The Secret to Having an Easy Life

So say you are a mom of five busy active kids one of whom is a toddler and you have 3-4 part time jobs, one of which gets you up at 5:00 every day, and you are an insomniac with an insomniac toddler, and you live in this little tiny house with very little storage space so putting things away is not just know putting things away-it requires thinking, planning, logistics and puzzle like configurations (as my sister Shona would say).  The general girding up of one’s loins every time you try to put a t-shirt away.  And you have a husband and a dog and other people who you care about, some of whom are going through hard times,  who you want to be helpful to and supportive of. And you have a church calling (Mormonese for “unpaid job which you don’t get to choose” ), not a very time consuming one right now, but one that matters to you and requires you to prepare a lesson for every Sunday. And you have this blog which you really want to keep current and sometimes people are actually paying you to keep it current.
And you know…other life stuff.  Like worrying ceaselessly about money, and obsessing about keeping your kids healthy and happy and kind and decent and noble and righteous and educated and well rounded and socially well organized and fed and dressed and fit and clean and and and…. trying to improve your own sketchy spirituality and your general health and fitness, and  trying (though usually failing) to be a decent book-club member, and you have ADD (really and truly, very, very severe diagnosed ADD for which you are medicated but often forget to take the medication for) and tend toward depression and anxiety and you’re naturally very messy but you HATE messiness.  And wait did I mention the 5 kids, tiny house, 4 part time jobs, mentally unstable part? 
Ok! So say the combination of these factors tends to have you feeling overwhelmed, from time to time. Like say 8 of every 10 days.  You wake up on those 8 out of 10 mornings and think something along the lines of: “Omifreakinghell seriously?! Look at this pigsty. I can’t believe the state of this room. I need to put away this laundry but that requires logistics and planning and strength and fortitude which I am not feeling because my two year old never lets me sleep and when she does my insomnia doesn’t.  And I have to do those five thousand other things so I guess this will have to wait.”  (And you go to bed thinking, “Oh good, the room is still a mess, I suck at life”.)  On the other 2 days out of the 10 you wake and think: “Omifreakinghell SERIOUSLY! I am going to TAKE CARE OF THIS ROOM.  AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS. ALL OF THEM!! ALL. OF. THEM. This day is going to be a TRIUMPH over filth and piggery and disorganization and slobbiness. I am going to MURDER THIS DAY with blinding efficiency!”  (And then at the end of those days you realize that you have had a less productive day than the day when you woke up feeling defeated.) Ok, so say all this is your life, your state of being.  And you’re handling it know, pretty ineptly, and you think not infrequently, “wow I need a vacation on a tropical beach…for about a year. But going to the moon is more likely.”
Ok. Here goes, you must enroll in Graduate school.  Wait! Stay with me. Ok so you are enrolling in Grad school. Yup just do it. And don’t do it half way. No sir. I’m talking 10 credit hours at a time. You are a now a full time student my friend.  Don’t drop any of the other stuff you are doing. None of it. Keep ALL OF IT. The kids, all the jobs, the house, the dog, the blog..all of it.   Make no concessions. Nothing can be scaled back.  In other words don’t go about it sanely or sensibly. Just be all kinds of crazy and extreme because that’s your schtick my friend. That. Is. Your. Jam.
Ok so do that for 12 weeks. Oh and also, you must be totally obsessed and compulsive with getting you 100%  for everything in grad school (Because that totally counts for the success of your future career. Not.)  Get stomach flu while you’re at it.
On about week 10 as you are adding holiday preparations to the mix…just go ahead and snap. Have a psychotic break. Make sure it’s pretty intense and alarming to both yourself and your loved ones but it can’t go on for longer than a couple of days because ‘aint nobody got time for dat. Just enough to make you dazed and fuzzy headed and traumatized and questioning everything about everything and 100% certain that you are a disaster at life. Then continue with wrapping up the final stuff, like the assignment that is worth 30%.
Where is the easy part?… I am GETTTING TO THAT. CAN YOU JUST BE PATIENT??? OMG THE PRESSURE!  GEEZ! No I’m not tense! Why would you even SAY THAT???
OK so here’s that part. Turn in your final assignment. And realize that you are free of grad school commitments for the next 10 days.  FREE!!! FREE I SAY!!
I promise you that the next morning when you wake up at 5am after 3.5 hours of sleep and stare at the piles of laundry and other junk littering your room you will think, “Oh wow! I have NO GRAD SCHOOL STUFF TO WORRY ABOUT. I can put all this stuff away, and return emails, and maybe update my blog and clean the whole house and go shopping and bake cookies and play educational games with my baby and….. anything I like. I HAVE THE EASIEST KUSHIEST LIFE ON THE PLANET!”
And later when you are standing in your underwear with dripping hair and your toddler won’t get dressed because you won’t let her wear her mini mouse dress but you need to pick your son up from school for the orthodontist appointment which starts in 5 minutes and it’s raining and the dog is howling because the baby is wailing and your back hurts a lot and you aren’t sure where your wallet is and your house is filthy and you have had 3.5 hours of sleep and your jeans are dirty but you can’t find any others to wear and you need to get groceries but you fear you have already spent too much on groceries this week-(where do all the groceries GO???!  Where does all the money go??!) Amidst all this,  you will smile serenely and think. “Ahhhh  BUT! I don’t have any grad school stuff to worry about for the next 10 days so my life is the easiest kushiest most fun life anybody has ever had or ever will have.”  I LOVE IT. I LOVE MY LIFE. WHAT A PARTY MY LIFE IS.  I feel like I am lying on a tropical beach right now. I do.
(the dress in question. she quite fancies herself in it)
And that’s it folks. As simple as that.  Let us recap: If you are stressed to the max. Add another major thing to put you totally over the top for about 3 months and then take that thing away. And everything will be AWESOME. I think that’s what they call perspective. It’s gorgeous really! Like this picture of a sunset I took and never had the time to share before  now.
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So! How’ve you been? Me? know, stressed and psychotic but otherwise, great! And since I have nothing to do for the next 10 days except deep clean and organize my house, do all the Christmas shopping and wrapping, send out 100 Christmas cards, lose 5lbs, decorate for Christmas and celebrate Thanksgiving, do my jobs, sell most of my stuff on Craigslist and read the book for Book club,  I’m totally going to catch up on my blog. Because I am FREE BABY. Free as a bird!!  Posts I have been dying to share, trapped in my head such as:  Halloween-the cuteness, it was painful. My November gratitude posts-I have been posting a picture a day on instagram toward that end instead of my traditional 5 a day, (I guess I did make a concession there), -I want to get those onto the blog-and chat a bit more about why I love the gratitude posts (because I read an article this morning where someone was whining about how we “broke Thanksgiving” by doing stuff like this, and I’m thinking…well you will just have to wait and see what I’m thinking.)  And I want to post about introverts and why we are the way we are and why introverted doesn’t look the way you think it does and how you can handle introverts so they don’t upset and offend you. Oh and a post dedicated entirely to beautiful Autumnal pictures which I obsessively took over the month of October.   I can’t wait!  I bet you are SO. EXCITED too. Yeah, I thought so!
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So, I deactivated my facebook account (no! I did not block or unfriend you!!!) a couple of weeks ago. I’m thinking of opening it back up only because I need sign up some of my health coaching clients onto a support board and I can’t figure out how to do that if I’m not on fb.  But other than that I’m not sure if I would want to open up my fb account ever again. Hmm…perhaps a blog post about that too?  And certainly one about my health coaching peeps-oh  my word, they rock my world and light up my life. My girl Sandy who will end this year closing in on 100lbs lighter than when she started it? My other friend, we’ll call her A who lost weight during one of the most stressful times in her life rather than packing it on as was her MO during stressful times gone past… oh so many awesome stories.  Amazing inspiring stories that I feel so privileged to be a tiny part of. I want to tell them. I want to tell them all.  And I will. Because I have practically nothing else going on now.
Well this was an epic wasn’t it?   Deep breath.
It’s good to be back luvvies. It’s good to have my awesome easy uncomplicated life back. I do love grad school though. I love what I am studying, it’s fabulous and fascinating and fulfilling and freaking exhausting. 
Later gators!
PS: No I’m not manic.  Why you would EVEN SAY THAT?!!

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Kimberly Scherer said...

You are always spot on, Kirsty. Thanks for the high point of my day.

Rachel said...

I am pretty sure we live parallel lives. Minus 3 kids.

Anonymous said...

lOVE IT! And you have to guard that perspective and the time that is opened up otherwise it disappears like the space in water when you pull your hand out of it. You know my feelings about FB but the only thing I miss is that I used to get notifications that there was a new post.

Kate McGuire said...

Kirsty!!!! Have missed you and all your stories! Was just thinking this morning I must look Kirsty up on FB as she's been awfully quiet lately and I hope she's ok! Glad you are all ok - besides being stressed etc :)!
Keep well, xxx