A dear friend who is experienceing some new heartache chatted with me last week. In our tear-filled discussion, she told me how amazing I was because no matter what was going on, I had all my stuff together.
Didn’t she realize that I’m a hot dumpster fire mess? All the time! I’m usually in her room crying and trying to not fall completely apart! She should know what a mess I am! I pointed out her obvious oversight.
“No,” she said. “You might HAVE a mess. But, you aren’t a mess. You are centered and grounded! I wish I could be like you.”
Her words got me thinking. What makes her think I’m centered and grounded?
Listing the Hurts
It has been a difficult week this week. No particular reason, but when I sat down to take inventory, here are the things that were slowling adding up and weighing me down:
- Car needs to be registered — It’s overdue.
- Need to get the car into a mechanic to get the check engine light to turn off so I can get the car registered. Oh, and the brakes need to be checked.
- Money to take the car into a mechanic.
- Time to take the car into the mechanic.
- Scheduling several appointments for the kids — dentist, doctors, IEP meetings.
- Scheduling my own things for school and my business.
- I’m off track on the de-clutter challenge.
- Started taking a class late (didn’t get the notification in time) and trying to catch up.
- B’s married family had a death, so she is driving across the country to go to the funeral.
- Term ends, and I haven’t entered grades. Or finished the major project for the term. Or taught the new teacher how to enter grades.
- I haven’t been challenging myself in my workout, and my body isn’t feeling well. Doesn’t help that I fell shoveling the walk and hurt my shoulder. I need to make a doctor appointment.
- And check on Baby’s pending dentist appointment. He needs to get three cavities filled.
- Boys have been sick. Little sleep, lots of coffee.
- Full moon — if you are a teacher, need I say more?
This is just from this week. And just the major things. I haven’t added the daily things like I need to go grocery shopping, making dinner, packing lunches . . .
The OTHER list
I bumped into another friend today, and we got to chatting about this same topic. She shared about a time in her life when things were difficult for her. She also had made a list for the hard things. Then she went back and listed the good that was happening in her life around those hard things. An example was making too much money to be considered for reduced lunch at school. The blessings included having a steady job, healthy kids who liked to eat, and someone stepping in to make a call to the school district offices to get her some support. Little gratitudes and a big miracle around just one hardship!
What an awesome practice! I’m going to have to adopt that habit.
It got me thinking about my gratitude journal. Which got me thinking about the rocks in my life that are my steppng stones in the difficult times. And that, my friend, is what I actually wanted to share with you today. How I find harmony in my life.
I used to try to get things to balance in my life. A member of a parenting group I’m in said that in balancing things, often something gets dropped. She suggested finding harmony. In harmony, the players are all there, but different instruments are doing different things. There isn’t a single instrument that carries the melody the entire time, and everyone is needed to pull it together. WOW! This is such a better example of what I wanted, so I’ve adopted it. How do I get all the pieces of my life to come together to create a masterpiece? Here are my top five:
God’s Grace is the number one thing I lean on. Daily.
We all fall short. I see my flaws in my parenting, my teaching, my business. Things like yelling or becoming exasperated with the kids (home and school). My scarsam breaks someone down on accident. I let the paperwork become more important then the people. Often I catch myself in passive-aggressive behaviors.
This is where I have to give myself a break. Accept that I messed up and make amends the best I can. Do better in the next moment – or the next day. But I don’t dwell on it, and I try to not repete the same thing in the same way.
Here are my action steps for making time to be with God daily:
- Reading my Bible daily is a priority. My goal is 9 chapters a day, and I journal my thoughts. I try to ofind one thing in each chapter that speaks to me that day so I am actively reading.
- I pray often — and immediately when someone asks me for help.
- I look for ways to extend that same Grace because Heaven knows we all need it!
- As a family we attend worship serivces together and get involved in serving the church.
- We listen to music that inspires and uplifts us. I love that my kids like to share songs that touch them and are able to explain why it is important to them.
- I talk about my Faith openly.
My tribe keeps me going. They are there when I need to vent, and these are the people I turn to. We celebrate each other and cheer the loudest when things are great. These ladies are my strength when mine is gone. They know my heart and help me find it when I’m lost.
I fully believe that we are the sum total of the people we surround ourselves with. When I’m feeling drained or low it is usually when I have isolated myself. Or I’m hanging out all the time with people under the age of 15 all the time. I need my cup to be filled. We were made for connection.
I was trying to find pictures of me with my friends, and realized that I don’t have many! When we get together, we are too often just being busy enjoying each other. One of my new goals is to update pictures of my friends frequently.
Family and Fun
I love to get out and go on adventures! My boys love to be outdoors and we all crave being active. Seeing new things and new places. Discovering. Exploring. I love sharing these experiences with my kids as we build memories together.
Adventures also include trying new things or learning new skills. I have a friend in my parenting group that is amazing at embracing adventure. I love to hear her tell about things she did or people she met just because she heard about an opportunity and took it! Meeting new people and making new friends is another perk to putting yourself out there.
This past month the kids and I went to an aquarium, did ax throwing, and had a few game and movie nights. I love our date nights and family adventures. I also enjoy the spontaneous times of pulling out a game or a puzzle and celebrating an ordinary day together.
I’m going to keep saying this, but getting up early to do my own thing. The 5 AM challenge has been a blessing in my life. Before the kids even get up, I exercise, work part of my business, shower, read my Bible, pack for school, and make breakfast! My cup is full before 7 am, and I have the energy to focus on the rest of the things that come up.
Passion projects. These are the things I do just for myself. Often it involves reading and then applying what I’ve read.
With a busy life, I make time each day to read — once in the morning for personal development or non-fiction, and once in the evening just for pleasure. My passion projects often stem from the morning readings. Some passion projects include this blog (You are a Badass by Jen Sincero), my book business (way too many books to even list!), and my IEP Data Binders (Wright’s Law books).
Other passion projects that I take on without reading have included training for marathons , cross-stitching, and traveling. Taking time to stretch my mind, then putting it into action in my life keeps me learning. I am proud of who I am and I am excited for who I am becoming.
Call To Action
This week, I challenge you to start a gratitude journal or a list of blessings that surround your hardships. Then make a plan to connect with those people who build you up and hold you accountable.
I want to know what you doing to build harmony into your life! I would love to celebrate with you! What have you found that brings harmony to your life?