When the routine is all we have.

Linking up with my people at Five Minute Friday today.

The theme?

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There are days when I get up, I get dressed, I swig some coffee, and I sashay on out to the world and say,

“World, greetings and salutations! I just had some coffee and my kids are dressed with 75% of their clothes facing the right way, and I’m PUMPED. Let’s DO this!”

Today friends, is not that day.

Today was a wake up, stare up at the ceiling, wish for more sleep, more coffee, more time when my brain didn’t seem to hurt so bad, kind of day.

I was not ready to face it, the day, or anything else for that matter.

I just wanted to pull my covers up over my head and hope for sleep and chocolate and perhaps a Corgi puppy. A puppy would help.

That would get all messy, though. And you know the puppy would also eat the chocolate which is bad and there would be stains on the bed and UGH WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO HARD EVEN PUPPIES.

And that’s when I start in on the whole exhausting mental checklist of Doom:

  1. It’s sunny, but I’m still sad.
  2. My children are healthy. Yep, still sad.
  3. Chocolate is in the house somewhere. SAD. SAD. SAD.
  4. We are fed, watered, have a roof… and still there is this horrible dreadful SADNESS. GO AWAY.

I have no reason for this sadness. And I really hate that. I want it to go away. I want to fight it. But the more I do, the more I get stuck in the sadness. Do you remember that verse in the bible about temptation? It says not to engage. Don’t make eye contact. Just RUN DA HECK AWAY? Well, that’s what I need to do, I think.

But I’m too tired to run.

I hate this sadness SO much that I have a tendency to hunker down and listen to a sour, angry voice inside my head that I like to call my “Inner Asshole” (sounds so inappropriate and kind of gross, but really? It’s just who he is). And he says things like:

“You’ll always feel this way. This day is gonna suck so hard it will just be impossible to even MOVE and your kids will hate you and everything is awful and why even try. Nothing matters except that you know that you are a failure for feeling things so hard that they make you immobile, so for the love of Pete, MAKE SURE YOU DON’T MOVE THEN. It’s super important when feeling immobile to KEEP ON BEING THAT WAY.”

But this morning, I did this:

“Hey, Inner Asshole, shut it. (Again, kinda gross.) I gotta go teach a bunch of college kids how to write good.”

And I got up, got dressed, even brushed and flossed (win for me AND the college kids) and got to work.

I didn’t want to.

I really just wanted to stay home.

I kinda hate parenthetical citations, really.

But sometimes? The routine is all we have. And we get up, and floss, mutter the serenity prayer six times, and talk about parenthetical citations, and we hold onto all that stuff as a tiny, bobbing life preserver.

Not a big pink floatie in the shape of a flamingo, folks. Just a tiny, yellow, beat-up life preserver. That’s it. That’s all you get.

The sharks are still out there, but by goodness, I am going to float the heck out of that preserver and paddle on. 

NOT TODAY, SHARK.

NOT TODAY.

 

 

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Choosing to Change

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Y’all. All of life is a choice. All of it. And lately?
I have been choosing to take a slow train ride to Slugsville.

Slugsville is a pleasant, albeit slimy place. It is a place of stillness. There’s lots of carbs involved, usually the ones with the double-stuffed centers. There’s a lot of pillows.

Also, some self loathing. But, the milder kind. Like, the kind where you watch twelve straight episodes of Property Brothers and think you should get some granite counter tops because everyone else has them, but first you might have to clean the kitchen first, but we just had breakfast so it looks like a crime scene, and maybe you will just eat half a box of Nilla Wafers instead. That kind of self-loathing.

“One day,” you think, “One day I will FIX ALL THE THINGS.”

So, I’ve been in a rut. It’s kind of understandable. It’s summer and I’m surrounded by nutball boys and wet swim suits and the endlessly tedious job of Putting Tiny Legos Back Where They Don’t Really Belong Because There Millions and They Keep Having Lego Babies.

Also, I have been a bit heartbroken about our world. So there’s that. And being a “little bit” heartbroken is kind of like saying, I’m just gonna watch E.T. and I might cry just a “little bit.”

Change, it seems, can be good. But, as one who has dealt with a “little bit” of depression all my life (yes, I know, I am being rather blithe about the depression thing, but not really. I am just talking about it in the way that is familiar and chatty, because we are very, very comfortable with each other, depression and I, and I am NOT going to write a depressing post today about depression. There is enough angst already, y’all, on the internets.)

ANYHOW.  As one who has dealt with depression, I recognize the road to Slugville.

And I want to turn the heck around.

Here is what I do when Slugville looms on my horizon. I start to make little changes – watching my sleep. Reaching out to friends for lunch dates. Baking cookies. Making sure I walk the dog every morning. All those little shifts in the daily in and out help.

But also? I read.

Well, I read all the time, anyway, but I make a point to find something new, inspirational, and probably waiting in the large pile of books by my bed anyhow, just sitting and waiting patiently for me to open its covers and get some help.

And so, I present to you:

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*Truth? It is an e book so it wasn’t waiting in the pile by the bed. It was waiting in the computer. Same diff.

I met Tam when I spoke last year at the Whole Women’s Weekend in Maryland. She is adorable. And she is really funny. AND she is a powerhouse for Jesus, so my goodness, she is just straight-up GOOD PEOPLE.

And here is what her book is like:

You know when it’s been a hot, muggy summer all… well, summer long? And then one night there is a really huge, torrential downpour, and you go out onto your porch before dawn and you can smell it, a coolness, a hint of Autumn, and everything is washed down and clean and even the flowers seem to stand up straighter?

That’s her book. It’s a deep breath. It’s a shift in the weather. It clears out cobwebs.

Tam starts out by asking three simple questions:

  1. What do need to CHANGE?
  2. What do you want to BECOME.
  3. And when will you CHOOSE to begin?

And then, she answers with three truths. And I’m not gonna tell you any more because the book is super short and super good and I want you to read it for yourself!

Tam’s book is available on amazon if you want to take a look. Click here.

Also, if you want to know more about the lovely Tam, click here.

What do you have to lose? Because, despite what the slugs say,

“Change is good.”

 

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