Monthly Archives: August 2015

How Often Do You Let Your Crazy Out?

  

I feel like the following should have been included in our wedding vows: “And do you, J, promise to still love Kristin, even when she let’s her crazy out, which will likely happen every other day?” Granted, he already knew the level of crazy I was when he agreed to spend the rest of his life with me, but I feel like a line in the ceremony would have really cemented it, making me feel less guilty when it happened and him less annoyed. Right?! Yeah, right.

So usually my crazy has something to do with him leaving me alone for 4 days straight while he deer hunts, or him insisting the bath towel hangs dry on the laundry hamper, not the towel rack. (That IS crazy, y’all. Who DOES that?!) And last night I got real crazy at about 8:30 PM and decided I had had enough of my nasty oven. So I cleaned it. At 8:30 PM on a Monday night. That’s crazy. But it looks really good now. And I felt like a total rock star.

But I’ve noticed J is helping me handle my crazy better. Once we get home, eat, and clean up the destruction that has occurred post-meal making, he asks me: What needs to get done tonight? This is my opportunity to lay out expectations. And I’ve learned to make all my requests in that moment, because he doesn’t really appreciate it when I come up with more things at 9:15 PM. (I can’t imagine why.) So it’s turned out to be a positive coping strategy for both of us: he helps me identify a manageable about of tasks to complete, and I prioritize what is necessary. And I’ve found that going through that list pre-8:00 PM is in my not-so-desperate time of day (unlike post-8:00 PM, when the baby is asleep and I must accomplish everything there is to do before I can allow myself to go to bed).

The result? I’m going crazy less.  And my oven looks good. I’m working on giving myself a break and feeling good about the two things I did get done in an evening, instead of the 17 I wish I had happened. But we still gotta work on the towel thing. I’ll make sure to add that to tonight’s tasks when J asks me what needs to get done.

Lord, thank you for a husband that knows me enough to calm the crazy in our home (and help himself) by making my task list a bit more manageable. I thank you for this relationship as he is helping me to gain perspective on important things, which includes my relationship with you. Help me to recognize the beauty of slowing down and enjoying the extra time with my family, my hobbies, and in your presence.

What is your point of weakness when the crazy comes out? Any coping suggestions?

P.S. Hope you like the photo. It’s Baby O – letting his crazy out. 🙂

When a Type A backs off the To-Do List

 

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Photo Credit: A Pair of Pears

I’m a bit crazy about to-do lists. I have a variety of them in my life: work, home/family, personal, husband (yes, what I have to remind J to do. Don’t tell me you don’t have one for your husband. It’s necessary.) There are things you should know about a Type A. Including that I crave completion of tasks. It helps me feel purposeful. It’s not an illness; it’s a part of my make-up. And I’m proud of it. I am amazing at task accomplishment and organization! But, much like glitter, it can also be a hindrance when not properly contained. (Glitter is dangerous. We do not allow it in our house. And if you send me a card with glitter on it, I’m not going to read it. It’s going directly in my trash. I don’t need that stuff creeping on me for MONTHS after. Sorry to be harsh, y’all. There are just some things a girl’s gotta hold her own on.)

So three weeks ago I started this blog and really dove into my challenge to choose life over the to-do list. Now, I didn’t give up my to-do lists all-together. God made me a woman of to-do lists. He knows I need them to be at my best. But I recognized their power in my life over my relationship with God and others, so I backed off mine a bit (along with some paper-bag breaths due to a lack of things being accomplished). For the first week, this wasn’t too hard because we had a full calendar of fun things to do. I didn’t plan it this way, but it just happened we had dinner with friends a couple nights that first week and one really great night of family time complete with O swinging in the backyard and a walk in the stroller. And then, that weekend, it got even better: I got some work time in my garden early morning (task accomplishment but also hobby enjoyment). I agreed to go to a few garage sales with J (They are SO not my thing. I feel weird combing through people’s stuff right in front of them at their own house. Talk about gettin’ in your business). I even took a morning nap with O. I TOOK A NAP BEFORE NOON, y’all (insert jaw drop meme here). Then, J agreed to clean the garage with me – for two hours – on the most humid day we have had in Nebraska this summer. By Sunday night, I was feeling a perfect blend of relaxation and accomplishment. And J was happy too. He was very pleased with my ability to balance and meet the needs of everyone in our house that weekend.

Then Monday hit. I woke up with a stomach ache. I moved a bit slower to get us all out the house and onto our days, but my brain felt scattered. And it didn’t stop. All day long I couldn’t stop my brain from not focusing on everything. But all the things I needed to do were on the list. Usually I write things down and move on. But this week was different. It culminated in a visit to the doctor with a diagnosis of a stomach virus that is going around. Which led to me eating spaghettio’s (most people eat soup; I prefer pasta in tomato sauce, apparently) and binging on sleep and my new fav show The Newsroom. (And I don’t binge on TV, people. I don’t have time. I have to-do lists.) So just a little bug stopped me up short, right? WRONG.

You know what I think happened? Withdrawal. More specifically: to-do list withdrawal. I’m a to-do list addict. (Ok, truth be told: that statement half makes me laugh out loud, and half forces my eyes to dilate because I’m an ADDICT.) I didn’t get my typical, crazy, get-outta-my-way-I-got-things-to-do of a high, and my body and brain freaked out. And I was sick for 4 days! I didn’t figure it out until exactly 5 days after the whole withdrawal began. I went scattered and fell apart because I made a major change in my usual habits. I can only recall one other time I experienced withdrawal: the first time I had chai tea after having O. It had been over 12 months since drinking the stuff, and it didn’t hit me til day two of drinking it that the reason my hands were shaking was because of the caffeine. (I know you were hoping for a hard-core drug story there, but unfortunately I’m just not that exciting.)

Ok, so maybe I didn’t really have to-do list withdrawal. Maybe I just had a stomach bug. But what do you do when you so drastically change your life and lose a sense of who you are? You get a new definition of who you are. A better one. I’d like to think my choosing life over the to-do list is a positive thing. (Hello, Kristin, it is! You’re just struggling because of your current addict status). It will be a continuous struggle, but I’m excited for the mom, wife, co-worker, and overall person I can be when I have a healthy balance.

Lord, I’m realizing your control of my life, but I have to be willing to let go. Please encourage me to continue to choose life over the to-do list. Continue to provide people in my life that can help me be accountable when I’m losing a sense of balance. Thank you for the way you’ve designed me, and help me to never lose sense of who I am first – your child.

What’s your “addiction” that’s keeping you from living a fulfilling life? Have you told someone about it?

Grace

  When I was in the fifth grade, I prepared for my Catholic Holy Communion. I had to study a huge list of questions about the Catholic faith. It was overwhelming and I so did not get it. Especially the definition of grace: it was just a bunch of words I didn’t understand (vocabulary has never been my strong suit). In high school, I started attending a Baptist church in my community and the idea of having a personal relationship with Jesus because of the grace he offered became a bit more clearer to me. But nothing would prepare me for a game-changing book I read a couple years ago: Francine Rivers “Redeeming Love.” Ms. Rivers bases this fictional novel off the story of Hosea and Gomer (which, by the way, worst female name EVER. No wonder that girl had issues.) from the book of Hosea in the Bible. Gomer is forced into prostitution but after years and years, rescued by a Godly man who desires to marry her. She refuses – several times – and is eventually married to him without her knowing (not in a deceitful way; in a way of survival). She runs from him many times feeling unworthy and uncomfortable in the situation. But Hosea keeps pursuing her and bringing her home.

I could not put this book down. I felt my husband in many of the phrases Hosea was saying, when J gives me grace – undeserved forgiveness. But it led me to a deeper understanding of the grace God gives me as well. If you haven’t given this book a spin, please do. It will give you an entirely different understanding of grace that you have never experienced before.

Lord, in our day to day, it is easy to forget the incredible sacrifice your Son gave for us – death on a cross. I pray I would not take today for granted and that I’d get outside my to-do list to pause, if only for a moment, and recognize the incredible life you have given me as a child of yours, meant for eternity in heaven.

When did you “get” grace? I’d love to hear your stories!

Yoga for the soul


Get ready for a lil controversy, my friends! A local bishop condemned yoga for Christians. I’m about to get my Warrior III pose out ‘cause I am angry, y’all!.

Yoga is one of the few things that can help me really relax! (First on the list is wine, followed closely by…a second glass of wine.) And it makes me feel better because I stretch out all the stress of the to-do list. Yoga helps me regain perspective of what I value in my day. (And I’m usually running a load of laundry when I’m working out, so I feel like I am at least making some progress.) So yoga helps me reconnect with what’s important in life, and that includes my relationship with God.

I don’t really want to put my extra time and cash into going to a yoga class (it’s real hard for me to find 1.5 hours to drive to and from yoga and attend a 50 minute class). But I am willing to spend 20-40 minutes on a Yoga YouTube video. There are some good ones out there that especially target my stress-holding areas, like my shoulders and back. Lately, I’ve been grooving Yoga with Adriene. She’s quirky, and I totally appreciate that she let’s her crazy out. 🙂 And she’s into “finding what feels good.” And less on some of the yoga that I’m not so into that focuses on more breathing, etc. I want a stretchy work-out, and I find the videos that give me that.

How do I get motivated to actually do this for myself? Well, for starters, I am just crazy self-motivated. And I totally get that most people are not like that (I’m looking at you, J). But lots of times, I just hit a breaking point. Like I am so sore that I know I’m gonna have to go spend a $50 co-pay at the chiropractor if I don’t get my butt on the floor and do some up and down dogs, and my fav: cat-cow. I really wish I could be more consistent in my practice, but that’s what it is right now.

So let out your mountain poses, side planks, eagles, cobras, and the killer for your legs and butt: chair pose. And if you don’t have energy to do much: just get out your corpse pose. We all need a break every once in a while anyhow.

Lord, thank you for bringing yoga in my life as a venue to relax and recognize you. Have your Holy Spirit in my ear often reminding me how good it is and how important it is – even when there is a ginormous list of things to do right now.

What do you do for a break to reconnect with what you value?