2018 was the year of feeling both overwhelmed and unfulfilled. It was difficult to reconcile the feeling of lacking with the feeling of the clock constantly running out with still more that needed completing.
I knew moving on to the farm would increase the demands on my time and I prepared for that. What I didn’t prepare for was the extra demands that Wyatt going to school would add in the form of nightly homework, school meetings and after school programs. By early spring, with 30 acres needing near constant mowing, I was running on fumes trying to work three full time jobs: physician, mother/housekeeper, and farm manager.
The term “burnt out” doesn’t even come close to describing how I felt each night as I struggled to stay awake past 8 pm to finish mowing in the dark after having worked 10 hours, cooked dinner and helped Wyatt with his school work. It was too much and I was drowning quickly.
Something had to give and so I gave up self care. I hung up my running shoes. I ditched my nightly journal habit, I began writing less on the blog, I stopped reading fiction for fun. I stoped taking pictures daily. In a way I was relieved that my new horse was lame all summer as it gave me a guilt free excuse to not try to fit in riding as well.
By the time fall rolled around, my schedule was a little more free and I was feeling even less like myself. All those little moments stolen for my own sanity were gone and now my day looked like this:
630am – wake up, get ready for work
7:15 am – take Wyatt to school and head to work
530pm – pick Wyatt up from after school, bring horses in for dinner, put them back out and refill grain buckets for the morning, make dinner, eat then clean up, work on homework with Wyatt
830 pm – crash in bed
Lather, rinse and repeat Mon-Friday. Add in cleaning the house, doing laundry, grocery shopping etc on the weekend and then begin all over again.
That’s not living. That is surviving. And poorly at that.
By the middle of fall I was mean. I had a short fuse and took long naps. My energy was gone, my diet was awful and I was feeling ugly in my own skin for the first time in my life.
I spoke to Dusty about it and he found a cleaning lady to do the house twice a month. At first I was hesitant. Who was I to have another person clean my house for me? But over time I began to love it. Coming home to a clean house is an amazing experience plus it frees up three hours every weekend and stopped arguments with the husband about what cleaning actually meant. (Hint: running the vacuum does not constitute cleaning).
It was the first positive step to a better life.
Having tried to make time by cutting out all seemingly unnecessary tasks and finding myself spiraling farther away from a happy life style, I’ve decided to bring them back in 2019 in a healthy way.
I’m starting to journal again but in a new format. I’ve had a bullet journal the last 3 years to keep up with all my daily to dos or else I’ll forget to do half the things I need to do so I don’t need a book like that. Writing long paragraphs about my day isn’t going to work either. It’s too time consuming. Instead I’ve created a group of 10 questions to answer every night. It takes only 10 minutes to do but helps to focus on the day, what made me happy, my diet and hydration, my exercise, Wyatt memories, things I was proud I accomplished and things to do the next day.
It’s been going really well. Really, really well.
Next I’m returning to running. Or run walking for now. I’m very out of shape. I dowloaded a new app called Zombie Run. It’s an audio experience while you run that tells as story in a zombie world. You pick your pace, distance, location and the story runs along with you. You pick up supplies, out run zombies and build a new world. It’s fun. It makes running suck less.
Hydration and a better diet are priorities moving into the new year as will be picking up a just for fun fiction book from time to time. Oh and more music. I need more music in my life.
I’m not creating any goals or participating in any challenges with these activities. No number of miles, races to be entered, book clubs or the like. I’m going to fit them in when able and try to do it without guilt for once.
Wyatt is still and will always be my #1 priority, but the things I’m adding back to my life are needed for my health and sanity and hopefully will change my attitude and perspective back to my normal “let’s do the thing! Let’s explore! Let’s LIVE!” mentality once again.
I’m coming for you 2019. With guns a blazing. Bring it.