as the fat flakes continued to fall yesterday on our snow day, and the temperatures continued to drop into the afternoon, gaining ourselves one more day off school today, my mind and thoughts were racing. it's a new year, and i've been thinking a lot about where i want this year to go. who i want to be. what i want to do. how i want to act with my husband and my kids. i've thought a lot about my word for the year. how i want to challenge myself. what i want to always come back to.
i'm a known list-maker. like lists upon lists of the same darn thing. every time a thought pops in my head about something i want to make or do or read or see, i have to write it down. and if i happen to be away from my phone that contains my app for lists or my notebook, then i grab the nearest scrap of paper and scrawl away. then when i have a minute to sit down and combine all those notes into one nice, neat, organized list, i do. but then i feel very overwhelmed, because i've just created an unrealistic expectation of myself. i will sometimes write down 23 things to do in one day, thinking, sure, i have the time today to do it. when actually, i'll get maybe 3 or 4 things done. i have been known to write down "shower" or "make dinner" just so i can feel i've accomplished something when i scratch it off.
i've had that kind of feeling lately...overwhelmed and anxious. it may not have helped that i spent one of my surgery recovery mornings in bed re-organizing my pinterest likes into my boards, so i got to see all of the ideas and meals and crafts that i would love to do, but just never find the time to do it. and yesterday, during crosby's nap and harper's playdate, i sat on the couch and watched a movie with my computer, going through the virtual bookmarks i have had on my laptop in safari for over 3 years. it's what we did before pinterest, and yesterday, i went through them, pinned what i still liked, and deleted what i didn't need. 3 hours it took me. what michael called a non-necessity task, i felt a bit of relief that i could check it off my wunderlist (which by the way, is an amazing app if you're a list-maker like myself) and stop it from staring me in the face.
the really great thing about when i get these feelings is that i have a built-in external conscience. his name is michael and i happen to be married to him. he can tell. i start to sigh a lot, mope, drop my shoulders, pace around with nothing getting accomplished. he asks what's wrong, and i inevitably run to him and fake weep into his chest that i'm feeling stressed and overwhelmed by my lists. he tells me like it is. there are needs and there are wants. what is it i need to do, and what do i want to do. i read off my tasks (that i think are all needs), and he helps me sort and plan. and ultimately, i feel a bit of relief. i thank God every day for him, he provides such a balance.
problem is, at this time of year, and especially being stuck inside from this frigid weather (we're talking well below zero temps here), i only breathed a little bit of relief. of course my list can be divided into needs and wants. but i feel the need to do everything, and on top of that list i haven't even included the daily stuff that needs to get done. oh the sink is full of dishes, again for the 15th time that day. and oh, i can't walk through the mudroom past the baskets full of laundry, so guess it's time i throw a load in. goodness, my kids need to eat again, and i now have to make lunch/snack/breakfast and since it's a snow day, i should make snowman pancakes because they're fun and pinteresting. oh i overwhelm myself.
i seriously had a mild panic attack yesterday while sitting in our office, staring at the drawer of files that i have kept for who knows how long and just continue to add papers to without sorting, that harper wasn't going to remember her first day of school because she didn't have a scrapbook to look back on. yeah, i make myself that nuts. it's like i've built up this impossible list in my head and every day, i just watch it crash down around me when i realize i can't do it all. but each day, i try.
and when that happens, i often resort to a mental break with my iphone, to play a word in my scrabble game, to check out instagram, to look again at my wunderlist, check out what's happening in facebook world or heaven forbid to gaze longingly once again at pinterest. or i find my girls and snuggle, read a book or jump into their play. or i find my husband, get near to him and sigh very loudly.
so, i've decided my word for the year is home. this is the year of home organization, and finally emptying out and breaking down those boxes that still reside in our basement from our move 6 months ago. it's the year of staycations, since we moved and did so much traveling with weddings and family trips last year, we need to recoup, stay-at-home and start to tackle the home improvement lists. it's the year of getting me back in good health, ridding my body of cancer, and making this home of mine whole and well again. it's the year of loving on my girls and my family a whole lot, and bringing it back to the home of just being together.
i'm not going to lie, i still have those overwhelming feelings, but i have learned ways to cope. laughing. snuggling. playing. reading. taking walks. soaking in a bath. drinking tea. date knighting with my husband. girl chatting with dear friends. and re-writing my lists.
happy new year friends. i wish you lots of health, love and happiness in 2014.