February is turning out to be a crazy month! See the latest on our family’s dietary woes HERE. In other news, I am trying to get back on track with an improved diet, exercise, and finally seeing a doctor for the first time since we moved back to California in 2011. Although I am managing my pain and other symptoms to the point where I can complete my daily tasks, I have not been feeling 100% well. My headaches and sensitivities have increased gradually over the past couple of months. I am more groggy than ever in the mornings, and I am finding myself discouraged often.
On the outside, things are going well. My job is a perfect balance of challenges, deadlines, and creativity. I am not bored, but I am not overwhelmed either. I am working on my fiction book for the first time in over five years, and making good progress despite the fact I am still revising chapter one! With the weather looking more like spring, my kids are getting outside more. Finally, our finances are getting a bit more under control, so I am not stressing about that quite so much.
Yet, when I look back at my day and my wellness checklist, I feel like a failure. I am not drinking enough water. I am not sleeping enough. I have not exercised at all (unless you count grocery shopping.) I have given into way too many taboo foods. And I am not writing in my journal every day. This doesn’t make sense to me. I should have enough time to make all of these things a priority, but I don’t. When I get off work most days, all I can think about is the fastest way I can make dinner so that I can get my tea or my glass of wine and climb into bed.
Then there are those times where my mind is set on doing the evening right. I imagine looking all my kids in the eye, and giving them a hug or a pat on the back (depending on their age). I ask them about their day, looking at their homework with a smile. Then I cook a healthy meal and we have a nice family dinner by 7pm. My husband and I talk about our day while the kids take their showers and get into bed by 8:30. We sign paperwork for school, say prayers and tuck in the kids. Then we talk some more, watch a TV show, and fall asleep by 10pm. Shouldn’t be that hard–in my mind!
The reality is most days, after work, I rush to pick up my nephew at preschool. I love this part of the day because I get to connect with him, and then see my sister and 2-year-old niece even if it’s just 5 minutes. Then there are appointments, or meetings, or grocery shopping, or church, or something else that just has to get done instead of making dinner and helping with homework. We end up eating at more like 8pm, taking showers with haste, and if my husband and I are lucky, manage to have the last kid wander out of our bedroom by about 10:30pm. Our 17-year-old has a habit of sitting on the end of our bed and talking about her day after her brothers go to bed. We love this and know we are blessed to have a teenager who wants to talk to us– but this seems to happen on the long days when we are just ready to vegetate in front of the “boob tube.” By the time we are actually ready for sleep, it is usually well after 11pm. 5:45am comes far too fast, and the race starts all over again!
I realize most of this is just a matter of life. We are both working and we have five kids. Life is going to be crazy no matter what! I just feel like something has got to give. I need more time to connect with my husband and kids, more time to take care of myself, and more time to just relax. Then I go and give myself a new goal like writing a novel! Ha! But this is almost a form of relaxing for me. Writing relieves my stress, it’s a channel for my creativity, and it gives me somewhere to express real life in a safe format. I can over exaggerate to make a point or demonstrate how a situation made me feel through one of my characters without bringing real life people into the picture.
Okay. I realize I talked about a million topics here. I am just not sure if I want this blog to be about anything specific or not. One day, my mind is on my book. The next day it is on how to organize my small apartment. A week later, I am pondering how to plan out our weekly menu on a shoestring budget with dietary restrictions. And tomorrow, a song on the radio might inspire me to analyze the lyrics for the answers or questions about where and how God fits into all this!
I would like to know when you like what you read. Please share your thoughts with me. Perhaps your comments will help us to get a dialogue going on the things that matter to us all, and how to make the most of the life we are living.