I wasn’t sure it was possible with a low income and living in a high-cost-of-living area with several children, but the relief is wonderful and worth every sacrifice. The books by Dave Ramsey absolutely made the difference, and then it just took some time and commitment. We are now able to invest for retirement and pay down our mortgage faster.
Not sure I’ll ever feel completely prepared. But we have food stores, some water, prescription meds and glasses, survival books, some gear and such. Probably a generator, more supplies, and a car kit would be wise for an earthquake. I’m going look into those and mark this done for now while I focus on other goals.
I’m naturally a night person, and I need more sleep than the average person to be my best, and that’s just the way it is. The world won’t bend to my schedule so I’ve made a real effort to go to bed on time at least fairly consistently. Getting my husband’s encouragement helped.
Actually falling asleep was another matter. I realized my insomnia was related to anxiety when I started treating that and suddenly wasn’t just laying in bed thinking and worrying. Going to bed and actually just going to sleep is so heavenly! Managing my stress and treating anxiety was integral to meeting (and continuing to meet) this goal.
I happened upon a lovely bound journal that says something like “Prayers go up, blessings come down” on the front. Usually such a nice book would seem intimidating, but I took the plunge and started writing, starting each entry with “Dear God…”
I love that it seems more tangible that just thoughts in my head. I feel like God must really see it this way. I wrote that I’m glad he can handle my selfish, rude, random prayer journaling… just like I still love my children with all my heart and want the best for them even when they act childish. That written, I am free to write whatever comes to mind without trying to remember a prayer formula and include the praise, gratitude, and what-not. It’s more like a relationship, not a chore that I can’t do well enough. Now I just need to make it part of my routine and I will naturally grow in my faith and feel more connected and grounded.
The ah-ha moment finally hit me. A journal is not an amazing record of my most profound thoughts, or a polished record of my outstanding life ready to be published. It’s not the amazing, inspiring, artistic, but completely intimidating visual journals I covet. It is a tool. A tool to get out all the annoying, mundane, rude, angry, sad, secret, boring fragments of thoughts going round my head. It’s not for anyone to read so I dont’ have to explain any backstory to my random jumble. I don’t even read it myself. But I feel better getting it out and if I write without stopping or thinking I discovered that I figure things out by the bottom of the page. I’m saving so much in therapy, hehe.
I got my degree in creative writing, then abruptly stopped writing because I put so much pressure on myself to be an always-awesome writer. What a tragedy that I lost this important outlet for all these years… collecting beautiful blank books but unable to write. Reading “The Artist’s Way” helped me find the conclusion of journal-as-tool but I still needed to hear it from several different sources and even read a journaling blog where she paints and decorates her pages but then writes about the weather or how bored she is.
Yes, a journal is a tool. Now I am free to write. Next goal: make it a habit and part of my routine.
I slowly taped photos, post cards, child drawings, notes, quotes, and lovely magazine photos above my computer. Anything that made me smile or feel happy / hopeful. It’s sort of a mish-mash, but I had to let go of my perfectionistic tendency in order to have one at all. And I know I can add / move things any time so it never has to be perfectly finished.
The right water bottle made all the difference. I carry it wherever I go. It was worth searching for one I like!
New vacuum for christmas! I’ve filled up the canister twice and so far I’ve just been in the living room. :)
It was probably just a matter of time since I haven’t been sleeping, eating well, and cold season is here. I got sick. The up side is that I got 11 hours of sleep and woke up feeling better than I have in some time!
Something’s wrong when I have to get sick to rest! But the next night I felt recovered and stayed up later than I should have, then we spent the next evening in the ER with a son’s broken bone… so I’m having a relapse of my sore throat. I have to be disciplined and stay rested this season.
I thought I would catch up on some sleep while dh is on this long business trip. I tend to go to bed earlier when he’s out of town. But my stress level has been so high that I’ve been laying there thinking, with my heart pounding, taking forever to fall asleep. Then I wake up a lot, and wake up super early and stay up.
I have a whole night time routine including warm milk and shower. I’ve been taking some prescription medicine at bedtime when I can’t relax, but it wears off after 4 hours and I start waking up every 30-60 minutes, not getting enough deep sleep. So then I tried an actual sleep med, which helped even less and gave me an unsettling can’t-keep-my-balance side effect when I stand up in the morning. The first night it helped me fall asleep and I slept for a few hours. But the second night I woke up all the way, thinking it was morning and it was just after midnight! This is ridiculous. I can’t function well, I feel terrible, and am so stressed and tired.
The waking up started getting really bad when my alarm didn’t go off one day, and I got paranoid it would happen again. I set a backup alarm on my phone and I’m going to turn my clock so I can’t see it, get out my soft comforter, and see if I can break this cycle.
I wrote a long over due letter to Jack, and finally got it in the mail. That’s a weight off my mind.
I found out Regina has moved to Rome! I should have written to her again while she was in the states. Hopefully I can get her new address and write for Christmas.
This week I bought myself groceries. It’s so expensive, but I couldn’t keep eating only cereal, quesadillas and lettuce.
I also bought some vitamins after I found out the multi-vitamin I was taking every other day was missing some things.
Between having something to eat, and taking vitamins today, I feel much better.
I started back to the gym last week.
I got some books from the library today.
I started a small embroidery project.
I had an old friend over for dessert the other night.
I am thinking about how to recharge, create down time, and reduce my stress level.
We still haven’t gotten our corrected license, but it’s in the works. The sw said she had some bad news so I braced myself. But it was only that she was transferring. We’ve come to expect lots of sw turnover. She said our new sw is more organized and better at matching than she was, which is great news. She said our new sw keeps good contact with the county placement workers and has more time to keep on top of the process, which may mean a shorter wait for our match. We met her in the MAAP classes, and I thought she was a bit naive and condescending but perhaps this will be a good change overall.
I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon hanging wash on my newly strung clothesline. The sun was warm, the cool breeze and the windchimes were the only sound. I was really upset about the broken dryer but it turned out to be a blessing. I normally spend Sundays in the dark, dirty garage drying and folding laundry. The beautiful outside has been there this whole time, and this weekend I embraced it and felt good about cleaning for my family.
I haven’t been to the gym since I started taking care of my infant second cousin full time… five months ago! :(
Last Saturday evening my youngest started a youth group which meant I had a full hour with no little ones—so I went to the gym!
It felt great. I had forgotten. I’m so glad I have a regular time now, even if it’s just an hour a week.
I heard about a non-profit matching service, Adopt America Network, that will match parents with children from foster care nationwide. I think they mostly work with older children, but I’m going to look at their web site.
We received our officially signed homestudy and handbook this week! The letter said our certification license was included, but it wasn’t. So I called the secretary, who seemed annoyed that I called until I mentioned it was said to be included. Then she said thanks for reminding her, she needs to get that signed and mailed, but Thursday is a holiday. Okaaaaay.
But she got it in the mail fairly quickly. Unfortunately, there is a typo. On it, we are certified for one child. It’d be hard to accept a sibling group (always the plan!) if we’re certified for one. sigh. Shouldn’t be a big deal to fix, just another thing to follow up on and make me concerned about the agency’s competence.
I am marking this as done enough. I wanted to be supportive an get dh more organized and pointed in the right direction. There are circumstances beyond our control (a partner experiencing a severe mid-life crisis) and dh’s strengths and interests aren’t really in-line with the business side of this hobby. Not every business idea is meant to take off to support a family. It got him out of a stressful corporate job, so in that respect it was a success. He’d like it to take off at some point and enjoys the hands-on work in the shop. But for now he’s focusing on another interest that seems like a much better fit.
I’m just not tired enough to go to bed on time. I’m exhausted pulling myself out of bed when the alarm goes off. I’m fighting my body rhythm. And I don’t want to give up my only quiet time with dh with all the kids in bed. I told him I needed to write my awake nighttime self a sad pleading letter before dawn when I get up. “Please force yourself to bed! You’re killing me!” kind of note. :)
I have always liked the notion of being a good steward of my money and gifts. I like the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14) and hope one day to stand before God and have him say, “Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
I never thought this had anything to do with going to bed on time!
But recently someone said that we need to be good stewards of our bodies. That taking care of our physical selves is taking care of an important resource. So, it’s not selfish to take care of oneself. It’s not insignificant. It shows my character and trustworthiness.