Good Days | Bad Days

Good Days | Bad Days

Coffee Dates with God - Good Days | Bad Days

Do you ever have bad days? Just plain bad days? I don’t even know what it was that caused my bad day.

Maybe the dank, dreary weather. Maybe the extra-early rising from bed. Maybe the taxing wiring “issue” we had (think frayed wires and disintegrating insulation…AKA “could have ignited at any moment”). Maybe the fact that my best friend moved this weekend. Maybe the fact that I seem to mess up one endeavor after another these days. Maybe something else. I don’t know.

But yesterday was a bad day.

I was exhausted enough that I didn’t have the energy to really do anything. But too stressed out to actually rest.

And I began thinking about my word. Slowing.

And that brought an onslaught of guilt. I just about had a mental breakdown exactly because I am utterly failing at living my word for the year.

When he asked what was wrong, I told Husband I was juggling more than I could handle. I can’t seem to do it all well. And I am Ms. Perfectionist–must do all things with effortless ease and perfect results.

He suggested I get rid of something–anything–to slow my juggling act.

But what? I wanted to know.

Husband says that even blessings become burdens when we can’t handle them…and I think he’s right.

But what blessing would I choose to give up?

My horse? She is as much as a part of me as, well, anything. I’ve had her since she was a baby, and I sincerely can’t bear the thought of letting her go.

The opportunity to go to England? I’ve never ever been to Europe, and it’s the one thing really exciting and motivating in my life right now. I just need to find a few ways to make a little extra money to get me there…

Small group Bible study? Not a chance.

Church involvement? Nope.

Work? Not really an option…

So how do I go about slowing this year if I can’t seem to pare down my schedule?

My urge to purge and organize are a great place to start (a simplified home will definitely foster slowing), but it has to go beyond that. I need daily time to spend in Scripture. I need regular exercise. I need time for bubble baths and hot tea. But where can I find the time?

Perhaps scheduling my day would help…as in, official, written down, time allotted for various activities. Considering the fact that I am a known “rule follower” setting some rules could be a good step.

Here’s to hoping for a few new ideas to produce a few better days!

My January Goals

My January Goals

A recap on how my December goals have progressed:

  • Make homemade soup (I don’t know why this appeals to me, I hate to cook. And after the first attempt, I will probably be over my desire for homemade soup…)—Does it count if Husband made the soup? It was delicious! I can’t wait for another batch =)
  • Wrap gifts early (I’m usually pretty good at this, but I still put it on the list, because I know how some years go…but I want to be able to enjoy the look of presents under the tree BEFORE Christmas Day when they all go away)—Check!
  • Research the 12 Days of Christmas (Husband and I are considering adding this to our repertoire of traditions)—I mostly did this, but more research will come next year…
  • Finish sewing curtains (I have several curtains that were purchased frugally, but have no backing to provide a layer of insulation in the winter, so I’m adding it myself.)—Half way done, I finished 2 out of 4.
  • Make a gingerbread house (a new tradition Husband and I began the first Christmas we were dating =)—Check!
  • Take the light rail into Norfolk to visit “the big mall” and little shops before Christmas—Check!
  • Make Christmas cookies! (I might have to limit this, last year I made far too many for us to eat, I had too many to even give away!)—Check! And I even limited myself to ONE kind of cookie, much more apropos =)
  • Take time to relax, read, and just enjoy (Reading list: Little Women and Miracle on 34th Street, which was a delightful find from a used book store in Norfolk)—Check! And I even finished both books
  • Decorate carefully and joyfully—Check and check!
  • Streamline cleaning process on Saturdays (should it really take me 5-6 hours to clean my house?)—Made progress, but still working on this…
  • Finish my last graduate course well.—CHECK!!! Can you tell how glad I am that it is finished?
  • Attend yoga class at least once a week (it seems to be making a big difference in number of tension headaches I always get, so I’m definitely becoming a fan!)—Mostly check.
  • Enjoy Christmas.—Definite check!
  • January

    Okay, now on to January goals, starting with a few carry-overs:

  • Finish sewing curtains.
  • Streamline cleaning process on Saturdays.
  • Organize Christmas items as I put them away.
  • Make time to play with Gidget and Fidget every night.
  • Hang picture frames in master bedroom (everything was taken off the walls when I painted…in September).
  • Find a rare warm evening to take a bike ride! (For Christmas, I bought Husband headlights and taillights for our bikes…)
  • Re-budget…things change, time for the budget to change too.
  • Visit family in the Washington DC area. (We really, really want to get out of Va Beach for a weekend!)
  • Officially join our church as members. (Looking forward to this one!)
  • Make significant progress on thesis project (I will probably need to define significant…)
  • Do some financial organizing (as in closing accounts, transferring funds, etc.).
  • License horse trailer!
  • Budget for England. (What, didn’t I tell you I’m going to England??)
  • Make time for manicures, even if I am doing them myself.
  • Read, and read some more. (Currently working on Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell.)
  • My holiday mantra

    I firmly believe that the holiday season should be enjoyable. So although its still a bit early, I’m mapping out all of the wonderful things we want to do, trying to fit each and every one into the schedule so nothing falls through the cracks.

    But every year I really want to make this season less about “doing” and more about “being,” and more often than not, I lose that somewhere along the way.

    This year, I once again dedicate this season to joy and contentment. And to keep myself on track, I am adopting a very special Bible verse:

    “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19

    This will be my mantra this season.

    In light of it, I have decided that amid my packed schedule, I need to make room for pondering.

    Let me explain, when I was in Haiti last spring, my trip leaders explained that there might be some slow times during our stay. Sure, we were planning to see and do a lot, but they had purposefully left a significant amount of flex time in the plan. Why? Well, because things happen on trips like that. Things that are unexplainable and things you cannot plan for, but things that will touch your heart.

    They were right. Things did happen. Not every time we left ourselves open for it, but far more than could have been possible had we packed out our week there.

    So this holiday season, I want to make room for “things” to happen. I want to make room for pondering, for slowing, for treasuring. I want to make room for God. That’s what it’s all about anyway, isn’t it?

    To do this, I am going to need a plan. It is such a non-concrete goal that this concrete-sequential girl needs some tangible ways to get myself there.

    The first one is reading Little Women.

    Little Women is one of my most favorite stories in the whole world. And since it begins and ends in the holidays, I always think of it as a holiday story.

    And let me tell you, I know this story inside out. I’ve even read Little Men, and my 1914 edition of Good Wives (which my parents brought me from Europe), and other Alcott books like A Quiet Little Woman and The Inheritance. So you can imagine the shock I felt when I realized just a few weeks ago that I had never actually read Little Women.

    Dismay.

    So my first path to slowing this season, my first step to pondering, is to read Little Women.

    And I mean really read–all out hot tea (or cocoa), warm blanket, papasan, and Christmas music playing softly in the background.

    A long week

    It seems that every time Friday rolls around, I’m thinking the same thing—boy was that a long week! Will a week ever just be a week?

    Sure, part of it is some extra stress as I get used to me new responsibilities at work and one of my supervisors is out. And yes, I am working full time and taking a graduate level class and trying to work on my thesis. But really, life is going to continue this way for a while. So I might as well get used to it.

    A few things I’m learning:
    • Don’t attempt to do homework after working all day and cleaning the barn in the evening. I’m exhausted.
    • Don’t schedule date night after work and barn for the same reason.
    • Drink lots of hot tea at work in the morning; it makes the day feel a little calmer.
    • Don’t plan to do too much on the weekends.
    • Don’t stress too much over the state of disarray at the house while simultaneously trying to renovate the bedroom.
    • Don’t attempt to do homework unless I have the house to myself.
    • Purchasing a new dog toy/bone can be very helpful in getting homework done.
    • MAKE time for friends; they’re more important than a clean floor.
    • Wake up early enough that the morning isn’t rushed; it’s worth giving up 15 minutes of sleep.

    In other news, the walls of our bedroom are completely prepped and Bob is going to be priming today (since he has the day off and I am working). If all goes as planned, I should get two coats of color on tomorrow. I might have to wait until Monday evening to do the glaze, but it should all be wrapped up in a few days!

    Then perhaps on to the kitchen walls…