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The Grind. How Can We Escape it and Simplify Life?

I grind my teeth. And, I clench my jaw. I was reminded of this at the dentist last week. But how do I stop from clenching when I feel overwhelmed? I feel overwhelmed this week…and often. As my editor just remarked, “You’re doing too much. Try to take a break from the book, because you’re rushing it.” I was trying to wrap up writing my book, but it isn’t ready to wrap up. That’s the thing about writing a book: it evolves, changes, and you, yourself, can’t predict the turns it takes and even how it ends. It’s not ready, and I can’t force it, even though I need a break. I wanted to check off the box: book complete. Check. Done. But I can’t. I can’t check off many things. The to-do list just continues to grow, or one thing is added as another is completed. I’ve got to stop clenching my teeth about this before I have none left!

These are nice teeth, and not my lips. But I wish I had sugar lips!

So what are things we can take away from our to-do list to simplify? Here are some constants in my life that will never be “done:”

  1. Take care of the kids. I do this six nights a week alone one week, and four nights a week alone the other. There is no getting around it, as they are still in elementary school. I could work on letting them be more independent. For example, I still cut their food and give them baths. Shh, I know. Don’t chastise me! But, I sort of like that they need me. I bring them snacks, clean their rooms, play with them all the time. In short, I create some of this “stress” there. Maybe I can work on that.
  2. Go to work. I can’t change this. We all need a paycheck. And I like my job. But, yeah, it takes up a lot of time and headspace. I think about it when I’m not there, and I check my emails at all hours. I can work on that too.
  3. Walk my dogs: I could hire a dog walker, but why even have the dogs? I LIKE walking them, but it also stresses me out when I haven’t, or when I’m rushing to work, and getting the kids out the door, and they are imploring me to take them on some long walk with their sad, little eyes! I guess I could get up earlier. Oy.
  4. Writing: I want to finish my book. I have 300 pages. I need to finish it. I want to continue to write my blog. I love writing it, and I love reading blogs. I need to make the time, or the quality suffers.

Well, okay. OMG, you know what I left off that constant list? Take care of MYSELF! I just realized that! Self-care. This is something we often forget, right? It takes a back seat, and then I go to the dentist and find my teeth are worn down. Or I cry for no reason when I listen to Piano Lounge music on Spotify while driving. I’m like bawling to some Kate Bush song and thinking, “Wait, why am I crying right now??” This happened yesterday. Then, I realized I think I’m just to freaking busy and overwhelmed.

Sorry to vent. I know we all have a lot of must-dos and should-dos.

I also need to stop apologizing.

But, first, I’ll work on grinding my teeth.

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Committing to a Good Day

Do you ever wonder when your to-do list will end? Will you ever get it all done? I have come to the conclusion that I will not. The dishwasher will always be full. Is that a metaphor for my glass is half-full and not half-empty? I sure hope so.

woman in gray sweater drinking coffee
My glass is half-full! This isn’t me, but I mean, maybe in my head.

There are so many things I need to get done in this house: paint the back, repair the basement sliding doors, get new floors, re-carpet the entire pee-stained rug in my daughter’s room. Okay, let’s be honest. I need to just get a match, light it, and start over here.

BUT! That is not the point! The point is I will NEVER get all of this done. My house will always need something! There will always be more I could do! Oh, and did I mention I have to go to Coinstar? With the amount of change we have collected, I will be able to ¬†quell the nation’s coin shortage crisis while simultaneously buying $300 worth of groceries! Win-win! (Oh, right. I also need to go to the market).

IMG_2764
One of our coin jars.

Okay, so the point I’m trying to make is this– let’s go easy on ourselves. Let’s let ourselves off the hook, especially right now. These are not great times, and we need to be gentle to ourselves and our to-do lists. In fact, maybe we should burn those and just put one thing on the to-do list: Have a good day.

Right? Let’s just have a good day. Simple as that! Commit to the day that you will not berate yourself for ANYTHING. Commit to not committing. Wait, now I sound like a 28-year-old man who doesn’t want to get engaged.

Let’s be kind to ourselves today! I hope it’s a good one.

have a great day text beside white ceramic mug with coffee