One Less Thing

I realized my self-talk whispers “ok, one more thing” over and over each time a new daily challenge arrives. This came to my attention when suddenly I experienced a fifteen minute window where I soaked in the joy of One-Less-Thing instead.

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My car dashboard mirrors my life with its scattered warnings. The tire maintenance light is forever “on”. I’ve had 5 nail punctured tires over 5 months.

The service engine light greets me each morning. The oil change guy hooked up a gadget reader to tell me the light is nothing to worry about, but I wonder. The brake light won’t go out even when the emergency brake is released. I stopped looking up what the other lights mean in the manual.

The dashboard reminds me of the running narrative in my mind. It goes something like this: I’m still sick. Stress is not helping me get well. Drop the kid off at school. Go to work. Repeat. My voice refuses to come back. The cat puked. -One more thing. I need to make dinner. Sweep the house. Keep trying to sell the house. Clean the bathroom. Move the laundry. I really should write a letter or send a care package to our deployed son. What just fell off the house?! -One more thing. If you sit down, you’ll fall asleep. Get up. Give Hubby the light weight fork because it is easier for him to manage. Position his shoes in a way that will help him be less likely to fall. Move his phone to his next location so he is not thrown off balance by carrying something when he travels inside the house. Help the remaining kid with college applications. I need to go to Lowe’s. Heavy duty caulk. A new vacuum bag. Take out the trash and recycling. Prepare for presentations at work. Who do I need to call back? Have I followed through on all work tasks? Scoop litter box. Check personal email to see if anyone has responded to my manuscript query letters. Send more queries. Do we have gas in both cars? Pay bills in a way that hopefully does not cause an overdraft. It’s going to be close again this month. Is Hubby breathing? Is the cat breathing? I really need to make a vet appointment. -One more thing. There are other people I want to check in with. I text them. There are other people I would like to be there for. My capacity is too narrow. I can’t believe he hasn’t been able to work for a year. We need some mobility equipment. That will have to wait. The kid needs an eye appointment. -One more thing. I can’t make that work financially. How many hours of sleep can I get if I go to sleep right this minute? Why can’t I fall asleep? And so forth.

I try not to complain out loud. “Just keep swimming” as Dory says. But seriously, if there is a Santa out there who wants to buy our house so we can leave and start over, that would be GREAT.

Today I uprooted this tree growing into our fence and felt delighted by the image. Yes, we are ready to be uprooted.

In an attempt to make extra cash, I placed an ad to be a Pet Sitter. I can squeeze in dog walking and more cat litter scooping. I can love on animals and give neighbors peace of mind. The first response? Someone needs help with a cat until they get out of jail in February. So many thoughts. Bless their heart. Sigh….

One day I will not feel so stuck. I visualize selling a manuscript and being in an affordable and accessible home. One day I’ll be in the land of all three. I have learned hard lessons. I can do better.

This week our youngest got a job. Go kid! And he broke my heart by saying, “You won’t have to worry about Christmas, Mom, ’cause I’ll be able to buy my own presents.” The sentiment is good. The reality hurts.

A new job means he needs new pants. We make a plan to go to the store Wednesday. I secretly stress about how to afford the pants, but I think we can make it work. I don’t want him to know how close we are cutting it.

On Tuesday evening I drag my work bag into the house as the guys say, “We have a surprise.”

There on the kitchen table are new pants one day early. Hubby even used a coupon. In my book, that’s hot. Hubby had a decent afternoon and they worked together. I hear that the wheelchair got stuck in the JCPenny door, and they figured that out too.

In the moment, I physically felt something fall off the to-do list. One. Less. Thing. This felt magical. I soaked in the joy for fifteen intentional minutes. I smiled in my own home. This surprise felt so good!

This was a glimpse that things can be better. Will be better. I will trust the process.

To all those who struggle, I send you a giant cyber hug. You can do this. We can do this. Deep, slow breaths.

And now I must go.

The cat puked.

Love,

Glenna

LIVING TO DIE

Several weeks ago my dear sister gave me a blog post idea. We were talking about anxiety and how she believes people often fall into one of two categories:

LIVING TO DIE or DYING TO LIVE

This rang true with me and many examples I’ve witnessed. So much of how we experience life depends on our personal perspective.

Do we walk around worried about every part of our life? Do we spend hours blaming others in our minds for what they did or didn’t do? Worry and casting blame are dangerous. Don’t feed your soul with those two traps. Worry and blame are empty calories.

Truth is, life is a death sentence. I’m going to die. Everyone will. But if I worry and blame, then I’m stealing from my joy today and tomorrow and the next. My time is precious. Your time is too.

Instead, I want to renew my perspective every day. I want to try and see the world and situations that come up from other people’s perspective so I don’t get bogged down in “my way is the only way”. I want to forgive quickly and love always. I want to enjoy every moment that I can because one of my big goals in life is to not have regrets.

One way to keep my perspective in check is to notice how I spend my thinking time. How many of my thoughts were negative today? How many were positive? I know that in order to move forward with my dreams and goals I must be on the positive thinking track.

Now, I’m a big fan of mental health and getting help when you need it. So if you struggle with anxiety or any physical/mental issue, please take care of yourself and go speak with your doctor or see a therapist. Don’t avoid getting the help you need. Take care of yourself.

One of the ways I renew my perspective is to seek guidance from God’s Word. Today I was inspired by 1 Corinthians 14:33 God is not the author of confusion but of peace.

I also enjoyed verse 38 If any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

From these two verses I am reminded to leave the ignorant alone. As the saying goes “you can’t fix stupid.” You could waste time trying, but why bother? God says to let them be. And God is the author of peace! Seek peace within. Seek God. Be free. You are free to be the beautiful person God made you to be.

Are you dying to live or living to die?

Thanks to my sister. I love you Sissy!

Glenna