Saturday, January 28, 2012

When at first you don't succeed....

Keep On Trying
Originally loaded on Flickr byRed-Wagon 

I have admitted defeat....sort of.  I didn't see (or want to see) the chaos that was about to erupt as I rung in the new year.  I didn't anticipate I would be working 70-80 hours a week.  And I fell off the wagon, so to speak, when it comes to this blog.  But I'm getting back on.  And accepting that this happens to everyone.

If we all looking through our lives, it's probably easy to think of the things we let drop.  As mothers in today's hectic world we have to balance so much.  We have manage careers that ask more and more of our time, while still being a mother and wife, and all that comes with it.  I find that when I think about all the things I have to accomplish in any given day I get overwhelmed - QUICK!

How do I manage it all?

  • Set priorities.  Look at your life and what is MOST important.  This will help guide your to-do list and remind you what your focus should be.  For me, my list is: God, Marriage, Kids, Family, and Work.  
  • Realize how much time you have in a day.  There are only 24 hours in a day, at least 8 of those should be set aside to sleep.  As much as we'd like to add more hours in a day, we simply can't.  And accepting that and setting realistic expectations for what can and can't be done can help get your to-do list in line and less crazy.
  • Forget about all the "shoulds."  When I think about my list - I start with the things that I have to do.  The things I know have a deadline or an immediate need.  But then the "shoulds" start creeping in.  I should have call my friend.  I should have taken the baby to park instead of cleaning.  I should have done this or that.  But those are the things that make a reasonable to-do list unreasonable.  Letting go of the "shoulds" and focusing on the needs will help eliminate excess items on the list can overwhelm and distract you.

I'm learning everyday that it's an ongoing process that has to be revisited everyday, sometimes multiple times a day.

Monday, January 9, 2012


So far I'm not starting off my journey of following through with a project very well.  Let's recap the last week.  Thursday is small group night.  Our days goes something like this:

  • Wake up late (because it's Thursday and I'm already exhausted)
  • Rush out the door because I'm already late for work
  • The day goes by.
  • 5:30  - Oh crap - I'm late and have to get home.
  • Burst through the door, kiss the baby, hand off said baby to paw-paw
  • Burst out the door and on the way to small group already 15 minutes late
  • Get home and crash
Yeah, so Thursday was a lost cause.  But Friday got better!  Just kidding.  Sparely the ugly details, I ended up working until 4:30 AM Saturday morning.  Count that - 17 hours working in a 24 period.  The remainder of the weekend progressed in a sleep deprived blur, so today if the first day in 5 that I've had more than a few minutes to actually relax and think.

And what do I think?

Working SUCKS!  Double the suck factor when you have to pick up the slack of a co-worker.  I know being a good Southern Belle means always being nice or at least projecting a nice exterior, but I gotta, this latest go around has really tested my patience.  I had a moment where I seriously thought about quitting - just walking in and saying peace out! Of course I can't do that - but it's a nice thought!

So for tonight, I'm going to take a few minutes, relax, read my Bible and get back to what's really important.  It's been a long week, and it's only Monday.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'd rather be...

See, I knew I'd survive my first day back.  It certainly wasn't fun, but I survived.  However, after a doing my time and coming home I find that I have hours of work ahead of me.  What would I rather be doing?  Pretty much anything, which is why I spend a good hour trolling Facebook and Pinterest when I really should have been working because I really couldn't justify curling up with my new book and going to bed at a decent hour.

Tonight is a prime example of where I struggle as a working mom.  I've already given 10 hours between my commute and working hours and at the end of the day I just want to spend time with my family and maybe a few minutes to myself.  That shouldn't be to much to ask right?  I shouldn't feel guilty about not working sun up to sun down.  However, in today's corporate world, it's expected that you give your life (or at least it feels that way).  8 hours not enough?  You've got 24 hours in a day, so that means there's at least another 18 hours to work.

When is enough really enough?  And how do you say no without the fear of risking your job.  I'm still trying to solve this.  I find myself praying not for clarity but for the ability to simply focus and complete a of tasks in the coming day.  Tonight though, I'm drained so I'm going spend the last few minutes of the day getting lost in London (in my latest book) and pray for another productive day tomorrow.

Until then...

Monday, January 2, 2012

20 years ago....

It could have been yesterday.  The emotions are that real.  The next day was the first day back to school after Christmas Break (back when it was PC to actually call it Christmas Break) and I sat sobbing in my bed because I desperately didn't want to go back to school the following day.  This was before bullying and Mean Girls.  I didn't hate school - in fact I was the model student.  Straight A's, always overly prepared, etc.  I was simply crying because I didn't want to go back.  I wanted to stay at home some more, to spend time cooking with my mother, reading what I wanted to read, and doing whatever else it is that children do.  Of course, the next day came and back to school I went.

But now 20 years later, I sit in my own grown-up bed, with my sweet baby asleep in his crib and my husband typing away on his laptop, and I honestly feel like that little girl from days gone by.  I would like to cry, but I won't, because seriously, what mother cries about having to go back to work after PAID weeks off.  But I really want to.  I don't want to go back to work.  Not because I hate my job (thankfully, I enjoy it most days), but because I can think of the hundreds of other things I'd rather be doing besides achieving the objectives of others.

I think of all the things I've missed in my son's life because of work and the guilt sets in.  Then I think of the year ahead. The travel, the extreme amount of work, the late nights, and the lack of energy I have because of all of it and the guilt gets even heavier.  And so is the plight of every working mother I suspect.  Even the hard core ones have to have some guilt somewhere about missing out on time with their babies.

But I got here by my own making.  When I took my current job, I made a very bold and naive statement starting out.  I said I wanted to be a CEO - loudly.  In many companies that wouldn't mean a thing, but I was fortunate enough to get the attention of our CEO and was offered a personal mentorship with him. (Hang with me with here, the end isn't what you expect).  I count my blessing for this opportunity because in the brief period of time I've counted him as a "mentor" I've learned more about God's plan for my life than I ever have in my entire life. You know the saying "Every time you make a plan, God laughs"?  Well he's been laughing really REALLY hard at me - we're talking a night at the comedy club type of laughing here.

What I've discovered is I don't have what it takes to be a CEO.  And while I don't doubt my managerial and technical skills, I have come to realize that I seriously lack the ability to walk away from my family, to neglect their basic emotional needs, to put myself (and career) first.  I can't erase the guilt or even put it in a box and be "OK" with it.  So as I head into the new year, I struggle with how to retract my silly and naive statement from months ago.  How to tell my CEO "Thanks but No Thanks" while conveying that I'm still a dedicated and engaged employee.

I count my blessing every day that I have a great paying job that I enjoy, but that doesn't stop the fear that comes with drastically changing how people see you.  I won't cry when I head back to the office tomorrow, or even when I relax in the shower tonight, but I will fondly think of that little girl 20 years ago who did, but who also pushed through and not only survived but thrived.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The First Step....

It's New Years Day 2012 and I again find myself wondering what the new year will bring.  I personally hate the entire New Years Resolution thing.  Why?  Probably because I never stick with them.  And I generally feel that making a resolution just because it's a new year is a bit silly.  Because if you really want to make a change, you should just do it.  

However, for me, I just do a lot things.  In my professional life, I'm tactical and methodical.  I plan and organize and know exactly what needs to happen to complete a project. But personally, I'm all over the place.  One night I might decide I want to redecorate the living room.  And the next day I'm on to sewing a dress.  ADHD at it's finest!  Unfortunately, with all those changes comes LOTS of unfinished projects.  My house is littered with the half completed projects.  And the blog sphere, well I'm sure it's equally littered with half completed blogs I've started and never really followed through with.

So this year, I'm taking the first step to attempt to overcome to my constant need to start new projects.  I'm actually going to start a project and finish it!  My life is crazy, and I need an outlet to talk about that craziness. 

And with that comes this blog.  My goal is write everyday and to hold nothing back.  You'll get the real down and dirty of being a woman, a wife and a mother in the south!