendor events on Saturday as well as my oldest having her gym Christmas party that night. Then the cheer season kicked off with a showcase on Sunday.  Today we have the high school meet, and she has a club meet on Saturday.  Oh, and we have cheer competitions on Saturday and Sunday an hour away. My husband and I will be dividing and conquering.  All of that isn’t really what is causing the overwhelming feeling I am feeling today, though.  What really has me all worked up is that we leave in a week to drive to South Carolina to turn around and fly to the Bahamas the next day for another gymnastics meet.  That’s right, she has a competition in the Bahamas the weekend before Christmas! We fly back to South Carolina on the 23rd for Christmas with the family.  I don’t even want to think about packing for 2 different climates! Don’t get me started on Christmas gifts.  I am not finished, and I don’t know when I have time to finish. 

Remember my post last week about taking the time to stop and remember? I wanted to take time to enjoy the little moments and remember the whole reason for the holiday season.  I talked about not letting the stress and craziness of the season to get to me.  Well, it is getting to me.  I am not following my own advice! <hand to palm> I know that I totally sound like a hypocrite right now. That is the thought I had as soon as I reread the first paragraph of this post.   I am doing the exact thing that I said I didn’t want to do and that I encouraged all of you not to do.  I am being ruled by my to-do list and am totally stressing out.  I am letting it get in the way of living in the moment. The good news is that I have this blog to remind me of what I say; and it forces me to evaluate my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors on a regular basis.  I am certainly a work in progress. Today was a little setback that I almost let take over, but thankfully I just stopped myself.  My husband has been trying out meditation to help with his stress level and he says it is helping.  I just had the thought that maybe I should give it a try to see if it helped me.  I stopped, closed my computer, closed my eyes, and just breathed. I just focused on breathing for a few minutes, and then I consciously let go of the million things running through my head and all of the stress I was feeling. I chose to replace those stressful thoughts with positive thoughts.  Instead of thinking about all of the presents I still needed to buy, I started thinking about the time I would spend with those people I am buying gifts for. My time with them is so much more valuable than the gift I give them. I was reminding myself to remember just like I said I wanted to do last week.  I allowed peace to wash over me as I reminded myself of what is really important.  It actually worked.  As I opened my computer back up to continue typing, I felt completely different.  Just those short 5 minutes I took to stop, breath, and remember was all I needed to get back on track.  I refocused my thinking, and it made all of the difference.  I feel lighter and freer than I did 15 minutes ago. The meditation worked.  It changed the whole focus of my day.  

Now, I don’t know if it will make a difference in my decision to go to the gymnastics meet tonight or not, but it certainly made me feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I am also not saying that I won’t get those overwhelming feelings again tomorrow or even later today. I am almost 100% certain that I will.  I just know now that when it does happen again, I only need to stop and refocus. Maybe I will write REFOCUS on a note and stick it to my mirror to remind myself every morning to start my day by refocusing my thoughts and feelings to be more positive. Maybe my husband is on to something with this whole meditation thing every morning. If you are feeling overwhelmed especially during the holiday season, give it a try. Try to refocus yourself to the positive things in your life. Refocus and remember.

Anchored,

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?

Anchored,

Ahhhhh!!!!

It is really hard to believe that tomorrow will be March. The year 2019 is really flying by.  Maybe it is because we have been so incredibly busy. We have traveled for 6 out of 8 of the first 8 weeks of this year and there is no end in sight.  Competition season is brutal especially now that both girls are competing in 2 different sports at the exact same time. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching them both do what the love and brings them joy, but it’s exhausting! We have had 12 competitions between the two of them in 8 weeks! That’s insane! In addition to that, we’ve had so many other things going on.  We closed on our new house. I launched my business with Trades of Hope. We got the rental house ready to show, and two of us had the flu! No wonder I am “mama tired!” Whew!

Speaking of the rental. It went up for rent yesterday around noon.  We had the first showing at 6:00 last night, which sent me into a cleaning frenzy because I still had the playroom a mess from my purge, dishes in the sink, and laundry everywhere. Then, the agent came by this morning to change out the lock box on the door because it had an issue, and she told me that there is already an application in from last night and there are two more showings tonight.  She gave me hope that we will be done with showings after tonight! That is HUGE for two reasons! One, we don’t have to keep the house spotless anymore so I can continue my pre-move purge.  Two, we can get out of our lease early so we don’t have to pay rent and our mortgage at the same time! I am jumping with joy! That will be an enormous relief! 

March is going to be a busy and exciting month as well.  We take possession of our new house on the 13th.  Then I have Closet America coming the next day to put together my new closet as well as some guys to come give us an estimate on refinishing the hardwood floors and staining them a darker color.  Once all of that is done, we can start the moving process.  That means I have 3-4 weeks left to get everything purged and life simplified! I’m not sure I will get it all done, but I am really going to try! I am so ready to move and to finally be settled here.  I would totally move tomorrow if we could. The only thing I am dreading, though, is that we are totally on our own this time. We have never had to do a move ourselves.  The Navy has always packed and moved us.  Thankfully, we have a good month and a half to get out of the rental so we can take our time.  It is really going to stink, though, as we do the transition to have some stuff here and some stuff there.  I wish I could wave a magic wand and it will all be done!

Well, I guess that is all of the random-ness that I have to share with all of you today. Unfortunately for you, my brain is running 90 miles a minute, and I am all over the place.  I am actually doing three things at once as I try to type this out. I currently have 7 tabs open on my computer doing a million different things, and I feel like my brain has 7 more tabs open in there somewhere. Will life ever slow down? Does that happen? Honestly, I am not sure that it is in my nature to slow down.  I’m not sure how I would like not having a million things to do. It has been that way my whole life. My mom is the same way. Both of her daughters have long been gone, yet she is still just as busy as I am.  Maybe it is just something in our genes.  I don’t know.  I just don’t know any other way to be. I take on too many things at once. I can’t say no. I think I strive on stress, though.  It doesn’t make sense, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I want to scream like right now when I cannot focus on one thing at a time.  Other times I can just go with the flow and plow through it. Life is crazy and I have just come to except that fact.  One day I will slow down and just be still.  One day…

Anchored,

Stress-aholic

As I sat down to write this morning, my mind was wondering.  I clearly wasn’t focused on the task at hand. Instead, I was thinking about the 1,000 things that I have to do today and feeling overwhelmed, while also scrolling through Facebook to see what everyone is up to and trying to come up with some brilliant thing to write about. It just so happened that I scrolled past this little gem above that one of my friends had shared.  I stopped long enough to read it and immediately laughed because that totally describes me right now…emotional, distracted, overwhelmed, and completely obsessed with cleaning and purging. LOL!

Anyone else ever feel that way?  You have all of these things going on in your head and with your emotions all at the same time, and it’s making you crazy.  I think it is a woman thing, though. Obviously, men don’t go through the PMS part, but I don’t think they also have the OCD and ADD all together at once either. I don’t think they worry about all of the things that we as women and moms worry about.  Of course, I am sure they worry about some things, but it’s never to the level that women do.  It’s quite unfair, don’t you think?  I know that I put this immense pressure on myself in all aspects of my life.  I have told you before that I have this weird, unhealthy notion that I have to be perfect all the time.  While I am working on it and getting better, it is hard to completely change your mindset when it has been skewed for so long. 

Here is an example. Last Friday, my husband and my oldest daughter flew to Texas for a gymnastics meet, and my youngest daughter and I drove 2 hours away for a cheer competition.  As I was waiting at the school to get my daughter so we could get on the road, I checked my email.  There was an email in there from a real estate agent contacting us on behalf of our landlords for the current house we are in.  She was asking if she could come by on Saturday (the next day) to take pictures of the house since it would be going back on the market for rent because we were moving out in a few weeks.  Anyway, we were totally not expecting to have someone come take pictures (Why can’t they use the same pictures they used when we rented the house?), and we certainly weren’t planning on that occurring so soon as we had just notified our landlords of our intent to move out the day before. Anyway, for some crazy reason, that sent me into a frenzy.  I panicked. I knew that the house was nowhere near ready for someone to take pictures. I knew that the girls’ rooms both looked like the aftermath of a tornado; the basement was/is a war zone with unopened boxes and half opened boxes and stuff everywhere, and the office was the same way.  I have mentioned before that we never really settled in this house because we knew that we wouldn’t be here long. Because of that, the house is not picture perfect and there are a lot of boxes everywhere.  My husband thought it was no big deal and that we didn’t need to worry about it, but my crazy ideas of perfection kicked in and my stress level went through the roof. I knew that our schedules were crazy and that there was not going to be enough time for us to get the house ready for showing so quickly.  Obviously, the agent couldn’t come on Saturday because we were all out of town, so I emailed her back, and we agreed upon a time on Wednesday (tomorrow) for her to come.  Again, I knew that wasn’t enough time, but what choice did I have? I have not had enough time to finish my pre-move purge, and there is so much left that I want to do before the move.  The point is that I spent the entire two-hour drive totally distracted and very stressed out. My OCD was kicking in with the perfection idea.  Oh, I can’t forget to add in that my daughter, who gets very carsick, also puked 2 times on the trip! Needless to say, it was a miracle that we made it safely to the hotel that evening.

I live a life of stress. I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t stressed.  Even when I have no reason to be stressed, I am stressed.  I don’t know why, but I can always find something to be stressed about. It’s almost like I am addicted to stress in a weird way, like I’m a stress-aholic.  It’s certainly not because I like stress or that I strive off of it.  It’s just in my nature to be stressed. Is there a recovery center for stress? Maybe I should start one! My doctors always tell me that I need to get rid of stress in my life.  Ya’ll, I try, but it never works.  Everything makes me stressed.  My neurologist thinks that some of my migraines are brought on by stress.  On top of that, I have also begun to have another physical reaction to stress over the past 4 years or so.  My hands and arms go numb and tingle.  I’ve been to the doctor several times about it and at least 2 different doctors have told me that it is related to stress.  For the entire drive to the cheer competition, both of my hands and my arms up to my elbows were numb and tingling. That’s how stressed that one email made me.  My body is fighting hard against me. Now, did I really need to be stressed over it? Maybe a little, but certainly not to that extent!  Was my husband stressed about it? Nope! Why did I let it get to me so much? I wish I had the answer to that.  I wish I could let things go easier.  I am going to continue to work on it.  I have to for my heath. I am going to continue to force myself to be still, to take deep breaths, to pray, and to let it go.  I have to learn to let it go. Maybe I will get there one day. Maybe not. I just have to keep trying. 

Anchored and Stressed,