Hahaha, I just came up with that off the top of my head.
Basically, I have realized as of late that I need to at least attempt to regain control over my life. Things have been a little rough lately. I think most of it just has to do with this merciless winter (and lack of summer last year!). I do take vitamin D, and it helps a lot, but it's not the same as getting some sweet sunshine. I don't feel depressed exactly, but my mental and emotional health still is not well. I think my problem is simply being perpetually overwhelmed and discouraged. My kids also had the chicken pox last month, first Judith, and then Ruthie and Gideon 2 weeks later. It was hard for sure, but we made it through fine. The only casualty was the house. And my sleep, but I'm used to that. Now the children are all better and back to normal, but I could definitely use a week or so of straight sleep (never going to happen). The house is also at the point where I don't even know where to start, and when I do work on something, suddenly I am overcome with anxiety and can barely get anything done. I have been having stomach cramps, and headaches (which I haven't had in YEARS!), and even tightness in my chest. It's not like the house hasn't ever been this bad before, but I just don't seem to have the energy to conquer it now that the kids are better. My body and brain are too burnt out or something.
Normally, I am the type of person who totally procrastinates, and then goes mad doing everything at once. I am a big fan of pulling all-nighters to clean the house, and then totally leaving it for a week or so before I repeat the process. I really thrive on finishing things, and I have a hard time starting something that I can't see myself finishing in one sitting. Which is probably why I don't really do any crafting anymore, it's pretty much impossible to do anything without being disturbed, and if I do walk away for a minute, the whole thing gets destroyed. And I do best with once-a-week chores, not daily stuff. De-cluttering is really hard for me, even though the end result is always great. I just hate the process, and am not good at parting with things. Purging also causes Judith a lot of anxiety, and Gideon and Ruthie just like to do whatever I'm doing (which basically means making a mess of what I am trying to do), so it's not something I can easily do during the day. The only time I have without kids is a couple hours at night, which is usually spent either with Dave, folding laundry, doing dishes, and/or going online. My family isn't here to take the kids for me every so often, so I have to work with what I've got.
Anyway, enough about that. I HAVE A PLAN! I tend to come up with plans now and then, do it for a while, then abandon it. So, this is a 30 day plan. I don't expect that the house will be spotless and in perfect order, and I don't expect to be the happiest, healthiest person in the world by the end of it. But I do expect things to be better. This is a big step for me. I am starting to accept that things don't have to be all or nothing, perfect or complete failure. But if things are at least a bit better than now, it will be better than nothing. That's probably a no-brainer for most of you out there, but it's pretty revolutionary for me!
I know you are dying to hear it, so here's the plan:
1. Keep up with my usual basic laundry and chore schedule. I have always kind of hated schedules, but if I don't have them, I do nothing. I have to keep my schedules to a minimum though, if I put too many things on it, I get overwhelmed and boycott the whole thing (or stay up all night to do it). So, every week day, I have ONE chore I always do, and ONE type of laundry I always wash. If I can keep up with that, it will at least get the basics done so it doesn't get too overwhelming, while not consuming ALL my time trying to get EVERYTHING done. Most of all, it will allow me not to worry about all of the things that need to be done (which honestly, takes up more energy than actually doing it, while overwhelming me to the point where I can't do it), just focus on the couple things to do that day and let go of the rest.
2. Purge 5 things every day for the 30 days (starting tomorrow). A friend of mine did this last year, and it's a great idea. If I get on a roll some day, of course I won't stop at 5 things. But I must do at least 5 things, which should be easy enough. If I have a crappy/busy day, before I go to bed I can always at least run downstairs and grab 5 toys that never get played with, or go through the closet and grab 5 pieces of clothing I never wear, and toss them in the Donate box (or things that are ruined toss in the trash, I am terrible for not throwing damaged things out, even when I know I will never get around to fixing/mending it). If I run out of things to purge and my house is in perfect order before the 30 days are up, then great! If there is still a lot more to go once the 30 days are up, it's still a success because I DID get at least 150 things out!
3. Restart (and maybe actually complete?) the 30 Day Shred (starting tomorrow). It was really great when I did it back in December, even though I only did for 15 days. I know I will have more energy if I exercise every day, and NOT just little things like walking and taking the stairs. I run up and down the stairs at home endlessly as it is, often with a child or two in my arms. But what makes a big difference is when I actually push myself and get my heart rate up. I haven't had the time or opportunity to go to the gym lately, but I can still exercise at home.
4. Since last year was so great, I am giving up Facebook for lent this year (starting Wednesday). The whole family is, actually! I am totally addicted, and turn to Facebook to amuse me when I don't want to deal with life. But I really need to deal with a lot of things right now, so Facebook has to go. It was a tough decision to make, because SO many fabulous mamas have babies due over the next 2 months! But I will have to wait until Easter to see pictures and read birth stories. I need to put my own family and house first for now. But I WILL be stalking all the mamas as soon as I am back on Facebook! First thing for sure. And I will be praying for all of them while I'm away. If anyone needs to contact me my email address and phone number are listed on my Facebook page. Or you can always come to my blog and comment! I am not giving up the entire internet as I did last year, I am going to blog as a way of staying accountable with my purge and exercising.
5. And finally, Dave and I are going to do a 2 week gluten-free (GF) and sugar-free diet (starting Friday). Then we will add gluten back in for a weekend (but not sugar), and see if we have any health (mental and/or physical) issues. I have a feeling that gluten might be zapping my energy and slowing me down. There's no harm in trying and seeing if there is a difference! I know for a fact that sugar messes with us physically and emotionally, so we are fasting that as well, to eliminate that factor.
So that's it! That's my plan. I know there are different timelines for the different parts, but whatever. I am expecting this to help me finally gain a bit of control over my life and my house, and feel better.
For the next 30 days I will be posting the things I purged and when I exercised. It will probably be extremely boring, but it's not like I have actually been blogging lately! Might as well use the space for something productive. These blog posts also are imported to Facebook, so there will still seem to be activity there. Once that is over, maybe I will be refreshed and inspired to write REAL, THOUGHT-PROVOKING blog posts! Can you imagine?!
It has also been suggested to me that I start a separate blog for all of the fun and silly things that the kids say and do. It's a pretty good idea, that way I can still import them to Facebook, but then I will have a nice collection to look back on. I will try to get on that at some point soon.