Crisis at the clinic

I feel like the mid-life crisis is about asking this question: After so many years on earth and so many experiences, “Who am I?”

That question became particularly relevant when I was filling out health paperwork at a nutritionist/chiropractor recently. Several questions that would have been simple yes/no questions 20 years ago suddenly call my entire identity to account. I have lived several lifetimes in my 47 years, been several people with several different health habits. From total sloth to disciplined food monitor to triathlete. Which one am I right now?! And as I sit there in this doctors office, with the intention of looking at my diet more closely in an attempt to improve my health, the whole point is I am working on my overall health. So do the changes I have made in the last few weeks count as I define my answers or do they want to know the me I am trying to overcome? Who am I?

“Do you drink alcohol?” Well, in my 20’s the answer would have been a simple no. Then in my 30’s the answer was about once a month. A couple months ago the answer might have been 2 drinks a night but the past month has brought me down to once or twice a week or two. Which answer is the right answer? Who am I? Are they looking for the answer that will explain what is happening in my body right now or the answer to what I am doing right now to improve my health? And after being such a non-drinker for so many years of my life I still mentally define myself as a non-drinker but being forced to look at the question makes me feel like I don’t know myself at all! Who am I?

“Do you exercise?” Um, yes? Maybe? In theory? At times? Again, in my 20’s I might have lied and said I occasionally exercised. It wouldn’t have been a total lie but considering my daily intentions I did not exercise. Then in my 30’s I decided to become Forest Gump and just ran out my back door one day. It didn’t turn into a cross country trek but I have considered myself a runner ever since. I even added weight lifting and a triathlon at one point. Usually even when I am not running I am on my way back to running. I just run more sometimes and less other times. Winter really slows me down. Except this past year when I am not sure I was still a runner and my body was falling apart and I was drinking 1-2 drinks a day, eating everything and gaining weight. But now I am running again. Or at least I have run 3 times in the last couple weeks and gone on a couple vigorous walks. But I would not say it defines my health at this moment. I would say those 3 runs have been more like an opportunity to put a point on how out of shape and unhealthy I have become in the last year. So am I still a runner? Do I even exercise right now? In my mind I exercise, I am fit and healthy. But once again this question is challenging my understanding of myself. Who am I?

Family health history? 20 years ago my parents were my age. They had not yet started to have health issues. And I didn’t really know my grandparents health issues. So I generally checked the none box. Now my dad is a hot mess of medical mysteries and not so mysteries. And really, is that my future? Am I destine to become my dad? What does my health have to do with my dad’s health? He is unhealthy, I am healthy. Am I really forced to be defined by my dad’s health? Isn’t he the whole reason why I do attempt to maintain some sort of healthy lifestyle? Who am I?

Tired? Um, hello, I am 47 years old, have a teenager, homeschool and work full time. Of course I am tired?! Am I more tired than a normal person with my schedule? More tired than I have been in the past? Am I normal tired or abnormal tired? Who has time to analyze their level of tired? In my mind I am still perky and full of energy. Does that count? Who am I?

Regular periods? Sigh. Yes. When will this answer change?! The one stable thing in my life is the one thing I have so desperately wanted to change for various reasons over the years. It holds me hostage while every other part of my life spins me around. When will this cease to define me?

I realized as I was contemplating my life after the appointment, where she basically told me a bunch of stuff I already knew but apparently needed to spend $160 to motivate myself to take the action I already knew I needed to take, the challenge of your 40’s is that you have been so many people, gone so many places, seen so many sights, done so many things, you don’t know which one is authentically you anymore. Who you are is no longer simple.

When you are in your 20’s who you are is simple because you have just started your life. You went to school, you have a job, you are dating, you drive a red car, you played soccer in high school, whatever. Maybe you had a challenge or two as a kid but your brain wasn’t developed enough to fully understand. Your parents did most of the processing for you and helped you find the right corner of your mind to put the experience so you could move forward. You think you know everything because your definition of everything is very small and knowable. But now, at 47, I know I know nothing because I have discovered everything is infinite and vast and completely unknowable.

Who I am is no longer definable with a few yes/no answers. I am a mixture of things, my knowledge and experiences go far beyond what I am doing and the choices I am making right now. I am a conglomeration of things. I am healthy and unhealthy, I drink and don’t drink, I run and I Netflix binge. I am dairy free except when I decide DQ and Pizza are more important. I have doubts and insecurities but I have overcome and been brave. I have more questions but I also have more answers. I am still naive and innocent but with complicated and sometimes painful experiences that give me a depth and empathy I lacked in my youth.

It can be overwhelming to define yourself in your 40’s and I am sure it doesn’t get easier going forward, but I love who I am. I love the mixture of experiences, choices and trials that have made up my life and created my unique being.

But please, don’t ask me to explain all that in a health questionnaire.

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Becoming Butterflies or/ Letting God work His Transforming Power in Your Life.

A little something I shared with my writers group this month:

Four years ago we sold our house and moved into a little 2 bedroom condo amidst changes and ongoing turmoil. We were overwhelmed by all we had experienced in just a couple short years: me returning to work after staying home, closing our business, John returning to school, selling our home, giving away half of what we owned to downsize, watching our son leave us, listening to others abuse us. Financial struggles, job changes, school changes. We were broken, hurting, angry.

God stripped us completely of our old life and identity while living in the condo. We were lost and struggling to find our footing and understand who we were in this new life we found ourselves living.

What the condo ultimately became was a cocoon of sorts. When we first moved in a friend suggested putting our couch on the wall facing the front door to make it feel inviting. I appreciated the suggestion but told her I was purposely putting it on the wall blocked by the front door because I did not want to convey inviting. I wanted to hide on the couch when someone came to deliver a pizza or pick something up. I had no more strength to welcome people into my life. I needed my home to just be about protecting us, hiding us and giving us a quiet and uninterrupted place to process, heal, grow and become these new people God was developing.

It became a safe place to go home to each night. A place that give us some financial freedom. A place that could be cleaned top to bottom in 2 hours, with a lemonade break on the patio in the middle. A place uncluttered by a lifetime of collected stuff but carefully filled with necessities and favorite memories.  A place without the responsibilities of shoveling, mowing, cracked siding, or drafty windows. It was a place we could just be. A place to hang together as a family, to play games, share meals and rebuild. A place to begin collecting new memories in a new phase of life.

At the beginning it seemed like we would be stuck there forever. I spent many months crying out to God, feeling lost and alone in this new land. Would I ever find my way around? It was interesting, having every aspect of our life and identity stripped away at mid-life. Starting all over and re-thinking who we are and who we will become at a stage of life most people are settling in.

I used to look for a reason, a purpose to all this madness. What should I learn? Who is God calling us to be next? There must be a profound meaning in this major change. I thought it was a puzzle to solve. And if only I could figure out what God was doing I could be content, I could understand, I could join in and I could find a way to live a “normal” life once again. That was the thinking that kept me stuck. Thinking I had some power over the circumstances of my life. When I finally let go of the old life and stopped trying to solve the puzzle, the struggle and brokenness of those years fell away and I was able to just rest in God’s presence and His plan, crazy as it might seem, for our life.

Last fall we moved out of that condo. The place hiding and protecting me from the world. We no longer needed our safe little cocoon. We had rebuilt our finances, established careers, and begun to heal. We were ready to venture out into the world once again.

Our new home no longer functions as a place to hide. We took down a half wall next to the front door so it could swing wide open welcoming guests. We bought and arranged furniture making space to once again entertain groups. We have invited friends and family to see our new home and share in our lives.

The transition back into the world, the transformation into the people we have become over the last 4 years, did not happen overnight. It happened slowly, one day at a time. And finding ourselves back in the world still surprises us some days.

This past Easter found my husband, my daughter and myself all participating in the Easter Vigil service at our church. After several years of consciously saying no and pulling away from church commitments I was surprised to realize that part of our healing had been us beginning to say yes to small tasks. Helping in the nursery, attending meetings, staying after to talk with friends. And suddenly there I was doing a reading with my daughter while my husband helped with lighting at one of the biggest services of the year.

How did this happen?

One day at a time just trusting God and letting Him do his transforming work in us.

Are our kids still kids?

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Yesterday I read an article about young adult books, can’t remember where or what or I would link it.  The article talked about the dangers of exposing our kids too early to adult ideas and experiences as many current YA books are doing.  Specifically the article talked about exposing kids who have not been otherwise exposed to abuse, early sexual experimentation or other harmful experiences through graphic descriptions in books targeting teens. The writer felt this was dangerous and actual led to kids, who might not otherwise do so, having these experiences . It referred to a study that showed when the schools introduced the “don’t do drugs” campaign to jr high students there was actually an increase in drug use when those kids went to high school. It turns out while they heard the anti drug message, the secondary message being communicated was that they would do drugs in high school. So when they were exposed to them they assumed it was something normal for them to do and despite warnings they did what they thought was expected of them.

As I think of all the things my daughter has been exposed to the past few years, things we would have deemed totally inappropriate for her age in the past, I am very aware of how it has shaped her expectations of the world and herself going forward. We pulled her out of school this year and have limited exposure to outside messages for this very reason. It has been interesting to watch her change and begin to reject outside ideas of what is expected of her. We are often caught off guard by how significantly she has changed. Happier, healthier, stronger, wiser. And I believe she is being better prepared to deal with difficult life experiences by being given a chance to live her life without having to deal with them while growing up.

Yesterday we were at Barnes and Noble. The young adult books she was drawn to in the past she no longer wants to look at. She is interested in more Shakespeare and was looking at classics. She got excited when she saw a children’s counting board book based on Pride and Prejudice. (although i will admit her love affair with this book includes the words, “and zombies”)

The time will come when exposing her to the complexities of society, relationships, social politics, sexuality, etc will be necessary, i don’t believe in sending kids unequipped into the world, but for now, we are enjoying a return to a happy and innocent childhood where the expectations are clean and moral and where kids and parents together make wise choices that are safe and healthy.

I feel like I am talking about a world that existed 100 years ago but the truth is I am talking about a world that existed 20 years ago, maybe 10 years ago. Times have surely changed lately. Let’s go back and let our kids be kids again.

Ask a busy person

If you want something done ask a busy person. So the saying goes. And I have to admit it is true in my life. The less I have to do the less I do. When my plate is full I plan better, organize better and get things done. When my plate is empty I tend to do a lazier job, filling up my time with a lot of nothing and having no motivation to get that one little task done. And then at the last minute I panic and half-ass it. (can I say ass?)

Lately my schedule has been a little empty. My business is slow, the weather is cold, and so what does come my way somehow seems to take up a lot of mental space, not get a lot of physical attention, and the next thing you know I have managed to waste what could have been a productive winter organizing closets, setting up systems for my business, cleaning my email inbox out and generally preparing for the next busy season and instead have done some serious netflix binging.

The schedule is filling up. Partially because of the season, spring brings more clients to the real estate market, the changing of seasons requires planning, purging, changing. Partially it is because I can only endure having little to do for so long and then I start inventing things, going out and chasing tasks and activities with a new level of enthusiasm I wasn’t doing at the beginning of a slow season.

It isn’t that I don’t have anything going on in my life: I have a business that is supposed to be my full time job, my husband returns to school in the fall and I will be the primary breadwinner (where did this term come from, winning bread?). I also homeschool my daughter, want to say I am a writer, and enjoy time with my family, friends and being involved in my church. Seems like enough to turn me into a busy person who gets things done. And yet…

When I hit this point I really like to spend a day or two creating elaborate plans, structures to my daily, weekly and monthly routines, write monster to-do lists with big goals in every area of my life. What I have come to realize though is, I really do not like living in a structure, having routines, or making changes to every single area of my life all at once. Trying to implement all of that is a very fast way to get me back on the couch watching netflix.

So this time I am taking it a little slower. I am still going to work on creating routines but only adding one or two things to that routine per week.

This week I am adding 2 things:

A cleaning schedule: Laundry Monday and Thursday, bathrooms Tuesday and Friday, floors and dusting Saturday and grocery/menu planning Wednesday. That seems like a lot but I am calling it 1 thing. I have had cleaning routines in the past very similar to this one so I feel like it isn’t so new it will be overwhelming. I am hoping it feels comfortable and is quickly established.

The second is email clean up. This is more of a short term project than establishing a routine but it could take a while. I literally have 2 years worth of emails in my work inbox. I am not exaggerating. Going through them is like a “this is your life” episode. I started trying to just delete the old ones but truth is I really need to save some of that correspondence should a problem ever come up with the file. It happens. So what I really need to do is file 2 years worth of emails. yeah. I have come up with a fairly simple system but it is still 2 years worth of emails… So I am committing to about 10 minutes a day of email filing along with keeping up with my current emails. Hopefully within a month or two I will have them all sorted out. I have also started working on creating folders in my home inbox as that also is a bit out of control. I get so many emails a day that if I don’t/can’t respond to something when I first see it I might not even be able to find that email, assuming I remember, to deal with it later. So that inbox is getting a few minutes a day of attention as well. The upside is I have a new computer and not all of my home emails from the old inbox migrated over to my new email software so it is a little more manageable than it was a month ago.

I already have a loosely established routine of going into my office 3 mornings a week. Between weather and sickness it has been a few weeks since I actually went in so it feels a little new going in again but I am not counting that as a new thing but a regular thing I am sticking to!

Confession: I am still working on the elaborate routine/schedule, thinking of color coding it, with the monster to-do list and setting big goals for every area of my life at once. But I am going to learn from past failures, they say successful people fail often, and start slow, one or two things at a time.

My next new thing will be re-introducing exercise into my life. I figure it will take a couple weeks before the mountain of snow on my deck melts. (Along with the mountain of snow being predicted…) Should be about the right time to introduce an additional task to my daily routine. My jiggly body can’t wait!

Work Ethic 101: Chasing Fantasies

I would really like to get rich quick. You know, win the lottery, get an inheritance, write one blog post that goes viral and launches some big time career where I do nothing and everyone comes to me and brings me checks?

That is pure fantasy.

It is at this point I come to Proverbs 12:11, “He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgement.”

Especially as I tend to be entrepreneurial in nature, this verse begs the question, am I working the land or chasing fantasies? Because when you are trying to start a business and make money on your own it can often feel a lot like chasing fantasies if you have the wrong mind set.

Many people try to start businesses and fail. And my lackluster success certainly makes it easy to call into question the existence of my land. But then I ask myself, am I afraid to actually pursue my dreams, my business goals, because I treat them exactly like they are forbidden fantasies rather than my land in need of work?

Limiting beliefs are ideas, beliefs, that hold us back in some way. They tell us we can’t do something. If we believe it to be true, it is true. I can’t build a business, I can’t write a book, I can’t save enough money to travel, I can’t run a marathon, etc. If I believe I can’t, I’m right. And I am realizing I have limiting beliefs telling me my business is a fantasy. That has to stop.

It seems like I need to determine what is land and what is fantasy. But as I have sat on that question I think it may be the wrong one. I think I am focused on the wrong part of the verse. Maybe the question is actually between working and chasing. Am I running away from my land and after some completed success or am I standing on my land and doing the work to achieve success.

My real estate business is my land. Am I going to work it and have abundant food or am I going call it a fantasy and do nothing?

I am going to work my land and have abundant food!

Work Ethic:

Lesson #1:  Work is a moral good. God calls us to work.

Lesson #2:  My work, whether a business or a “real” job, or for that matter as a homemaker, is my land and must be worked. I am not chasing fantasies if I do something non-traditional. I am doing the work set before me.

 

It’s Snowing…

The snow is lightly falling, blanketing the world in white. The soft, filtered light coming in through the windows casts such a soft glow over everything around me. The tree branches are stunningly highlighted with a white topper. It is picturesque. Today I stay home, put on my warm socks and hoodie, brew a cup of hot tea, or two, and snuggle up on the couch with a good book and enjoy winters beauty.

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At least that is what I would be doing if it was November, or December or January, or February. But it is APRIL! So instead I am: avoiding looking out of the large wall of windows in my home, turning my chair toward the wall, digging deep into my mental health reserves to hold myself together, move forward.

I check the weather forecast to see how many days of reserves I will need. It appears to be 10 days. I review the options. Can I maintain my mental health for 10 days with my current level of reserves? That would have to be 10 days away from windows, avoiding Facebook, and forcing happy thoughts, never discussing the elephant in the room. That requires a 10 day project that keeps my mind occupied. Do I have that? I don’t think I do, this might require a deeper dig into the mental health vault. Denial, fantasy, revisionistic reality…

It isn’t April, It is January! A balmy January afternoon in which I am enjoying the lightly falling snow, cozied up in my warm socks and hoodie, sipping my hot tea and basking in the beauty of a winter wonderland. The Vikings still have a shot at the superbowl and I am looking forward to my February trip to Florida. My current book and the couch await.

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Happy New Year!

You know you are a real homeschooler when you do Shakespeare

Homeschooling is serious business.

We started homeschooling last fall. I had no idea what I was doing but was passionate that this was how our daughter needed to be educated at this point in her life. I have pretty much felt like a fraud at every moment this entire year but nobody seems to notice. People who know I am new have been very encouraging and helpful but, as the school year comes near the end, they are also starting to treat me like I am a real homeschool mom who knows what I am doing.

Pretty sure I still don’t.

This spring some homeschool families from our church invited us to be part of putting on a Shakespeare play, Twelveth Night. They were moms I liked who had kids my daughter knew from youth group and it was Shakespeare. As a good homeschool mom it seemed like I just couldn’t say no.

I am going to be honest. I don’t really care about Shakespeare. However, smart people are into it and, and several homeschool philosophies really encourage it and when you homeschool you really want people to think your kid is smart and you don’t want people to find out you are the fraud you know yourself to be by admitting you really don’t get what the big deal is. So you act excited at the wonderful opportunity your daughter has to do a Shakespearean play.

I don’t exactly know why I am acting excited about it or how exactly this is impacting her education but now when her other homeschool friends talk about Shakespeare she will be able to give that knowing nod. Yes, she too has performed Shakespeare and, yes, she too has a much more complex understanding of the world having played a middle aged drunk man who speaks in Old English.

I feel like I might have just proved myself a homeschool fraud by sharing that.

I have never in my life been part of putting on a play. Yes, my son was part of several productions in high school but my big role was to host a yearly Christmas party with his drama friends and attend the performances. We lived walking distance from the high school so I didn’t even drive him to and from practice. In fact, he didn’t even tell me he was interested in theater, he just didn’t come home from school one day. I was wondering if it was possible to get detention that quickly? School had just started the week before. If schools even still gave detention? How long until I should be worried about the fact that my son has not made it the 4 blocks home from school more than an hour after it got out? Then, in the door he strolls as if nothing unusual has happened. “Where were you?! Did you get detention?” He gave me the 14 year old eye roll, informed me there was a meeting about the fall play, then went to get something to eat out of the refrigerator.  And with that I became the mom of a theater kid.

10 years later I am a homeschool mom sitting at someone’s kitchen table discussing whether a character should enter or exit stage right or stage left while actually wondering which is which. I am bringing prop items for consideration and helping with the set design. And I am totally overwhelmed by the number of details that go into putting on a performance while simultaneously realizing this is what homeschool moms do. They take up the slack, pitch in wherever needed to get their kids educated regardless of whether or not they have a clue what they are talking about.

Which is pretty much like every other part of life and parenting. So, I think maybe I am starting to be a real homeschool mom.

This week we are diligently memorizing Good Sir Toby Belch’s lines, from a shortened version of the play, in order to not look like we don’t know what we are doing at the dress rehearsal. And occasionally I stop to explain the meaning of a scene or line to make it easier to memorize. Mostly she is going stand on stage and say a bunch of confusing lines that, if you aren’t playing close attention, go by too fast to comprehend in the language she is using. But, friends and relatives will come, endure the 3 hour play, clapping wildly at the end from both relief and pride. Knowing that somehow, although they aren’t sure how, by virtue of sitting through Shakespeare, they are a little smarter.

Work Ethic 101-Do I have one?

 

My sister and I both went back to work around the same time. I had a fascinating conversation with her about our  parents work ethic yesterday. It is always surprising when we discover how completely different each of us have interrupted the same set of circumstances. Our parents both worked, my mom worked 32-36 hours a week and my dad full time. They both had good jobs but neither of of them were at the top of their fields or really had a desire to get there. They did their jobs and came home. My sister saw them get up every day, go to work no matter what was going on in their lives and stick to the commitment to provide for our family. When she went to work amidst a divorce and a need to provide for herself and her children she took that truth to heart and went in to her office sick, kids in crisis, ex husband harassing, whatever happened she went in and gave the job her all. And I have so admired that as she has walked her difficult journey.

I, on the other hand, saw our parents do the same thing but also come home, complain about working, my mom overwhelmed by making dinner after a long shift (even as teenagers we didn’t help out, that is another story.) and my dad hiding behind a newspaper all night (another story). I saw people who came home tired from their jobs and who seemed to simply survive from day to day. And I desperately did not want that when I grew up. I did think I would work when I grew up but I was determined I would love what I did and that I would have a life outside of work.

Now I don’t want to turn this into some blame my parents post. I am 47 years old, I have had plenty of years post childhood to figure this stuff all out and my current life choices are mine alone. I have found for myself what most days I think is a pretty good balance between work life and home life. But, as my natural inclination is to do less so I am always looking for lessons, tips and encouragement to keep me moving forward and do a little more. And so talking to my sister has caused me to really look at the work ethic our parents had more closely and think about how I internalized it and the working attitudes I have developed as a result. Which has led me to ask an uncomfortable question about myself:

Do I have a bad work eithic?

I would definitely tell you I have a good work ethic. I wouldn’t try to justify an employee of the year award level work ethic or anything like that but I always do my job, meet deadlines, anticipate client needs, etc. I am not a complete slacker who cannot be counted on which is how I would interpret someone with a bad work ethic.

But, if you google the definition of work ethic you discover according to Webster it is, “a belief in work as a moral good a set of values centered on the importance of doing work and reflected especially in a desire or determination to work hard.”

Work as a moral good? –as in God values it?

Work is important? –but I don’t want to work…

Work hard?– I literally wrote a whole blog post about how much I hate that phrase.

I think I have a problem.

Last year I was studying the book of Proverbs with some other ladies. Proverbs has a lot of advice and it can be overwhelming to decide what to take in from each chapter. So, I decided to study proverbs specifically with an eye toward what it had to say to me about working and the value of work. It was a very eye opening experience and has completely changed my view of work. The changing of my actual actions and attitudes is coming slower but my understanding of work as a moral good, something important and the value of working hard are truly biblical ideals set forth by God is something I have come to accept.

And it is really messing with my enjoyment of my lazy.

I can’t imagine I am the only one with this problem. So for those of you in my lazy boat I thought I would review and share over the next few weeks what I learned studying Work in Proverbs last year and see if we can encourage each other to strengthen this biblical value in our daily lives.

 

 

 

Oddly satisfying

There is a lot of stuff online I would rather not see or know my daughter has seen. This past year we have been re-thinking internet usage. It has been great in improving her outlook on life and great as John and I have, through Riss, discovered some really fun stuff.

Today’s observation is oddly satisfying. There is an entire series of videos that fall in this category. Like this one:

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Somebody is squishing slime for a living. I have also watched people mix paint colors, cut clay, cut open a ball on filled with slime or paint or whatnot. I want to be horrified and disturbed realizing there are people making money squishing slime. But the truth is I do find it oddly satisfying to watch.

Real Time Management Help

Historically I have loved reading time management and productivity books. However, lately they just make me roll my eyes.

The reason I read books like that is because I am lazy. I am not naturally a productive, get things done, workaholic. I can spend an epic amount of time playing games on my computer, watching netflix or just staring at the walls. I really like it when I am productive, get in my runs, write a great blog post, contact clients, write contracts, organize a closet, make a great meal, read a book to my daughter, etc but honestly, if those things aren’t staring at me my natural inclination is not to make them happen, it is to sit my butt down and let the world pass me by. I am constantly fighting the urge to de-evolve.

For some reason the last few years the only people writing on this topic, and I presume publishers feel the only people reading on this topic, are high achieving, executive, workaholics. People who are in non-stop work mode and need to learn to manage their time better so they don’t work as much and burn out. So they write books and articles with titles like, “Do Less” and “How to say ‘No'”.

Seriously. I cannot relate.

I am not this person. I have plenty of margin in my life, I am not afraid to stop and take care of myself and I generally would rather spend time with my family and allow them to define me than a career. One might think I lead a perfectly balanced and productive life. Except maybe I have tipped the scale a little too far. Maybe my value of relaxation and presence in the daily of my life has gotten a little out of hand. Maybe the 3 hours a night my husband and I have spent binge watching a 13 season show for the past month is becoming problematic to our ability to engage in parenting, finish building the desk area we started or sell the car we stashed in my parents garage for the winter before they return from Florida. Maybe. And probably the over 600 games of candy crush I have finished while waiting for John to come home and watch netflix with me is a little excessive. Probably.

I just really believe there are other people like me out there. Maybe they just aren’t writing blogs and books but I think they are out there and can relate to what I am saying here.

I do try to take the ideas from the workaholic guides and incorporate them. I have a few overlapping issues. I do get a lot of emails and information I need can get lost under 50 emails I don’t need pretty quickly. So I am working on creating folders for relevant information. Step two will be remembering I put stuff in that folder and looking there when I need it. Also, I am a master of the google calendar (not really a master, don’t ask me any questions about it, but I rely on it greatly and like to tell myself I am the master of anything I use on a daily basis.) And, I have a to-do list so if I were to turn off netflix I know which projects I might think about working on.

And, truth is there are so many things in those books I am already good at. I am very aware of my need to take care of myself and although I am not great at doing it all the time I am not afraid to admit defeat and take a day off. I try to be available to my clients 24/7 but am not afraid to tell them I have an appointment and can’t meet them even if that appointment is to see the latest Marvel movie with my family.

But while I am not perfect and don’t even want to become perfect, I do like to have new ideas to incorporate into my life, I like to improve, I like the option of becoming more productive and knowing what steps I can take to do that. Specifically with today’s technology.

One thing I could do if I learned to manage my time better would be to write a little more and actually post here more than twice a year…I have a lot of thoughts beyond, “productivity books suck” on this topic of managing my time and have been doing a lot of thought on the topic of work and how God calls us to work. And by work I don’t necessarily mean a job/employment/making money, although that could certainly be a big part of it for many people, but work, getting things done, not spending every free moment on your butt. God values work. And there is plenty to do if you are willing to get off the couch and do it.

I am seriously considering heeding that call from God and getting off the couch…Once we finish this stupid long series…I did delete the candy crush app from my phone.