How I Went One Whole Day Without Guilt!!!

Guilt

So many times I read about how guilt is dragging us down. I know that a lot of guilt and shame that I feel is unfounded and irrational, and it is so common in my life that it makes me feel guilty about feeling guilty.

This year one of my goals is to fulfill fifteen 21 Day Challenges. Last year I did several 21 day goals to get habits started, get organized, or just to motivate myself in an area I really wanted to improve in myself. This year I decided to take it from being something useful I did every now and then, to a common thread in my life. I had a great list in my November brainstorming of all the different habits I would start, and even mapped out the 21 days for the first few.

In January we were traveling and holidays were happening, and my first challenge, the 21 Day Writing Challenge, while well planned out, was not completed by me. I stopped at day 14. As many of us feel at the beginning of the year when our goals that seemed so amazing turn out to be a bit too much, I felt like a failure right off the bat. Quickly I realized I needed to reorganize my priorities to be successful, and I needed to set myself up for success rather than set myself up to beat myself up for failing.

Goal Tracking

In December I started my new Annie-style bullet journal, and started it off with a tracker for almost everything I was currently doing daily. It was a great way through December to make sure I was doing the things I wanted to do every day. Right away I noticed a staggering correlation and continued tracking in January to find the correlation to hold true. Every day that I missed taking alone time, I would raise my voice at one of my family members the following day. I decided this had to stop, and so truly began to prioritize self care, even starting the book I have had in my Kindle for quite some time, The Fringe Hours, which is specifically about self-care.

I began meditating and reading the Bible intensively early in the morning, and going to bed earlier to make time for 8 hours of sleep as well. The results have been amazing!

Do you feel a but coming on?

Well, there almost was one. This weekend the kids and I got sick. The beginning of the week was rough, and David ended up missing a day of school. Midweek David and I were feeling so much better that Louis wanted me to come down with Kyrie to the center to help him out with a double booked hour he had. It sounded simple, and Louis even had thought of goals I have for the year that would be worked toward with this. However, it just was not good timing. So I said no, he would have to reschedule something, I just couldn’t. I did hem and haw about it, but in the end I said no. And initially I felt terrible about it. But I stuck to it, and Louis even repeated to me the reasonable reasons he agreed with me.

I woke up this morning feeling tense that the guilt was waiting right outside, but as I started the day I felt…wait for it…

RELIEVED.

Yep, no guilt, just relief as I took care of Kyrie who still is super sickly and I was able to get so much done around the house. I decided this morning that my next 21 Day Challenge is to say no to something every day. If you are in need of learning to prioritize yourself so that you can care for those around you better by being in a better mood, maybe you want to do this with me. I said no to going out today with my sick kid, and I said no to doing the dishes last night. I said no to an extra load of laundry today, and I said no to pushing my exhausted and recovering kid to do homeschool. Everything I said no to was a “good” thing, but not the best thing. One of our mottos is running through my head now, Good is the Enemy of the Best.

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I Can be Happy!

My Imaginary Friends

In junior high and the beginning of high school I still had imaginary friends. I knew I was too old for them, so I had released my imaginary ducks in the middle of 6th grade. But I kept 3 imaginary blue aliens from the planet Pluto in my head. These imaginary friends lived in my heads much like the emotions in the Pixar movie Inside Out. When I got to college I did not admit having imaginary friends, but instead moved to the idea of a good side and bad side arguing in my head (instead of on my shoulders). The idea of a shadow version of myself worked itself into conversations a lot in those college years.

The reality is that I am likely to think negative things about myself, and there is no little voice, alien, shadow or other self doing it to me. I am the one with the negative words and thoughts about myself 99% of the time. And it has to stop. I don’t think negatively about my kids like this, but I am teaching them to think about themselves this way by modeling this negative behavior.

I Want to Belong in my Skin

This year my word of the year is Belong. I have a dream of Future Annie, a lovely woman I would want to be best friends with. I imagine spending the next year getting to know her, and then looking in the mirror and realizing she is me. I want to love myself the way God loves me, so that I can love others the way I know God has called me to love them. I have truly struggled with the Golden Rule because of self-hatred, and it is going to change this year!

Guilt, Irritation, and Other Lies

I have struggled with guilt to the extent that I think it has become as natural as breathing. I rarely make it through a day without getting annoyed at someone in my tone, sighs, or stares, even if I am trying to hold it in. I have decided this year that those things will not define me. Every mom has to undergo a learning curve of our lives changing dramatically. My body, my time, my meals, my romantic life, my relationships, my family, and every other aspect of my life have been altered by the entrance of kids. This can be hard, but I am doing good as a mom, and I am going to continue to obey God. If I make a mistake I am going to say sorry and pick myself up to keep moving forward. In this way I am going to learn to be happy and to hold onto the joy that is promised to reside in us as Christians.

Choose Happy, Dream Big

I have not been a dreamer until recently. I did not believe I could be happy. But God told me in a prayer time that I can be happy, and I chose to believe Him. I didn’t read a few books and seek counsel, I just decided then and there that I believed him and would spend the year chasing after the dreams He has put in me, knowing He is going to make me happy this year! I claim the promise, and will wait on the Lord as long as it takes.