My problem comes when every once in a while, I realize I've said too many yes's and then I'm struggling to figure out which yes's are a bigger priority. I also lose sight of which things are about honoring Him and which things are just about feeling in control of my environment. There's a fine line sometimes.
On top of not being able to prioritize projects well, I'm a stickler for follow-through. It drives me bonkers when people make promises to me and then don't follow-through, so I try to follow through most all of the time. I'm harder on myself than I am on others. There will always be unforeseeable exceptions to the rule and I do extend grace where I can when people don't follow through on something with me. But I'm not really great at extending grace to myself.
To me, a promise is a promise when someone says they will do something. My kids believe that if they don't use the phrase, "I promise," then they are not bound. Like when S offers to put away the clean towels in the linen closet and three days later, the basket is still sitting there and I've added two more loads to the top -- it gets a little annoying that she didn't follow through. She'll give her excuses and I'll tell her how when she tells me she'll do something, I expect her to do it and she'll often say, "Fine ... but it's not like I promised," or "Fine ... but it's not like I said I was going to do it right away." Hmm.
S is a good kid. But like all of us, she has her faults. Ha. I still love her. Thankfully, she loves me back (most days).
Anyway, I have an ongoing to-do list in my head and there are times where something reminds me of the list and I start dwelling on it. I start feeling overwhelmed with so many things I've said yes to. I start adding to that list a number of things I need to do or want to do that I've said yes to myself that I would do. Then I start calculating how little time I have or surprise responsibilities like an impromptu trip to Urgent Care or whatever. It gets the better of me.
This morning was like that.
I was getting that feeling in my chest where my heart seems to be fluttering uncontrollably. My eyes can't seem to hold back tears very easily. And the kids, well, they are kids, so when they see Mom is a little stressed, they like to double-check that I'm going to be able to handle whatever problems they bring to the day -- so they start bringing them on. First, they come one by one and suddenly, there are seven kids pulling my attention in every direction wanting me to fix things for them or solve a dispute or make them a snack.
C called me about something unrelated mid-morning and he asked, "So, are you okay?" Probably the quivering in my voice was a hint that I was not.
Of course, that was the best and worst question he could ask me. The floodgates opened and I was able to share with him my feelings of being overwhelmed. He helped me set some priorities with certain projects and then I was able to breathe again. And get some stuff done!
So for my own sanity, here is the list of things I have swirling in my head, including stuff I got done today so I can feel like I got something accomplished (and these are in no particular order):
Edit photos from our church picnic and upload them for church members to download as they'd like. Narrow a selection of Picnic and VBS photos down to 60-70 to deliver to the person making a slideshow about our summer events.
- Deliver the thumb drive.
Clean up the backyard (some). Tie up the Wisteria plants and start training them to grow up the pergola.
- Organize the loft and eliminate 50% of the stuff up there.
- Create a dining room where the kids' room is downstairs and move kids' room stuff up to loft.
- Continue and finish the human study curriculum I'm creating for the kids' science this year.
- Find out more about the women's retreat coming up so I can create the advertising package I was asked to make.
- Pick out some of my favorite photos of the kids for this year so their grandparents can see their faces. Edit as needed. Upload.
- Keep blogging -- it keeps me sane!
- Get back into reading my Bible every day.
- Get the homeschool room ready for the new school year. Including my desk!
- More regularly require completed math worksheets and reading from the kids over the summer so they don't forget their brains come September.
- Clean the fridge out.
- Do laundry and dishes regularly.
- Organize E's pile of stuff because it's getting out of hand and taking over our living room.
- Deep clean the house. Cabinets, light switches, doors, etc. Filthy.
- Pull weeds everywhere in the yard.
- Fold those blankets sitting on the chair in our bedroom so we can have the chair back.
- Organize my files on the server. (Maybe some day. Low priority ... they're there, but disorganized.)
- Buy school supplies before September.
- Call Wings of Enchantment to get the caterpillars before they're out of season.
- Raise caterpillars into butterflies with the kids.
- Get toner soon.
- Spend less money.
- Exercise more.
- Organize the shoe/game/coat closet.
- Organize the pantry.
- Organize the closet under the stairs.
- Paint more rooms in the house.
- Take the kids to Cliff's, which was their reward for doing a good job while Daddy was away.
- Fix broken stuff in the backyard.
- Fix holes in drywall.
- Take all the window blinds down to be washed like we did last summer.
- Clean the ceiling fans.
- Hang the ceiling fan in Z's room that has been in our garage for two years now (or maybe C can do this one -- he's better at it).
- Eliminate hard water stains in our shower.
- Play with the kids.
- Date my husband.
- Visit family in California.
- Travel somewhere new.
- Help our friends who are moving before they're gone ... what can I do for them?!
- Plan for birthdays coming up -- many of them in the coming months. Get cards and mail them on time.
- Plan for our Partylite party coming up in a month and a half.
- Pay for S's school at SOM. Attend orientation.
- Take a weekend to do something fun.
- Write a letter to my great-aunt and great-uncle ... they haven't heard from me in like two years now even though they keep writing us.
- Send an email to other extended family members who probably think I lost their addresses.
- Fix my camera or at least figure out what the heck is going on with it (it's been fluky lately).
- Remember to change the calendar pages before the tenth of each month.
- Clean this desk! (I know it's listed twice, but by the time I get to it down here, it'll need it again.)
- Call my dear friend, CP, in New Hampshire. Does she still remember me?!
- Follow-up doctor appointments for S and for me. Schedule and attend.
- Dentist appointments -- don't forget them next month!
- Organize the DVDs.
- Finish the "special box" reorganization project I started last summer.
- Remember to breathe, eat, rest and use the bathroom regularly.
- Pray often.
I'm sure there is more, but my brain is tired from purging at the moment.