At the end of last year I created a plan and structure for 2013. I planned the first 3 to 6 months with a lot of specifics and the last 6 months had a basic framework that I would add detail to over the course of the year. I was so excited about the things I’d planned to do this year. The books I would read and the things I would learn. I had lofty goals and great ambition. And here we are in the middle of February and I am completely derailed. I am 4 or 5 books behind on my goal of reading 60 books in the year. I had plans for TTapp and walking my dog. I had plans for better health including more sleep. You can see the basic framework of my plan in this post I wrote about choosing to live intentionally.
So here we are mid-way through February. My dog is not getting his walks and is causing trouble – sneaking out of the yard, and being grumpy in general. I’m not getting any exercise outside of my daily housework and going to the store for groceries. I’m 4 or 5 books behind my goal of reading 5 books a month. I have joined a group of ladies who are getting up together each morning before their families. Well, I’m not actually doing the getting up! I’m not getting into the Word either. My study of the book of Esther has been sorely forgotten. I have not been getting the sleep I need either. So as you can see, I’m not doing anything that I set out to do this year. How sad!
I don’t even know how the derailing started. It could have been the sickness that hit our house for a week or so. It could have been the new job and client I started. It could have been information overload. And then there was the week of Musical Theater Workshop that the older children went to. (Not sure why that may have thrown me off, but it was a change in the routine.) Let’s not forget that my husband is still at home, only working a few hours a week and those hours are often from home. And since he’s home, there are these renovations that we’ve been planning to do. Renovations are always messy and a lot of work and leave my house in complete disarray! I have forgotten to look at the calendar. I have failed to file documents so that they are easy to find. In short, I have ignored my organization skills and failed to keep up putting things where they belong. I seem to have made my life harder, accidentally on purpose.
And so I am here today, to take this bull by the horns, to talk about the elephant in the room, to right the wrong in my life. Here, today, I am starting over. I am getting back into the books I have planned to read. I am back to walking my dog daily. I am back to TTapp and encouraging my hubby to join me in some sort of exercise (at his request). I am back to getting up early with my “team” and back to digging into God’s Word. I want so badly to finish this study on the Book of Esther and then jump into one on Proverbs 31! My kids aren’t going to know what hit them when we start regularly doing “sit-down” school 4-6 days a week and the chores that have been sorely neglected are going to be checked and redone as needed.
Some may say I have too much on my plate. And when I start listing off all the things I have to do each day to maintain my house, and my responsibilities I am very easily overwhelmed. I am a busy woman. I am needed by many people. I need to take care of myself, too. But I love my life and this feels and seems and I believe IS right for me. All these things that I’ve listed and so many more that just happen because they have to happen (like the dirty diapers…. I won’t tell you how many I have to change each day.) Some days I feel like I can’t do it all. Some days I feel like there is too much expected of me, that I expect too much of myself. But that’s not really true. I have so many tools available to me; I need to use these tools – internet, mixers, machines – to make my life easier and to get all the things accomplished that need to be accomplished in a day.
Not that long ago, I asked my dear friend, “Grandma Irene”, about how she did laundry when she had a house of five little ones running around. And this is how she started, “Well, we went outside and gathered snow in buckets and brought it in to the pot on the wood stove.” I was shocked! Now, I guess I really knew that, but I didn’t make the connection. Grandma Irene is in her late 70s. She didn’t have all these machines that I have when her children were little. She had to do the bread by hand, all the canning each fall; she washed clothes in the wringer washer (or by hand). She didn’t have a microwave. So that’s what I’m talking about. Today, we (you and I) have modern conveniences that should allow us to get MORE done in a day but I think we are really getting LESS done than Grandma Irene did “way back when”.
I waste a lot of time – lots of that time is spent on Facebook. Even when I sat down to write this I spent 20 minutes mindlessly scrolling through Facebook waiting for notifications to respond to. I knew I was under some time constraint but still I didn’t get focused on the task at hand immediately. I kept saying, “Just one more comment,” or “I was going to leave a message for so and so, I should do that now.” Facebook and email are two reasons why I’m not reading books or listening to training for my company or learning how to better do my social media job. (I took on a Social Media Manager position for Main Street Marketing Company.) I am here, admitting that Facebook, although necessary for my work, has taken over my life in a sense. I’ve said a number of times in the last couple of months that I would give up Facebook, if I could. I’d just walk away, but I can’t. It’s part of my job! And so I much find a way to control it. Part of my refocusing will be to be intentional with my Facebook time, focuses on the job at hand and not distracted by the little notifications! (I just can’t LEAVE the little number sitting there; I have to check it and find out who said what!)
Are you living intentionally? Or are you scattered like I am feeling?
Did you make goals or resolutions this year that have been poorly attended to so far this year?
How are you regaining control?
Choosing to live intentionally once again,