Humor · Life

I’m a Lazy Girl

Real talk time, y’all.

I’m confessing this, because what’s the fun in being a Mary Sue that has no weaknesses? Yes, I blog about my life to encourage others. A portion of said encouragement is being transparent about my shortcomings and how I try to overcome them.

With that said, I confess…

I am a lazy girl.

If I had my way about it, I would lay around, read a bunch of romance novels, eat macaroni and cheese, and take plenty of naps. Oh, and I wouldn’t gain a pound either! (This IS my dream and all.)

That’s what I wish to do some days. You know the ones. The laundry is piling up, someone has spilled milk for the fifth time in the last hour, getting school work done is like pulling teeth – you get the gist. Some days I just want to lay around and do a whole lot of nothing.

Throw anxiety on top of that and it’s especially rough. Those are the days I want to consult Dr. Google about a disease which appeared that morning in the shower.

Kind of like Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

alan-ruck-cameron-frye

[Pause for absolutely necessary movie quote: You’re not dying, you just can’t think of anything good to do.]

I’ve had people tell me I’m motivated or I don’t know when to slow down, but I know the opposite to be true. I’m naturally a lazy person. I don’t wake up with any extra energy or special determination to get the job done. If I don’t force myself, I hitch a ride on the struggle bus as I juggle anxiety, depression, and digging deep to find motivation.

As a homeschool mom of three who wears many hats, my weaknesses are revealed front and center each day. So, do I succumb to them? Do I accept that I’m not a super motivated person and accomplish nothing? Do I let my life pass me by without ever accomplishing goals? Do I just coast through?

Ahhh. Sometimes I do. I’m not going to lie.

Sometimes.

With that said, I have learned motivation is not something which will appear out of thin air. No person was born with an extra bit of oomph to get them out of bed in the morning. You simply have to decide to go for it.

The Bible speaks a lot on this very topic and each time I run across these verses, they step on my toes. The virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 was described as someone who “eateth not the bread of idleness.” In other words, she stayed busy. Whether her job was selling merchandise or caring for her children, she continued to remain on task. She was no different than us and because she was human, she had days where she fell short. It wasn’t about her perfection as a mother or even a perfectly clean house. (She had kids and probably a lot of them considering the time this was written. You think there weren’t messes and days she wanted to rip her hair out?) The virtue of the Proverbs 31 woman was that she remained diligent in her work and sought the Lord to help her do so.

With that said, what do I do to keep motivated? I know my weaknesses, I know the areas I struggle in. How do I change it?

Here are some things I am trying to implement in my life to get motivated each day and accomplish my goals.

  • Give it to the Lord. In my 8 years of being a mom, I have experienced my fair share of overwhelming mornings. (Today maybe?) I am sure you can picture the long to do list and your blood pressure rising as you see the work ahead. Stop right there and pray. Be honest with the Lord and ask for help. Get in the Word, seek encouragement from Him. Turn on some uplifting music and get your mind in a good place!
  • Wake up early. I shared this on my post about self-care for homeschool moms, but it’s just too good not to share again. I love to sleep like anyone else. Waking up at the butt crack o’ dawn is not my favorite thing. However, getting those extra hours in the morning to get my mind in a good place is vital. I also try to get some light cleaning done and my workout out of the way (so I can forget about sweaty torture for the rest of the day). Having that extra bit of time has been a game changer for my productivity. As opposed to waking up with the kids and running around in a tizzy, I can ease into my day. Though I hate rolling out of bed each morning, it is truly my favorite time of the day.
  • Keep everything on a timed schedule. This is for our homeschooling, but it truly keeps me on track and prevents getting into a habit of procrastinating. I’m THE WORST about that. But if I know I only have a certain amount of time to sweep the floors or get laundry folded, I’ll hustle. Even though I’m a stay at home mom and my job is 24/7, the hours seem to blur together and fly by. The idea which says we have all day is deceiving. I have to make time if I’m going to get anything done.
  • Stay moving. When it’s the busy portion of our day, I try to avoid watching tv or spending time on my phone. Why? I will sit down for just a moment and find myself still sitting there two hours later. Ahhhhh! Two hours lost! I’m about killing time, but not like that!  With all of that said, I have to keep on moving. There is a time for rest and quiet time, but I need to stay productive otherwise.
  • Take quiet/rest time. Uh, didn’t I just say I stay moving? Yes! But there is also a wonderful time of day where I tell the kids to lay down and be quiet! Naps seem to be hit and miss, so those are a rare occurrence these days. However, a few minutes to chill, zone out into a good book, eat a snack, sip on coffee … WHATEVER! I need it! It helps me refocus for the remainder of my day and push forward until that blessed bedtime hour.

I’m not a know it all, super motivated, go get ’em chick. By default, I’m a lazy girl who sees the value in putting forth the effort to accomplish goals. It’s not always easy, but the end result is priceless. I feel accomplished, confident, and a little stronger as I head into the next day. Implementing these ideas have also been essential in helping me cope with anxiety and keeping my mind in a better place.

What about you? Do you struggle with the temptation to be lazy? Or are you one of the lucky ones who spring out of bed each morning with sheer determination as your driving force? If so, share your wisdom!

And no, I’m not knocking those days when you need to lay around and eat a bowl of mac and cheese. They do come and I embrace them. Willingly. But life must be lived, the little guys have to be taught and our minds need to stay out of trouble.

I have been blessed with a good life and I don’t want to miss a moment of it.

Homeschooling · Uncategorized

Homeschool Mom Confession: Doubt

Grace Christian School (the name I use on our records) is officially starting in just a few weeks. Summer has flown, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit how I miss our routine. I really enjoyed the loose routine for a while – not having to get down to business early in the day and NO school work. It was fun! But it quickly turned from enjoyable days in the swimming pool and bike riding to bored kids and a Mama who misses her regular scheduled programming.

Our family thrives on routine. I have had my kids on some kind of routine since they were infants and it’s carried over into their school years. Aside from quiet time, summer break is when we just kinda toss the routine out of the window. And like I said, it’s fun for a bit. After so long, I get stir crazy.

I’m itching to get back to it. School supply sales are all around, county schools are starting up, and I’ve begun setting up our school area.

However, I must confess something.

I am scared of homeschooling again this year.

You’d think fear would be alleviated by the confidence I gained in teaching my two school aged children for an entire year. I have one who was a beginning reader that reads well now. My up and coming first grader has gone from knowing no sounds whatsoever to putting together small words and reading short sentences. The crazy three year old has somehow picked up counting to 15 without much help. By God’s grace, we have accomplished a lot this last year. It has been incredible to witness.

But self doubt creeps in. I play the comparison game and wonder if my kids are keeping up with their peers. Or I consider if the curriculum we use is enough for them. I beat myself up, thinking I could do more and better as their teacher. 

Phew! As I was mulling over these thoughts, the Lord reminded me that teaching my kids will not always bring instant results. It’s a process of building one skill on top of the other. It took months for my first grader to learn his letter sounds and to get to the point where we could begin reading. However, just a little each day prepared him for one of the most special moments I got to experience: reading his first book. Each tiny step brought us to that victory, but it did not happen right away.

It’s a process that I have to stop fearing and instead hand over to the Lord. I have to rest in knowing that He gives me grace for each day and guidance as I make decisions for their well being. I can praise Him for the victory I have already witnessed.

I look back over the last school year and I see a lot of things that I would have done differently. I also realize that we were slammed from the get go – between my grandma passing and experiencing a pregnancy that ended in miscarriage. Money was tight, stress was high at times, and I had many days where I didn’t even know if I could get through it. But we did. By the grace of God, we sat down at that dinner table and we got through. Maybe it’s remembering how rough those days were that make me so nervous.

“Look back to learn, not to dwell. Look forward to achieve, not to fear.” -Unknown

But I have to remember how good God was in the midst of it. Life didn’t care about my plans, but God was good to me and carried us through each day.

Maybe this is your first year homeschooling or you’re a well seasoned homeschooler. Perhaps dread is sneaking upon you as you count down to your first day. Know that these feelings are completely normal and you’re not alone. Yes, we are called to this journey of educating our children, but we are still human. We still second guess our abilities and wonder if we can do it all over again.

There will be days where it doesn’t feel like you can. The best advice I can give is to pray, give it to the Lord, and take it one day at a time. We tend see the entire year as we look at our workbooks and lesson plans. Just focus one day at a time.

That’s how the Lord helped me through last year and I believe He will do the same this year.

life lessons · Writing

That Time I Wrote 30K in a Month

I cannot believe it is already August! Summer break has flown by and we are preparing to begin another school year. I cannot wait to share our journey of our second year homeschooling. With a three-year old ready to start preschool work, it will make for an interesting story to share!

So, where was I during the month of July? If you follow my social media pages, you probably noticed me talking about Camp NaNo. NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. Camp is a virtual writing retreat where you share a cabin with other writers looking to accomplish personal word count goals.

I am currently working on my first ever novel in the young adult romance genre with Christian themes interwoven all throughout. Since I’m very much an amateur, you can guess it will be a while before this thing is ready for the world! I plan to hit it with another round of revisions and find some brave Beta Readers who can critique and tell me if the thing even makes sense. Hiring an editor and publishing (more than likely going the self publishing route) is way down the road.

For now, I write because it makes me happy and it helps me. Camp NaNo was an eye-opening and life changing experience.

The first lesson was one I learned years ago, but was unfortunately overlooked. My first week was a great success with 10 thousand words and scenes I was happy with. They were probably some of the best I had written. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to save all of this work on an extra file or my cloud. Yes, it happened. The file corrupted and I lost every bit of those words. Every.stinking.word. And yes, I cried. Thankfully, I had notes to fall back on and I was able to rewrite everything. I was even able to accomplish my original goal without changing it. Let’s just say, that second week of July – I was pumping the caffeine.

Lesson learned! Save, save, save. SAVE THE STINKIN’ THING.

Another interesting thing I’d like to share about Camp is that it helped me with some personal issues I’ve been dealing with. This story is fictional and is not based on any person I know. However, there are pieces of me scattered into it. As I developed one of my antagonists, I knew I had to give them redeemable qualities to keep them relatable. I never buttoned up their issues in a neat, fairy tale ending kind of way, but I kept them real. Writing this character made me realize an important truth about people. They are more than their offenses. It helped me to look beyond disagreements and hurt I’ve shared with others and appreciate the good I have shared with them. Call me crazy, but the Lord used these imaginary people to soften my heart and release grudges I had been holding onto.

Lastly, Camp forced me to accomplish something in spite of how I felt about it. There were nights I didn’t want to write. I didn’t feel inspired. I wasn’t excited about writing a particular scene or having to switch to a certain point of view. My inner critic wanted to tear apart each word that came from within. I had to force myself to write anyway. Even if it needs tons of editing later, the words are down. I have something to work with. This mentality is so true in the grand scheme of life. We expect our inspiration and motivation to come easily, but sometimes we have to move forward in spite of having none. That’s how winning is done. (A nod to my fave – Rocky Balboa)

Camp NaNo was a great experience and I’m thankful I stuck it out. I believe it helped me to see I can write along with all 20 of the other hats I wear in this life! It is possible to have a passion and goal while raising little ones. You simply have to be willing to set aside the time and work at it even when motivation is fickle. (Hint – waiting for motivation to strike is a myth. You just kinda have to create it yourself.)

I might be singing a different tune once we begin our school year, but I’m optimistic! I was realistic about the goal I set last month – considering our schedule and my husband being on vacation the first week. I plan to do just the same as we get into the full swing of school work. 🙂

Do you have a personal passion or goal you are working toward? Between Mom life and everything else we must get done, these things often fall to the back burner. Set a small goal for yourself to see these things happen. I believe it is necessary and absolutely okay for us to have something we love to do. 😊