Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Garbage In, Garbage Out

I have been stuck in a bit of a rut these past couple weeks, since returning from vacation. Everything in the house around me is a mess and I can't seem to get up the motivation to tackle it. On the days I work, I get home and take care of the kids and I am exhausted. I barely feel like making dinner, let alone tackling chores. On my off days, obviously we've done some social things but I've had time to clean and tackle projects too, I'll be honest. I just haven't, for the most part.

The much-anticipated garage sale is this weekend and, while I know it's going to be something of a hassle and I still have much to do in order to prepare for it, I am really looking forward to just getting a bunch of that stuff OUT of my house.

Sometimes I get stuck in these ruts, you see, and I've spent many hours thinking about WHY and also thinking about how to get out of them, or stop them from happening. Here's my theories so far:

1) I become overwhelmed by the mess and clutter around me and I find it really hard to function. (Seriously, sometimes I just sit there and stare at the room I'm in and think that I have to get up and tackle it, but I know there's a bunch of other stuff I need to get done too, and I can't even mentally get to the point where I can make a to-do list because I can't get over the fact that I need to organize my space first, and my brain sort of explodes from trying to deal with it all, and I end up doing nothing but sitting and staring at the mess.)

2) Lack of energy and/or a general feeling of slight illness / sluggishness. Sometimes this is my blood sugar, sometimes not. (I'm diabetic.) And I contribute THIS to: lack of exercise, not eating right, not getting enough sleep.

Those are the things I believe are at the roots of these occasional slumps; it seems when all of those factors are on the 'bad' side, nothing gets done. If I'm doing better in even one of those areas, I generally feel better and can get more done. And of course, the better I'm doing in all of those areas, the more functional and efficient I am.

None of this should really be surprising information to anyone. Especially item two; that's kind of basic biology. I'm writing about it because sometimes I feel like I struggle with staying on the 'up' side of these factors more than most people do. Or when I catch myself on the 'down' side, doing negative things to myself and falling into a slump again, it is sometimes really hard for me to start reversing those trends and get back on the 'up' side. I am also writing this because I start individual therapy tonight to work on why some of these things are so difficult for me, and I am working out what I'll be discussing I suppose. Blogging has always been a form of therapy for me, though lately I haven't been all that introspective. I started this blog to share my journey in accomplishing my dreams. As I've mentioned before, I believe I have a number of roadblocks to overcome in order to accomplish all the things I've set out to do. I hold myself back. Figuring out why, and overcoming it all, is the first step in accomplishing those dreams. So I'm trying to be open and honest and share the good, bad and the ugly. Even when it's a less-than-flattering picture of myself.

When I start to feel overwhelmed by something I try to accomplish, often I will set my sights on a particular event: 'once X happens, I'll be able to accomplish Y'. Then my life becomes a waiting game, waiting for X, while I get very little else accomplished. In this case, X=the garage sale and Y=organzing the house again. What's frustrating to me is that I have thought of a number of ways I could work around the garage sale stuff and keep up with areas of the house, but I just haven't, because I'm waiting for X. That's another thing I've got to work on - staying in the present. I still want to plan for the future, but I don't like that I let opportunities pass me by while I wait for the future to be NOW.

My three main roadblocks, as I've mentioned before, are clutter, weight and finances. About the only one I've been any good at ltely is finances. Good in the sense that we've been trying to be much more conscientious about our spending, and I'm still using and tracking everything and trying to be more mindful of our budget. Unfortunately, we're in a very tight period right now and somehow we still catch ourselves overspending and making things worse from time to time. I'm struggling with this a bit because it's really frustrating and we've just never seemed to find a really good method that works to keep our heads above water for very long, and I don't see us accomplishing our financial goals if we don't stop living paycheck to paycheck. Then I add in extra stress to my mind by trying to come up with ways to make more money, and suddenly I've added about 50 extra projects to my plate, and I'm totally overwhelmed again.

A few months ago when I started this blog I told myself I was going to stop overwhelming myself with projects and just focus on one thing at a time, until I finished it. I did that successfully for a month, maybe a little longer; made a lot of progress on my house. But that was taking too long so I agreed to add in one more project: eating healthy. A few weeks after that, I started letting other things creep back in and before you know it, my project list is huge again.

Perhaps this is partially why I'm in a slump again. I'm trying to do too many things at once, once again. Getting back to the basics really was working for me before. You've seen the videos, and a few folks were even at my house and can testify that it was looking pretty good. I just started to panic because I could see all these others goals of mine flying past me and I get really impatient; I want everything to happen for me NOW. This is why I try to tackle everything at once, because I want it all NOW. But then I try to do it all right away and look what happens - nothing. I accomplish nothing at all.

So perhaps, tonight, we will talk about my impatience and the feeling of panic I get when I see time flying past me and I think about how long it's going to take to get all of these things done, and how I can work on changing that aspect of myself so I really CAN just tackle one thing at a time.

I'm afraid that if I stick to just one thing at a time, I'll get stuck on that one thing and never move past it. Cleaning, for example, is a never-ending thing. Even when I've got it all decluttered, the upkeep is a daily thing. Will I ever have time to keep up with it AND add new projects? Logically I know the answer is yes, at least one day, once it's decluttered and it's become routine. But emotionally, I feel like I'll never be able to juggle more than one thing at a time and I get a little panicked at the idea that even if I accomplish a goal and move on, I'll never be able to keep up with goal one when I'm working on goal two. I know not all goals will require upkeep once they're accomplished, but the main three: clutter, weight, finances - they will all require constant maintenance, for the rest of my life. I worry I won't be able to do it all. I think that's holding me back too.

So there's my introspection for the week. I keep tripping myself up. Here's hoping I can find ways to work past all this.

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