A few weeks ago, I felt like we were flailing. Flailing as in...drowning. Getting home, the house was a mess, I was stressed, and dinner was not only not on the stove, it was still in the freezer. After a few days of the "go go go" it hit me...my priorities were totally out of whack.
Let me explain...life is all about priorities. How you spend your money--priorities. How you spend your time--priorities. How you raise your kids--priorities (lets be real--we can't be the perfect parent and teach them EVERYTHING...so we prioritize and teach them what we feel is the most important. Example: "Oh, he's jumping off the arm of the couch onto the couch? No biggie." but...."Oh, he's running into the street? BIG DEAL).
My priority was my calendar. I've never thrived with an empty calendar. I love to be busy, and I love to invest in those around me. Relationships are important to me.
I didn't think I was over-committed. And technically, I wasn't. I wasn't double booked, I wasn't skipping naptime for my child...yet, there was a sense of chaos that I felt like I couldn't control. And that's when it hit me: I wanted calm in my home more than I wanted to fill my calendar.
I wanted my ducks in a row. I wanted my laundry done. I wanted my dishes clean. I wanted the floors clean. I wanted my car to NOT be a total disaster. I wanted to have dinner on the stove and serve it in a reasonable fashion where we all sit down and eat together rather than throwing anything we can find together. I wanted my bills to be filed away rather than sitting in a heap on my desk. I wanted for my husband to walk through the door and for me to greet him with, "I've got things handled here! How was your day, dahling??" <---In this theory, I may or may not be a 1950s housewife wearing pearls...HA! But, SERIOUSLY...I didn't want to be a hot mess when he got home.
Don't get me wrong...we have had that life in the past--you know, a calm one. When Mason was a baby and didn't require as many activities and social things to entertain him, we were home a lot more. He also wasn't as quick on his feet, so I had more time to devote to keeping a house. But now, with school for him three mornings a week, me volunteering, keeping up with friends, grocery shopping, and the general tasks that I do to keep the house going...it was all just too much.
So, I started my own mantra ..really, it's to put myself first. Each morning I ask myself: What can I do today to choose calm over chaos?
Some days, that means forgoing a social opportunity so that I can take care of my chores. Or skipping a trip to target (who doesn't love going to target), so that I can have dinner on the table on time. Or saying no to things so that I can say yes to myself and my family. Or being diligent about meal planning and grocery shopping--my least favorite task of all.
While being out and about, volunteering my time, helping others, and staying busy fulfills me, none of it is worth my home being in a state of chaos and disarray. I am not my best self when my house is a wreck.
So, I've noticed over the past few weeks that as I repeat to myself--What can I do today to choose calm over chaos, that I can avoid a lot of stress, anxiety, and frankly, I'm a happier person.
For some, they don't mind a messy home and would be MUCH more fed with social obligations and a busy calendar...and hey, that's cool. Different strokes for different folks!
But for me, I'm choosing calm over chaos this holiday season. Because, my sanity is worth it. Because I'M worth it. And because the members of my family are worth it.
So, if I've been out of pocket or off the radar lately, it's simply because I'm making an effort to order my home, my life, and my responsibilities rather than fill my calendar. Doesn't mean friends aren't important, but life just gets busy with a toddler and two dogs (that require quite a bit of time and energy as well and make cleaning a DAILY thing). In fact, asking myself the question of how I can choose calm over chaos is kind of empowering. It is a guilt free way for me to not only prioritize myself, but also my family. Because we all know, if momma ain't happy, nobody is! And isn't that my number one priority in the end? Cultivating a wonderful home that my husband looks forward to coming home to and my son feels loved and secure in?? After all, his sense of what normal is--well, that is being shaped every day. I want his "normal" to be a well run, well organized home, full of love, fun, laughter, and plenty of TIME to enjoy each other. Particularly around the holidays. Not a stressed mom with a full calendar.
This one question allows me to live my life in a more intentional way. I share this because it's really such a fantastic question for those of us who feel like life might be spinning a bit faster than we would like!
Happy Holidays, my friends!