Now, a week later, I'm looking at a lot of things from a much more balanced and healthy perspective. It's been a busy week in many ways, and stressful things have happened, but without having the crutch of being able to vent about my stress on Facebook, I've been getting back in touch with some of my favorite (and healthier) ways to regain balance and peace when things get chaotic. Even just little things like a nice cup of herbal tea or reading a couple of paragraphs in a good book. Things that feel REAL, instead of that kind of creepy feeling of living vicariously through other people's experiences.
Here are some of the things that have happened in my life over the past week.
- I've read a LOT of books. Mostly to my kids, but I've been turning to my books more and more, which is nice because I've always been a bookworm and I've come to believe that I "don't have time" to read. But even just sitting down to read with my kids more often has been really nice, for all of us.
- My phone has needed to be charged every day. This is new to me! Normally I charge it every 3 or 4 days. It's getting a lot more use, since being off Facebook means a lot more texting and calling to keep in touch with people! And there are still more people I'm wanting to check in with.
- I've written. Not blog posts, in particular, but actual work. Chapters of books I started months ago that have been sitting untouched, and very early work (outlines, mostly) of articles that I plan to finish writing and actually try to sell. Like a real grown up writer. It's been over two years since I had any paid writing work, so it feels a little awkward as I ease back into it but I'll get there.
- We've done a lot with organizing the house to be baby safe, because our little Baby Bear started crawling and hasn't stopped moving since then. She took a few tentative paces forward, and then did it again, and then woke up the next morning crawling EVERYWHERE. Nothing holds this little girl back. So we've been working on setting up "baby stations" all around the house, while getting things that are unsafe up and out of her reach. The boys are so protective of her, so this is a project they've helped with very willingly.
- We've had some unexpected days off from school for Bug. It was for a scary reason (wildfires, near our part of the county but thankfully still some distance from our town) but it was still nice to have him home and have that time with him. This mama is so ready for summer break to start!!
- I've spent a lot more time being in touch with a good friend of mine here in town, an absolutely wonderful woman whom I've known since our oldest kids were in kindergarten, but who has more recently become a very dear friend of mine. Words can't even express how much she has meant to me! When I was struggling with depression on and off over the past few months, leading up to this time when I've decided to sort of hit the "reset" button and step back into my bubble, she has always been there reaching out to me and offering friendship and a helping hand and love, and that has helped so much!
- Cooking! So much cooking!! I've taken away the temptation for myself to go "grumble grumble grumble, I just made dinner last night for these people and I've cooked them meals all day and I've got to feed them again?? Hey, what's your family having for dinner? Oh that looks good. Hey, you get to eat shrimp and I've had a craving for shrimp for weeks but it hasn't gone on sale, now I'm kind of jealous that you get to eat what I want. Hey, why do YOU get to have takeout? I want to have takeout. Grumble grumble grumble." You know?? I know you feel me, we've all been there on some level. I hope. Please tell me I'm not the only one. Anyway, so much cooking! I've made a lot of yummy dinners lately and I've been proud of the way I've been stretching food, using leftovers, planning several meals at once, budget shopping and so on. Amazing what I can accomplish when I put my full energy into our meals, instead of putting half of that energy towards procrastinating and wishing I was eating other people's food!
- We've spent a LOT of time hashing out this car situation and trying to make a decision. Something needs to happen, because our old Subaru has so many things going on with it that it either needs to be retired or have an enormous amount of work put into it, and one of those things needs to happen NOW. We got an incredibly generous offer from my dad, who said that he wants to add to our car budget. He thinks that the plan that makes the most sense is to get a second vehicle, so that we can stop this terrifying juggling of one old and very tired car that is threatening to die completely, and he said that he wants to help make that happen for us. We were shocked and surprised and overjoyed, because this is something that will make a HUGE difference for our family. So we're back to shopping for a second car, with the plan that as soon as we find one, we'll start looking for another one so we can retire this poor old Subaru. It's going to be a big year for cars in our household! And I'll be honest, shopping for two new cars back to back and all of the change that is going to bring about, is kind of wreaking havoc with my anxiety. But I feel like I'm managing it much better than I have for a long time.
- Baby Bear and I went up together to tell the "Time for all ages" story during the church service this morning. It was so sweet to talk to all the kids as they gathered around us, and it really touched my heart how many people told me afterward that they love watching her and our older kids growing up in the congregation. The connections we're making at our church really make it feel like home, and from my own perspective of remembering how much my high school youth group and the rest of the congregation meant to me, and how influential some of them were in my life, it makes me feel deeply thankful to have found this kind of spiritual home for our family.
I think that's about it, as far as major events. I'm missing the friends I keep in touch with only on Facebook, so definitely planning to sign on to go through my notifications soon and see what people are up to, but I have to be careful because it still feels too easy to get back into the habit of being on there way too much. It snuck up on me, I used to be much busier outside of the house and I don't have a "smart phone" so naturally I wasn't online as much, but since we've moved farther away from town and I'm spending much more time at home than I used to, it's been too easy for me to keep going back to the screen. Just to see that picture, just to check that notification, just to see the latest things in the news feed - well, it all adds up, not only in terms of time in a day but also in terms of my personal energy. It had become an energy drain, so that I had less to give to other areas of my life.
Some time soon I'll get a better sense of balance and I'll be on there more often again. But for now I'm giving much needed attention to many other areas of my life, and I'm feeling pretty good about that choice.