“You have so much energy!”
I hear this often and it makes me laugh. I am not an energetic person. My energy level arrested somewhere in high school when my idea of the perfect life was sleeping 'til noon, eating pizza rolls and watching movies 'til 2am, and then doing it all over again. I am not energetic. What I am is BUSY.
I have a home, a husband, three kids, and a dog. I have church and all of its associated activities. I have homeschooling, co-op, field trips, and play dates. I have an at-home administrative job and the work I do for The Chase is Real. I have friends and a few remaining personal interests. And I have approximately 17 hours a day to do all of that in, which actually sounds like a lot, until you immediately subtract the half of that time that I spend searching for lost things and mediating sibling disputes. (I actually spent 10 minutes in the middle of writing this paragraph searching for a lost pocket knife and capturing an escaped lizard.)
It’s a lot.
So here’s what I (try to) do…
Just say no - To drugs and more to dos! This is so hard. I’m not even a person who wants to say yes and it pops out of my mouth anyway. There are things that need to be done, roles that need to be filled and it is tempting to feel like I’m “The One for the Job”. But when I’m not, maybe my “no” will make someone else’s “yes” possible. Either way, knowing when another “yes” would be too much is vital to my daily sanity.
Delegate – Especially to the short people in my house. They are all at least tall enough to get their own water and pour their own cereal. They can clean their own rooms and even wipe down their own bathroom. All evidence to the contrary, they can eventually find their own lost things and entertain themselves with a minimum of property destruction. It is challenging to wait out the whining while they insist that all of that is untrue and that they desperately require my service, assistance, and/or presence, but it is SO worth it.
Also, it turns out that my husband is super willing to help out whenever I ask, but I do actually need to ask. The list lives in my head, not his, and he is not very good at mind reading. (Or passive aggressive glare reading…)
Prioritize – The simple truth is that, most of the time, it’s not all going to get done today. Eventually, but not today. So I need to identify what matters most. If we’re out of the socks my son absolutely needs to have on his feet at all times, it’s Laundry Day. If I’m hopelessly behind on my admin work, it’s time for the kids to binge on Netflix while I catch up. I’m a big fan of to-do lists. They help me to organize all the tasks fighting for space in my brain and to identify immediate needs. Also, crossing off something as I finish it is the absolute BEST feeling in the world!
Balance –I’m a person who needs regular breaks. I think most of us do. I need to slow down on the what and remember why I’m doing any of this. I need to take a day to not say, “Just a minute” constantly and instead thoroughly see and appreciate the goofy creativity of my children. I need to sit outside and glory in God’s creation – listen to His voice in the wind through the trees and see His beauty in the sunset. I need to ignore the dishes and read a book or watch a movie with my hubby. I need to remember that the world keeps on spinning even when my to-do’s stay undone and that none of it matters quite as much as I think it does. Not really.
God’s plan is so much bigger than my list. I don’t ever want to miss the “why” in my fervor to accomplish the ”what”.
Jenn is a book-reading, quietly nerdy introvert who has, one choice at a time, managed to completely surround herself with chaos. Wife to one incredible man, and homeschooling-mama to three crazy-awesome boys, life is almost never quiet...but in each day there are moments - brief pauses in the crazy - and it is there that she finds God. He is in a quiet breeze through the trees, in a one-on-one conversation, in a lingering glance at a sleeping child's face. It is enough.