Happy New Year! Hope you all enjoyed the holidays with your family and friends. This past month has been a wild whirlwind for me, but I’m looking forward to a fresh start with the new year. Prepare yourself for a novel below, but I hope you feel inspired heading into 2015.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have picked up that I spent the month of December in Massachusetts. My sister had her first baby at the beginning of the month and I’m fortunate to work for a company that allowed me to work remotely to be there for her. Al joined me out there for Christmas and we stayed another week vacationing and snuggling baby Claire.
I certainly recognize how fortunate I was to be there, for that amount of time, and I don’t take that for granted at all. I’m so thankful for the time spent with Claire in her first weeks, and I’m even thankful that she decided to show up a week late – because that meant I got to spend some one on one time with her hilarious momma at 41 weeks pregnant. We laughed, a lot!
Today though, it’s back to the grind. Back to work (in the office, not in my pj’s holding Claire!), back to the routine, back to the house stuff and back to everyday things. I’m not complaining, but I’m being honest in saying that I’m SO overwhelmed right now. And I figure, why not keep it real up in here, right?!
I’m psyched for a new year, I always am. It’s a fresh start whether you want it to be or not. It’s a new chapter that you get to write and you get to make it or break it. We knew when we bought this house it was going to be a lot. A lot more than we were ever wanting or looking for. But for the love I never thought I’d struggle so much to choose paint colors, or fixtures, or bathroom sinks or dining chairs or bedding or curtains.
I’m so overwhelmed with the amount of decision-making taking place right now. And truth is, it’s not life or death, the world won’t end if I choose the wrong shade of gray. But if I choose the wrong shade of gray that means new paint which is more money that could be spent elsewhere because there’s just so much to do! And then there’s the whole, well one project leads to five more mantra, ya know? Because, IT DOES!
As I said, I’m most definitely not complaining. I’m blessed to have a roof over my head, and food on my table, and supportive friends and family all over the country. I’m just so damn overwhelmed right now and I wanted this new year more than anything.
A few weeks ago as I prepped our Christmas cards we noticed a typo. It was in our address (it was a Christmas/we moved card) and I had just spent HOURS creating, designing, printing and cutting those cards. Not to mention addressing and stamping all 88 of them. When we noticed it, like any sane nearly 30-year-old, I burst out into tears, hysterical, near hyperventilating. I was leaving to get on a plane at 5am the next morning and had no clue when I would find time to redo them all. I mean, you would have thought the world was ending, and it most definitely was not. But this is kind of the state I’ve been in for the past few months. Overworked, overwhelmed, tired and on edge emotionally. In the end I had them re-printed when I got to MA where my pregnant sister (whose maternity leave had already started despite no baby yet) gladly re-cut and re-stuffed every single card.
I’ve looked back on that “incident” many, many times over the past few weeks and how absurd it was. And how my very supportive husband, who hugged me tight, was probably thinking to himself that I’m a crazy basket case and it’s just a damn holiday card. Point is, I’ve been moving much too fast over the past few months and that’s when the overwhelmed feelings start set. It’s time to slow down and refocus.
Last month I read Ruth Soukup’s new book Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life. I mentioned Ruth in an earlier post in December as I was chosen to review her book before it hit shelves. I read the first half of the book on my flight out to Boston and the second half on my flight back to Denver, on New Years Eve.
When I finished the first half my initial thought was that it was a good book, well written, but not much more. I wasn’t entirely relating to everything she was saying, but I think it was because I was in that overwhelmed, moving too fast state and was just trying to get through it. The second half had me in tears on my return flight because all of a sudden I felt like I could relate to nearly everything. Don’t get me wrong, I live the good life, a great life actually, but we all still struggle with the day-to-day in some way or another. Your way may be different from mine, but we all have something.
There were many parts that spoke to me, but most of all just the way my vision was changed after reading what she had to say. I hate chores. Hate them. Hate doing dishes, laundry, cleaning the bathroom, etc., but at the same rate I’m a complete neat freak and want my house spotless. I complain about chores every. single. day. But as Ruth mentions at one point – I have clothes. I have dishes. I have a bathroom to clean. And that right there is a good life. So while I’ll never stop complaining about the chores, after folding three loads of laundry today all I could think of was that I have clothes to wear. That are clean because I’m fortunate to have a washing machine. So while I wasn’t jumping for joy over folding laundry, I most definitely had a different mindset. And that was enough to make that one chore not feel so overwhelming.
So as we head into 2015 I’m trying hard to prioritize, make lists, not get overwhelmed by paint colors or by this massive house that needs our attention and to focus on simplifying. We can’t do everything, we’re human and we can only handle so much at one time, but we can set ourselves up for success by putting one foot in front of the other and slowly working towards our goals.
I was not compensated to review Ruth’s book and as always, all opinions and thoughts are my own. I actually had a different post about the book ready to publish later in the week, until I realized how closely my experience related to this post. Happy New Year!