What a crazy week it’s been!
Starting last Friday around this time, I shut down mentally to all else and focused on one thing: getting my song finished for my Mama!
I used to write songs. I used to write poems. I used to have time to do that. I used to have practice. I have gotten rusty and have children to distract me and household and jobs to take care of… I thought for a few nights there that I had bitten quite a bit more than I can chew. Because it wasn’t just writing a song. That was not enough because it needed to be perfect! So, I decided to record the melody, the harmony, the guitar accompaniment all separately and cut it together. AND put it all together to video clips I took with the help of Jonah and Grant to make a mini Music Video…
Yup, I am that talented. Hahahah. No, not really. It’s nothing like what so many people put out, but it really was just meant for my Mama and after many loooong nights, I got it done.
I wish I could have done better. After all, this special Birthday for my Mother was taking place in Spain on an island. And since I was the only one of us siblings that was not able to be there to honor my Mother, it had to be perfect! It wasn’t. But that is alright. It hit all the right emotional buttons, brought my message across, and made my beautiful mother cry, as I got to watch and partake via Skype. Mission accomplished!
So grateful for technology.
So, after that loooong weekend of little sleep another momentous event took place: the Start of School for the Boys. Oh boy. Getting up early. Getting them dressed. Feeding them. Herding them to the car. Every day all week. On little sleep. Makes for a “I need to keep it together and not be too grumpy” Mama. I did not realize just how draining that would be for me. Although the boys could not be happier! I’ve even found out at this particular school are several other German families and I have gotten to converse in German every morning with one of the other Mamas. And although that makes me homesick, I am so thankful. Now the first week is over and the boys are still on an emotional high – I love that they love to learn! And it gives me a little more time with Gabriel, who has never had real one-on-one time in a long, long time!
Now, there is the one aspect in my life currently that suffered through all this: Not just my sleep, my sanity & my emotional stability, but also my exercise routine that I had so painfully started to make a habit. Yup, PiYo went out the window for two days straight! Why, because I could literally not keep my eyes open at the end of the day.
It was frustrating. It made me angry. Grumpy. As I’ve mentioned before I am OCD and so in my mind I was thinking:
“Great, now I have to start all over again because the plan is out of whack!”
This might be hard to understand, so to give you a little bit of insight into my mental world: when I eat, I chew the same amount of times on each side of my mouth; when I put my hair up in a pony tail or anything like that, it has to feel completely centered and I will redo it until it is just right; I will throw away and re-do any notes that aren’t written just the way I need them to; if my immediate space is not just so, I can not focus and work – in fact I feel an anxiety attack coming on. In other words, if it is not perfect the way I need it to be, I stop/discard/start over/panic/crawl away and hide. Because what comes with that kind of stress? Anxiety. Anxiety attacks are fierce and no fun. With anxiety comes depression (at least for me). With depression comes “I’m not doing anything, I will ignore everything, and I don’t care.” What a horrible cycle. One I try to avoid, but gets me so often.
So, after not getting my Mama’s Birthday gift just right, not being able to provide the boys with the First Day of School Experience that I wanted and missing out on my Workouts, I was at a breaking point.
I had to make a choice.
I had promised myself that things would change. I would regain my health. Not just physically, but also mentally. I know there are meds out there and clinical depression is real, but I call mine circumstantial depression and am a firm believer in self-medicating. But not the way that sounds… I believe that one CAN make the right choices, put the habits in place and regain control, so that one can fight off these cycles.
Not always, I know. But I am determined to try.
So I made the choice.
I told my brain that Delay is Okay. Imperfection is Okay. Trying is what matters.
My Mama loved her gift.
The Boys had a great First Day of School.
I don’t need to start all over with the PiYo schedule just because I missed 2 days.
I missed 2 days because I needed to rest. I needed sleep. Sleep in one of the MOST important healthy habits. And my body was telling me “Woman, SLEEP!”
So, I made the choice to listen to what my body was trying to tell me and what my mind was trying to shush with all sorts of lies:
1. Listen to what your body is saying and rest when you need to.
2. Accept Help graciously.
One of my Love Languages is Acts of Service and, to top it off I keep thinking I should do all the housework alone since Grant already works all day out of the house, so I lie to myself and believe that, if Grant helps out, it means I did not do enough or I did not do it good enough. What a lie! What Joy it is to come back from dropping the kiddos off to find the dishwasher emptied and re-started. It’s the little things that help me breathe.
3. Don’t make my Perceptions my Children’s Perceptions.
The kids’ school gave us lots of papers to take home and read through and daily reading logs they need to fulfill. I know, homework is normal. But at this age, it is not like they can just sit there and do it all themselves – they need me. That is fine. But also overwhelming! Coming from Germany, where school ended at noon and homework was part of the afternoon, we have now transitioned into the US, where school goes until 3pm and I have three children’s work to supervise. Oh boohoo, I know. But sometimes just the thought of it makes me break out in sweat and anxiety starts building up. The last thing I want, however is to take the Joy away from my kids, as they enjoy their work and their time with Mama!
4. Enjoy the Time with #4 (The Last Little One).
Gabriel is about to turn 1! Yes, one year has already flown by. Crazy. I know in many ways it is easier to get things done with just him by my side, but the older boys are also his play companions and often they would be occupied for hours – now he comes to me at all times. It can be frustrating to have to stop something mid-work, but so worth it. I will miss having a little one. I will miss the smell, the smile, the hugs, the cuddles, nursing, helping him fall asleep, the laughter, the giggles, the eagerness to learn, the babbling…. on and on it goes. I am going to take all the time-outs of my life that I need to, so that I am all his!
4. Take the Time to converse and learn with God.
It re-focuses. There’s not much that needs to be said about that one. If I take time for Him, my focus is re-directed towards what really matters and I gain a sense of Peace. Even if I didn’t have the time to do so in the mornings, any time of the day – He is there, waiting.
But wait! Isn’t that often what is associated with the Devil’s Lie? Delay is Okay. You can wait.
Okay, yes, but I think another Devil’s Lie is: Everything has to be done perfectly or else it is not worth anything and therefor YOU are not worth anything.
That is fundamentally not true. I can’t be perfect or do things perfectly. After all, I am NOT Jesus Christ. I can’t be perfect, but I can try. And when I stumble and feel discouraged by setbacks, I can get back up, dust myself off and try again. And most importantly I can put back into focus what really matters: HIM!
And He cares that I am trying.
He knows me.
What a Gift!
And a Relief.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!