Monday, July 6, 2015

Super Summer #2: Smile. Focus. Begin.

Dear friends,

We just got back from vacation on Friday, and the next day was our American Independence Day. I had so much to do: unpack, put away all the odds and ends from our trip, do laundry, go grocery shopping, make meals, and think about how various members of the family wanted to celebrate the holiday.

Overwhelming? Like yeah! Did I mention I was already tired? Let me back up a bit.

We'd spent the week in Boone, North Carolina at a mountain cabin, which was wonderful, of course. But we'd gone a lot of places, and then scurried to get everything cleaned up again before we left. I woke on Friday morning after extremely fitful sleep (my nine year old rolling around in the bed next to me half the night before I kicked her out, plus a whole parade of bizarre dreams, plus back pain from my accident). We were supposed to leave at 8 AM! What?!? 

When I tried to get out of bed, my joints didn't want to move and I had a headache. I was hungry, but we'd been planning to get breakfast at a drive through on the way out of town so we wouldn't mess up the kitchen again. The kids were grouchy and I was double grouchy and snapping at everyone in sight. Watch out! 

I was driving one of the two vehicles for most of our 12 hour trip home? Yeah, right! Since two of the other adults drove home early, my mini-van would be completely packed with 6 cranky passengers (me, my two teen sons, my nine year old daughter, my very pregnant daughter and her toddler son), luggage, and my grandson's baby equipment? Yow! This was not looking good!

Something needed to change fast!

This is what I did:


And it worked.

Despite the fact that my grandson shrieked and fussed for hours, I somehow stayed calm and cheerful for the whole trip. So did my kids, for the most part. Sorta kinda amazing to me. Because I know how we can get. I chose to change my mood when I climbed in the van, and once I got in that groove, it was easy enough to stay that way. I think that helped my kids keep sane. Oh, and ibuprofen, caffeine, a Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuit, and lots of good music on my Playlist helped me too! I didn't even fall to pieces when I got home!

So that next day, when I had so much to do and no energy to do it? How did I do it? I remembered the way I did it the day before.

Smile. Focus. Begin.

You can too.

Smile. Start with the attitude. Choose cheerful. Or at least calm. Or at least clamping your mouth firmly shut to keep the negative words from escaping. Still too hard? Think of an attitude of gratitude. There must be something good about the day!

Focus. What needs to get done? Top priority? Next? Then next? Just wanna do it just because? Make your list. Choose the order. Maybe alternate the work-y stuff with some relaxation or play here and there. Just know the plan and work it. You might need to adjust, but do it with purpose.

Begin. That means actually get started. Do something and keep going. Get on a roll. It doesn't mean you need to finish everything you start today. But you begin. You make the most of the moments.

So how did it go on Saturday?

  • I got two loads of my own laundry done.
  • I put a bunch of trip stuff away, but not nearly as much as I wanted.
  • I went grocery shopping at two stores.
  • I did a load of dishes.
  • I drove one teen across town to spend the night with a friend, then stopped at a store in that area on the way home.
  • I sat down for a family meal that one of my daughters had kindly offered to prepare.
  • I watched street fireworks outside with a few of the kids and some neighbors.
  • I wrote one blog post about our trip, and started another.

The house was still a big mess, but after church on Sunday, I slept most of the day. I think I earned it. I certainly needed it even if there was still so much to do. Sabbath rest!

Today? I had a chiropractor appointment and then went to my son's orthodontist consultation. I did more laundry. I put more stuff away. I took my daughter to speech therapy. I picked up another son from summer school. I worked on the financial record keeping and budget. I did the dishes and tried to clean up in the kitchen. I made a real dinner. I started another Evernote file for home school planning since we start in about six weeks. I rested several times today. Sometimes that's what it takes to keep going. And there is always tomorrow! We'll get back on track eventually.

Again: Smile. Focus. Begin.

What works for you?

More posts for you:

Our trip to North Carolina (more posts to come when I have time):

Getting stuff done:

God bless!
Virginia Knowles

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