Hello lovely friends! We’re back today with another installment in our Lazy Gal’s series. Today’s topic? Oh so appropriate to the month of February: Burnout. I actually had a big fat juicy post I wanted to discuss with you today, but I keep colliding with this topic. I’ve been a little burned out. Spiraling out of control, with wings ablaze, hoping to pull back up at the last minute, frustrated.
And to top it all off, I’m a total purging hypocrite right now. A big fat purgalicious faker.
I had a lego-infused meltdown last week. Do any of you have something in your home that will absolutely make you escalate into scary mommy bonkers mode? It can be lots of things for me. Piles of laundry. Clogged toilets.
Friends eating my Cadbury Egg stash. Legos. Oh the legos. For some reason, the hoarded boxes of them in my boys’ room have me wanting to do the crab walk in fast motion up the wall like that über creepy scene from the Exorcist while melting them with a blow torch. A little over the top? Maybe. It’s probably because they’re always everywhere. On the floor. In our bed. In my heel. And when I think we’ve picked them all up, I’m sucking them into the vacuum cleaner with that dreaded clinking noise. Like any half-sane mom with a sense of self preservation, I pretend it didn’t happen because a. who’s going to go poking through all the gross dog hair and Malone boogers for that piece of plastic (I don’t care if it was a Ninjago dude) and b. What they don’t know won’t hurt them. But back to the meltdown.
I’d been sick for two weeks, and I just wanted to get our house under control. There’s something about a clean home that is beyond therapy for me. When I was huge prego with Malone, Jamin hired a housekeeper for a few weeks, and there’s never been anything nicer. A clean home takes me to my happy place. And there’s something about the lego situation that makes me feel completely hopeless. I was all kinds of scary mommy mode. Before I knew it, I’d gone from oh-my-word-it’s-a-lego-avalanche-closet (already purged, mind you-I believe it’s time for a second round) to that-downhill-spiral-of-hyperventilation-over-everything-else-I-had-left-to-accomplish-in-the-great-purge-of-2013. I went from ‘Let’s clean the house, falala’, to ‘Nooooooo…. I suck at life’ (that last part would be in super slow motion so I have a scary bass voice and I fall dramatically to the ground repeatedly on youtube). First world problems. What did I do? I called Jamin. And whined for five minutes while he sat helplessly on the other end of the phone. Every time he volunteered something I one-third snarled, hiccuped and hyperventilated an interruption. Life is haaaaaarrrrddd. Apparently I needed a nap. And some perspective.
What is our status, you may ask?
I’m ashamed to admit it’s the exact same as the last time when I showed you this chart. (Below.) We were on fire. We were the champions with our bags of awesomeness. We’d purged at least thirty huge lawn bags. Cue Eye of the Tiger in a music video of Jamin and I conquering life together a-la black and white with a minivan in the background. I found a place for the colored pencils, ribbon collection and toe nail clippers, y’all. I was excited. And then life happened. Jamin fell from the attic and injured his heel. I was planning a birthday party. And then we were sick for two WHOLE weeks. That’s at least a month. One month of zero progress.
We had to step back, and breathe.
Unfortunately, the world doesn’t stop while you breathe. That’s life.
Stepping back is good. It’s been a good thing. We were weary. We needed rest. We took it. Rest is essential and under rated.
But in the process of stepping back, I stayed there too long. I seriously lost my focus.
We’ve finished our initial pass, and now I’m just hovering. It’s like everything migrated to the garage and we were waiting to tackle it. And it just sat there. I swear it multiplies every night. I just want to shut the door and pretend it isn’t there. Or burn it. Whichever comes first.
Breaks are good. As long as you don’t lose that motivation.
I lost my fire. I lost my focus. And in that process, I lost the strangest thing : my sense of gratitude.
It’s a funny thing, the direct relationship between improving something about your life, and your focus.
I was distracted. And in the process, I had ungrateful, restless, anxious thoughts. It was like my frustration merged with the ridiculosity of my grandiose expectations and they became this incredible hulk of angry thoughts. I was all, Ashley SMASH! And I wanted to freak out. As a whole, I was very discontent, and even caught myself playing the (gasp!) comparison game.
Why do we fall back? Experience setbacks? Do the things we know not to do, time and time again? Is there anything more frustrating than trying to break old habits and learn a new behavior?
It’s the strangest thing, flipping that switch over to a simple lifestyle. It doesn’t really give you time to focus on the wrong things. It doesn’t give you the opportunity to be ungrateful. The experience is really so cleansing, so convicting, it reminds you of all the things you’ve truly taken for granted.
Doesn’t a life of excess breed the opposite? A complete disregard for how good we really have it? A petri dish for the world and what it breeds: discontentment.
I don’t know about you guys, but wallowing in discontent is a deep mud puddle to slip and slide your way back out of. The longer you allow your thoughts to spiral, the longer you stay there with the pigs who enjoy being there. (I’m not calling anyone a pig. No angry mob torches. I totally ran with the extended metaphor.)
What do you do when you’re feeling un-motivated?
For starters, I’m learning to be nice to myself. It’s good to be well again. I was a little hard on myself while I was down and out. And I’m starting small… again. We hit the garage a little today. I plan to go with a bag, room by room again, gradually. In fact, I look forward to it. Baby steps. And more importantly, gratefulness.
This is a learned process, not something to master overnight. We will stumble. We will fall. We will get back up and try, try again.
We will get there. Just not over night.
Who’s with me? (Cue that scene where the boy king just gave the pep talk after a the lion died in the movie and there are crickets while we wait with baited breath for the slightly disturbing goat and horse people to step forward.)
And for gratefulness.
What works for you? Have an inspired day!