I realize that, in light of MUCH bigger issues in the world, this sounds totally trite; but, lately, I’ve been really struggling with a sense of overwhelm and anxiety when it comes to keeping up with my house…
I’ve been blaming it on early-pregnancy exhaustion; but, really, I think it is deeper than that. Sometimes, just being in my own home makes me stressed out. There is just so.much.stuff. Mail to sort through, dishes to wash, laundry to put away, toys to pick up, bags to empty, dog hair to vacuum, potties to clean, etc. etc. etc. etc. Honestly, I feel paralyzed by it all. Like I’d rather take a nap or go out to dinner – anywhere, really – than face the piles everywhere I look. Sound familiar?
I feel like if I let myself have “just one day” to “relax” or “not worry about the house,” things build on top of each other and – before I know it – I feel absolutely buried by things to do. I don’t know where to start, so I just don’t. Then, one morning, I wake up – heart pounding – with the feeling that I absolutely cannot function one.more.day in this MESS. The problem is – by that point – I need about four uninterrupted days to catch up; and, well, I’m lucky to get four uninterrupted hours at home lately.
I know I’m not alone here. Right?
When I think about things logically – or, put on my “perspectacles” as Glennon calls them – I know I actually have it really good. I work outside of the home, so I’m not even in it 75% of the time (or so). On top of that, my husband is incredibly helpful (he really is), and we have a babysitter/nanny that does A TON to make our lives easier. Not to mention… I KNOW how fortunate I am to have these “problems.” Too many clothes? Too much space? How ridiculous!! I KNOW…
At its root, I think most of this stems from the fact that I still believe the lies that other people can do it all and that something is wrong with me for not being able to. My mind knows that there is probably a “closed-door only” room behind all of the perfectly-styled rooms on the internet; but, subconsciously, I just wonder why I can’t get my act together and keep my house – at the very least – clean and organized. And, lately, How in the world am I going to function when I have TWO kids?
Even beyond the internet though, I go in real-life houses of real-life friends, and they don’t look like a tornado just ripped through them. My mom, for example, would have died before letting her house look like mine does right now when we were kids. And, pre-Sam, I would have too. I can’t stand the fact that SOME people can get this one area of their life right, and I can’t.
Here’s a confession (one that, no joke, haunts me multiple times a week now): When I was a young newly-wed, I used to babysit for a family with a baby. There was laundry everywhere. Dishes on the nightstand. Beds unmade. I was kind-of appalled. And, now, THAT IS MY HOUSE. (I don’t really believe in karma, but man that makes a good case for it!)
So… Where am I going with all this?!?
I need space to breathe.
Physically, I need my home to be a place where I can be at rest. I’m still figuring out how I’m going to accomplish this – how I will dig out, get back on track, and stay that way. I know some of you have great success with “daily chore charts” etc. but I’ve tried and failed at that in the past. The truth is, I think real change for me is going to require some re-prioritizing and some – plain and simple – cleaning out of STUFF. Literally, making some room to breathe inside my walls.
BUT, I’ve been around this block enough times to know that my own attempts to “simplify,” “organize,” and “do better” will never be enough…
What REALLY drains and overwhelms me is my constant attempt to do everything (mostly housework and other “obligations”) without making time for the things that REALLY matter – like quality time with my husband, real conversations with friends, and an intimate spiritual life.
That last one is key.
When I rely on my self, I will fail every.single.time.
It is a teeny-tiny step, but I’m starting this Bible study with a group of women from my church on Wednesday night. I don’t have time to add another thing to my schedule, but I really think I need this…
Have any of you done it? Know anything about it?
How do you get back on track when you lose your way – in the little things (like laundry) and the big things (like priorities)? I’d, seriously, love to hear!