Hi, friends! This isn’t a post with crystal clear pictures or a creative idea for your home or dinner menu. This is simply me sharing some personal stuff and a simple but wonderful idea that I got from my sister.
A month ago I was all jazzed up about my New Year’s Resolutions. I had some pretty lofty goals, as I am sure that many of you did as well. They are all goals worth making and striving toward, but they are also goals that seem rather daunting. Here is the list that I made during our New Year’s Eve Family Home Evening: Be better with budgeting and saving money. Find a better work/family balance. Improve my attitude about my trials. Continued blog growth. Spend more time with friends and less time at the computer. Teach Callum to read. Go to bed earlier. Find more mental health stability. Make God a priority. Get healthier physically and lose 50 pounds.
Now that I read the list, maybe it doesn’t SOUND as daunting as it feels. But, the thing is, I know in my head all of the layers and details of those fairly straighforward goals. For instance: “Be better with budgeting and saving money.” Pretty straightforward, right? Or maybe not. In my head that means spreadsheets and calculations, piles of receipts, eating out less, no impulse buys for the kids or splurges for myself, etc etc etc etc etc. It is VERY overwhelming. And don’t even get me started on the weight loss goal. I’m working on it slowly but surely, but oh MAN I hate carefully monitoring what what I eat. Like…..HATE. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. But I need to return to a healthier BMI, so it is time to buckle down. (And lest you think I don’t really need to lose weight, let me assure you that the pictures that I share of myself are very carefully chosen and angled. Just so ya know.)
Anyway, mid-January I was feeling hopelessly overwhelmed by these goals and like a big, fat failure. And then I remembered something that I had seen my sister doing in her apartment long ago. She had a poster board on her wall labeled “Small Victories” (or something akin to that), and all over it were post-it notes with her small victories on them. I asked her about it and she told me that whenever she felt like she wasn’t accomplishing anything in her life she tried to think of the small victories that she had recently accomplished, and then she started writing them down and slapping them onto her poster board every night. By the time I saw that poster board it was COVERED with small yellow post-it notes. COVERED. Which didn’t surprise me a bit, because I think of her as one of the most remarkable and accomplished people that I know.
I don’t think we ever see ourselves and our accomplishments the way that others do. I am far, FAR too hard on myself, and I would bet money that most of you are as well. I just never think that I am enough. In my head I am not doing enough with my life, not doing enough for my kids, not doing enough to be a great friend, not doing enough to support and love my husband, not doing enough in my relationship with God, not thin enough or fashionable enough or glamorous enough. Just….not enough. But, you know what? I’m doing my best and striving to be better, and that’s good enough. Good enough for my kids, my husband, my friends, and even God. Every person on that list knows my heart and sees my efforts. So I have started tracking my small victories in order to attempt to see those efforts and appreciate my growth within myself. It’s not fail proof, but it is working.
Some of the “victories” that I write down are silly, some of them are very small, some of them are actually quite significant, and some of them are hard but important. I would love to share some of them with you now, just to keep it real. Oh, and speaking of “keeping it real,” would you like a peek at my bedroom? As you would expect, it is masterfully decorated, perfectly clean, and just a haven of peace and beauty…..
…..or not. Hahaha. This is me, peeps. The main floor may be nicely decorated and kept clean since it’s my dad’s house and he likes things clean, but this is the real me. Sad, but true. My sister’s high school bedroom. Clean, folded laundry falling on the floor, mismatched furniture from around the house, a hideous and faded butterfly bedspread from my middle school years that I found in the basement and threw on the bed because I was cold, some pretty sweet leftover hot pink decor from my sister’s high school years in the 1990s, and even an ugly framed poster that my dad put up when he got tired of my sister’s Marilyn Monroe poster. Hahaha. So, anyway, back to the small victories. Here goes nothing.
I must say, these may have been the hardest-to-accomplish victories of the week: No Chic-Fil-A breakfasts (why does it have to be RIGHT by the preschool???) and no buying Dr. Pepper for the house (where I guzzle it like it’s my job). Haha. I have problems. Clearly. 😉
You may notice praying on my knees being a victory. The problem is that my dad keeps the house so chilly at night, so I always hop into my bed and get warm in a hurry and then remember that I haven’t said my nightly prayers. Far too often I decide to pray lying there in bed, which wouldn’t be a big deal if I didn’t ALWAYS fall asleep in the middle of them. It doesn’t help that it’s usually 1 or 2 in the morning….which leads to the next picture.
That’s right, going to bed by midnight three times in a week is a victory. A rather big one actually. I have always been a night owl, but I think it’s time to face the fact that I’m not in college anymore and go to bed at a reasonable hour! Sheesh.
This one was the most important: made an appointment to talk about my meds. I have made it no secret on this blog that I struggle with major depression, especially after my babies are born. I have even mentioned seeing a psychiatrist in the past. I think there is a stigma around psychiatrists, but the truth is that lots of people see therapists and get a depression med from their doctor. This is just killing two birds with one stone. I used to do it seperately, but I am so glad that I see a straight up psychiatrist now because she is so much more expert on the mediciations that I need. She is still messing around with dosages and things right now, and I wasn’t doing so hot the last couple of weeks, so I made an appointment. That is a hard thing to get up and DO when you are in a bad place. But, I am happy to report that I am feeling optimistic after today’s appointment. Fingers and toes crossed for improved stability and contentment in the future!
Let’s end on a high: I RECRUITED MY FRIEND ANGELA AS A CONTRIBUTOR!!!!! EEEKKKK!!!!! I am SO excited. SO SO SO excited!!!! Her first post is this coming Friday, and I know that you are going to LOVE her. I have been SO stressed out trying to balance everything in my life, and I feel strongly that having Angela posting a couple of times a month for me is going to alleviate some of that stress, but she is SOOO freaking talented that it is ridiculous. I can’t wait to introduce her to you this Friday! YAY!!
As you may have noticed, many of the victory post-it notes that I didn’t point out mentioned blog stuff. Even the ones that didn’t specify blog work had it dancing around behind them, believe me. Choosing to play with the kids or snuggle instead of blog work. Going to bed early (instead of blog work). Spending time with friend (instead of blog work). Going to a yoga class (instead of blog work). On and on it goes. I love having a creative outlet, a community of support from my readers and fellow bloggers, and I love being able to contribute a bit of revenue to our family’s finances, but I was doing too much. I posted an average of 5-6 times a week during the holiday months, especially December. Lots of coordinating with brands, lots of projects, just….LOTS. I felt like I couldn’t sleep, relax, or enjoy my family. I was one big ball of stress.
When January came I promised myself that I would cut back. But then I didn’t right away. I had a hard time letting go. But finally I jumped on the “one little word” bandwagon and decided on my word for the year: BALANCE. I desperately need more of it in my life. More time to spend with my children, more time to read a good book, more time to snuggle my husband while we watch shows instead of having a computer in my lap at all times, more time to cook healthy meals, more time to be active, more time to spend with friends, more time to SLEEP. So I have decided to post an average of three times a week from this point forward. Some weeks I will be excited about certain things and post more often I am sure, and some weeks I may post even less, but three times a week is my new goal. And I can already feel the weight lifting off of my shoulders.
Thank you for your support. I appreciate my readers more than I can say. Thank you for taking the time to peek into a corner of my scattered, creative mind and for accepting me as I am, flaws and all. You guys are the best.
Please take the time to celebrate your small victories. Goals and resolutions are no reason to allow yourself to get discouraged and depressed. Just keep trying your best and you will make a little bit of progress each day. We can do it together! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming….. 🙂