Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What is This 'Calm' You Speak Of? {My One Word Update}

I was holding my breath, trying to keep from screaming at the top of my lungs. I needed to let it loose. I don't doubt my face was turning red. I'm sure the kids weren't positive how to handle mommy at that moment. The look of fear was plain to see in their bulging eyes, but then so was their attempts to stifle laughs as per the shape of their upturned little mouths. But good gravy man alive, if I had told them not to do something over and over again, day in and day out only for them to do it. I'm going to lose it. Or make a spectacle of myself trying not to. This was one of those times. I was making a spectacle of myself. At least it was from the comfort of my home without the many spectators at, say, Walmart. 

Me trying to stay calm is like telling the tide to stay out. Or, at least, that is how it feels to me. Especially when it feels the children are refusing to follow directions. It's amazing how something so simple seems to be forgotten at the drop of a hat. But, that is beside the point. They are children after all. Me on the other hand. I'm trying. I'm trying so hard to be a better mom. A better wife. A better me. I need to find some calm so I can be that better me that I know is in there. Somewhere.


I've been working on it. It has been 6 months since I made that my "one word" for the year and a million other things have crept up. I kept thinking that I should change it. But that would defeat the purpose of picking that word, of being guided through prayer and circumstance to that word. 

This is where that word has directed me so far this year.

I need to be intentional. 

Intentional with the kids: setting boundaries, laying down the rules for particular playtime, intentional with stating my expectations for them, intentional with setting them up for a great day. It's amazing how much I can do to make the day run smoothly. Of course, it is always after the fact when I smack my forehead and tell myself, "well Jess, all that frustration could have been avoided if you had just done _______." Yeah. Intentional. How many times do I lose my cool only because the kids just didn't know what was expected? It's not an innate quality of life. We are here to teach and guide them. They don't know unless I tell them, teach them, help them. 

Same with the Husband. Mostly this focus is expectations. He doesn't know unless I tell him. My mom-in-law said something along the lines of that. She was so right. And it is so true. I'm trying to tell him more. I let him know that I need to know too. It's amazing how much of my frustration with the kids was just bouncing off the frustration with him. That frustration stops there when we know what is expected when we know and understand the disappointment and can correct it at the source rather than spread it around to everyone. It's easier to forgive and ask for forgiveness when we know where we fell short.

I need to set goals for myself.

Now, I know what you are saying. "Hellooo, Jessi. Isn't that the purpose of the One Word? Not to have those resolutions and new years goals hovering over you all year only to fail because you didn't even work on them?" Umm... yes... but, no. Not those kinds of goals. Goals like, what kind of person do you want to be in 6 months? Your situation and circumstance is due in part to the type of person you are, right? So, the best way to change things is to set those goals for you. Set yourself up for the growth.

I want to be the type of person who finishes things. Like, projects and the simple act of putting things away. (seriously, how hard is it to put a pair of scissors away instead of leaving it on the counter, but I do it all the time!) In order to get there, I need materials and a place to work in. I have the materials and space but it is so disorganized. My brain is disorganized. The clutter is out of this world. I don't like waking up to a huge heaping mess in my room/office/craft room. I get out of bed cranky just looking at it. I do all I can just to avoid being around all that stuff!

Honestly. We had all the kids' toys (and I mean ALL of them) in our bedroom. Right at the foot of our bed. it was awful. We had bought a new thing and needed a place to put it. The space where the kids' toys were happened to be the best place for that huge thing. So we gave the kids their toys back. 

Having the room to move back was amazing! It helped me realize that I need to clear out some of the stuff I already have to make the room I need to be able to do the things I want to do (phew, that was a mouthful!). I am in the process of getting rid of a lot of stuff. Husband questions lots of it, too. He even suggested getting a shed to store fabric and things. I would almost never go into a shed for fabric. Create room by making a house just for fabric? A dream to some sewists, I get that. Maybe one day in the past it would have sounded perfect to me. I have read so many places "You cannot keep all the things and keep a clean house". I need to get a control on the excess first. I want to feel that I created the space by being better, not just shifting it from one building to another.

Now that all those things are making their way into the living spaces to be sorted, organized, and gone through, I find I have been getting more irritable more quickly. Mess? Yeah, mess, you gotta go and that means a lot of the stuff has gotta go too. 

I need to find contentment with what I have.

I need to not buy more stuff if I am getting rid of it, right? I need to be happy with thankful for what I have. I need to pass on those things so others that need it (or rather, want it) can get a hold of it and I need to do so with joy in my heart. That's such a big thing. Do the things with joy in your heart. It's amazing how much that joy can overflow. 

I'm working on a contentment challenge that will go through until Christmas. Just what I needed at the time I came to the realization that I needed it. Perfect.

I'm not perfect. Staying calm will always be a work in progress.

I imagine I will continue to hold my breath to keep from screaming at the top of my lungs just to vent frustration. After all, kids are the kings and queens of blatant disregard for rules and I am only human, after all. 

The fact that these lessons are coming up for me is just evidence that I am focusing on the right "one word" this year. I am doing my best to listen, pray, and learn. It's not easy, but then when is life ever easy?

What was your focus this year? What have you learned from it so far?