Getting Past the Exhaustion

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. – Anne Frank

Such an inspiring quote. The thought that I can do even a little something right now, right this very instant to make things better. Smile at a stranger. Laugh with my two year old. Help someone in need.

I love it. And it’s something I want to remind myself over and over until I really “get it” because it’s simple and powerful.

Yet sometimes I see stuff like this and I just feel exhausted at the thought of it. If I’m to be honest, this thought of exhaustion, tiredness, or of the effort that something takes, I focus on that WAY too much. I’m not proud to say that, not at all, but it’s what happens to me.

Anyone else just feel exhausted thinking about such things? I can’t be alone on this one.

Don’t get me wrong this feeling of exhaustion isn’t limited to saving the world. It creeps in at 10pm when there is a sink full of dishes. It creeps in when there are important phone calls I need to make. It creeps in at the thought of cleaning the closet in my boys room. Or when I think about opening a youth center in my town.

The funny thing is that the thing that is actually exhausting is the fact that I don’t do those things. It’s more exhausting to leave the tasks alone and sit on the couch and flip through Facebook. It’s more exhausting to hit the snooze button 17 times or to wake up to a sink full of dishes that you, yet again, have no intention of starting because – it’s too exhausting.

I know I’ve trained myself to think this way and it’s something that I don’t even consciously think about most days but looking at my life I can see it’s there and it needs to change if I’m going to go forward instead of in circles.

How do we get past these thoughts?

For me, I need to remind myself of the truth instead of the lie.

The lie: Doing that project, or choosing happiness, or changing the world is too exhausting.
The Truth: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galations 6:9

The lie: It doesn’t matter if I do my dishes(or laundry or cleaning the car etc) or not because nobody will see.
The Truth: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” Colossians 3:23

That’s great for the mental attack I get at the thought of something but there is one sure fire way I can attack my exhaustion (or rather perceived exhaustion) that seems to work every time. I simply get up and do some thing. It doesn’t matter what. And yes it’s sometimes harder than it sounds, but it works.

I have to remind myself that motion begets motion. An object in motion will stay in motion until a force stops it. See what I’m getting at here? The more you start, the more you finish. The more you finish the better you feel about yourself. The better you feel about yourself the less exhausted you feel and when you feel less exhausted you change the world.

I’m beginning to realize I’ve spent too much time not doing things because I was scared it was going to be too much for me. Or because of a myriad of other fears I’m sure. I NEED to remind myself that I have not been given a spirit of fear but that of love, power and a sound mind.

At the end of the day I’d rather actually be exhausted because I did things that will change the world than be exhausted because I played on my phone all day. Even if the only world I am changing at the moment is my own home, or the lives of my children, it’s all important and it’s all worth it.

So here’s to an exhausting life – I hope you live one too! 🙂

What makes you feel absolutely exhausted at the thought of it? What ways have you combated that?

– Jess 🙂

 

My Kind of Therapy

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Crafting is my kind of thing. Sewing patterns drawn me in. I swoon over new yarn. Don’t even get me started about the colors of paint and pencils and markers – I want to buy them all. Yet when life gets busy and stressful and well crazy, the one thing that I love to do ends up being the last thing on my list.

I realized though that crafting is like creating, and creating is like creativity, and creativity is a part of me. It’s when I am most at peace. It’s when I’m most content. Despite the stresses of some craft projects it is actually a relaxing activity for me. It boggles my mind why I don’t do it more often.

So when I had two hours to myself this past weekend I decided to craft. It’s not perfect and it’s not meant to be. It’s about getting back to me and the very things that make me excited. So here it is – my therapy.

I found an old shoe box top painted it a fun turquoise-ish blue and added my words. Nothing fancy, but I love it. And I love what it means to me too. 🙂 New beginnings, hope, change and life.

– Jess 🙂

Reaching Out

This week I wrote two entire posts about how things are changing and I’m choosing happiness and do you know what happens?

Five minutes into my 2-year old refusing to sleep I break down into a heaping mess of sadness.

Yes I was sick and running on like 4 hours of sleep and that always makes me very overwhelmed to begin with. But I just had nothing left to discipline or anything. It was bad. Like my husband almost came home kinda bad. Like don’t tell anyone about this because I’m super embarrassed kind of bad. I don’t even like writing that. But it’s where I was at and I bet someone out there has been there too.

That was how things were almost every day when I first had Noah. Everything was SO overwhelming and I didn’t know what to do and I was so sleep deprived that I couldn’t figure it out or find the strength to do it anyways. But back then I wasn’t able to tell anyone. For whatever reason I kept all of that inside and the doubts and sadness and shame filled my head and my heart.

Maybe that’s why my meltdown yesterday was so scary. Maybe it reminded me of those first few months when everyone was looking at me to help the crying baby and I had NO IDEA what to do. And so I hid. I hid my insecurities my emotions my weaknesses everything. It wasn’t just all that I was feeling that broke me it was what I was keeping hidden that did.

Yesterday even though I didn’t know it I was choosing to reach out and to not keep it hidden when I texted my husband. And that made all the difference. Seemingly out of no where I was at my breaking point and I didn’t know what to do and the one thing that helped was reaching out. And it took me about 30 minutes and some hugs from Noah to remind me that those things my brain was telling me weren’t true.

In that moment I had to then choose to listen to the good. I AM a good mom. My kid will sometimes just not sleep – despite my best efforts and arsenal of nap time tricks. This stage will NOT last forever.

Today I am telling myself that it’s ok that I slipped up yesterday. It’s ok that I broke down. It’s going to happen. What is important is that I got back up. It’s important that I reached out. And it’s important that I changed my thinking and went on with my day and was a ton better for it.

And maybe you are in that hole and you don’t even know what it means to change your thinking or it’s unthinkable to reach out to someone today that’s ok too. I understand. Hang on. You’ll get there too. 🙂

– Jess