Have you ever had a moment of clarity in the midst of swirling chaos? You know the cleaning the kitchen while helping the middle with homework, while the littlest whines about needing help and the biggest grumbles about needing help and in your brain you are turning over the request for help from a co-worker earlier in the day. Oh and your husband needs you to pick something up for him, when you get a chance. Yeah, so that about sums up my life most days. And most days I feel like I’m not doing marriage, motherhood or work very well. I mean it really would suck if I just got fired from all three in one fail swoop, right? Or would it?
Every day, ok maybe not every day but at least 6 out of 7 days of the week I feel like I’m having to choose what takes priority. I am not conceited enough to say that I get it right every day. Actually most of the time I make the wrong choice. In my head and my heart I say family always comes first. But work has its way of inching its way into my personal time. Yes, sometimes I am burning the midnight oil on particular projects for my full time job. But more often than not I’m thinking about work and what I need to do or haven’t done. So while I should be present with my husband or my kids I am Instead thinking about what the heck am I going to write for my performance review, oh my gosh is it really 10:30 pm already, I’m going to be soooooooooooooooooo tired. Oh shoot, did I pack the kids snacks? Are their uniforms clean? Did my husband say he was watching a movie or was he going to bed? Clearly, not doing anything well.
I’m completely conscious of the fact that time is rapidly flying by, the days of phone calls from multiple schools for various rescue operations for my kids is coming to an end and quicker than I’d like to admit. I know that calls for an extra change of clothes because of an accident should be met with a smile. And the begging for me to stay and have lunch at school should be a no brainer. But like I said, I’m always thinking about what else I should be doing and asking is my lunch break over, will I make it back in time for my 1pm? I find myself feeling like I’m constantly caught in the middle and not doing any one thing well. So since I’ve determined that I am nowhere near perfect when these chaotic moments appear I have to tune out the fights over Barbie shoes and the request to read over essays. And literally take a deep breath and be thankful. Thankful for the big and the small. Thankful for a family who loves deeply enough to fight about Barbie shoes, and to push back about suggested essay edits. Be thankful for a husband who considers me reliable, that’s what I’ll call it, enough to run an errand and a job that values my opinion about myself. Sometimes the simple act of taking 5 seconds to breathe in the chaos and breathe out thankfulness can do the crazy lady’s brain good.
Please let me know that I’m not the only one. Share what kind of balancing act you are currently performing, are you winning or inconsistently meeting expectations? Sound off in the comments below.
Towards the end of last year I encountered quite a few challenges that made me evaluate how I’ve been planning and approaching my life. As I’ve said before, the blur of sleep deprivation and babyhood zapped me of my ability to see clearly from one moment to the next. I was just trying to survive. But now as they get older my clarity is coming back, I’m still sleep deprived but have learned to function slightly better. And as such I think I need to get serious about what I’d like to accomplish in the coming year. I don’t want to just talk about it I want to be about it. Over the last few days I rolled a few words around my head. I kept thinking I wanted it to be something really deep and profound. And every word I came up with seemingly fell a little flat. Then I said hmm, maybe I should ask God for guidance on what my word/focus should be for 2016. As side note I tend to be a little like Gideon in the bible you know I’m the test it show me, and then show me again kind of gal. Which I often couch as being pragmatic, but really it’s all about me being a big chicken and risk adverse. So I just heard on Sunday about asking for wisdom and God will give it generously, I am paraphrasing here. Hence the reason for my delayed request for wisdom on what my focus should be. No judgement please, I really often think I’m smarter and wiser than I am, but this year I will do better. So why not ask for wisdom. So I asked. And all jokes aside as soon as I became intentional about getting some guidance outside of myself then bam, the word/focus came to me just like that. And to be clear it is not an easy word to swallow. And quite honestly it is something I struggle with daily. My word and focus for 2016 is Discipline. So of course I had to look up what the word meant because I know what my head was telling me and it pretty much aligned with this scary definition,
“the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.”
Now that sounds like a beat down is coming if I don’t fall in line. While I suppose that is a component of it I thought being a slightly more positive would generate better results so as I read further this is the definition,
“orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior c : self-control”
really resonated with me.
This year I really need to get some patterns down, change some bad behavior and exhibit self-control. If I want to see change and growth I have to exhibit self control and implement some structure to the things that matter most. Often it’s easier to just stick with the way things have always been, i.e. stay a chicken for the rest of your life. Or you can choose to do some things differently. But I know that it’s not about just wishing and hoping to do better. No it takes intention and a plan, not one so rigid that you can’t adjust when things aren’t going well. In the words of Kyle Steele “Fail fast, so you can fix it quick”. I listened to a podcast talk he did and he provided some awesome insight and wisdom about how he became a serial entrepreneur. You can read more about his interview/talk here.
I don’t know about you but as I look at 2016 head on I am asking myself the question “Is what I’m about to do or say or exhibiting self-discipline?” I wish I could say that one is my own too, but I must give credit to Rita and you can check her out here. I’m thinking I probably could have asked myself this question earlier today. I guess that’s why there’s always tomorrow right? What word have you chosen for 2016? Sound off in the comments I would love to hear from you.