Epic Failing

Epic Failing

This summer I have failed miserably. My focus on my kids has been too much. Can you actually do this? My answer: Yes. What I mean is that I have almost smothered them with focused time. Its back fired in the way that you just need a break (all the time) from the people you want to focus on. I believe its very important to give your present moments to the individuals in front of you. Yet, there is such a thing where it becomes overboard. I have personally done this.

I also have failed this summer with working my personal business the way I want to. I have slacked off and then I’ve been mad that things have slowed down. I’ve poured over my frustrations with this and with the kids and I’ve spiraled into some negative mind games.

I’d tearfully say to my husband “I’m trying so hard. I don’t understand.”

“Why is it not working out for me?! ”

“I’m so tired.”

I’ve epic failed.

But here is the thing, someone helped me see this as a positive and a launching point. This is where I’m at and this is it. Like it or not.

How do you get yourself out of the pity party of failure feelings? I personally believe that young moms do this more than anyone else on the planet. The guilt, expectations, and shame we allow ourselves to carry is astronomical. It can literally render us unmovable.

Let’s stop using the phrase “I’m trying”. It is now a motto for me to not say this. I find myself saying this and hearing others say this all the time. Just do. I am no-longer “trying”. It either is or I’m not. I have to remind myself that Everything I do along this journey is contributing to where I’m headed. “Trying” suggests that no matter what you do you won’t succeed or that it doesn’t have impact. Trying for me gives me an out and excuses that if I do a half job or it doesn’t pan out – “hey, I tried”. I am no longer trying, I do. I do not want to “try” to parent my children. I want to do it. Whether it works or not is not completely up to me but, I still don’t ever want to say “I tried” when it comes to that topic, or any other topic for that matter.

The next thing to do is to stop multi tasking. It is now a proven point that people who multi task are less efficient and less effective. I am also on the farthest spectrum of this multi tasking idea because I actually can’t multitask. Not at all. I’m horrible at it. I’ll listen to music, text my sister, and be on the floor playing with kids. (yeah right.) I’ll have gotten the text out but I won’t know the song that was being played and my kids will be drawing marker on the desk. I end up not finishing anything. So no more multi tasking. Embrace who I am and just do one thing and do it well.

Stop perfectionism and insecurity by just going really fast. My husband teases me that we have different paces on the weekends. I always want to do major projects and rush around to pack it all in. He, on the other hand, wants to have a leisure brunch and do maybe one thing on the list and do it to absolute perfection. He is really good for me! It is however, a proven fact that if you have something to do – do it quickly.  The reason? The faster you work the less distractions, questions, and perfectionism play a part in the equation. You end up working 80% better! True fact.

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. – Harriet Braiker

Excellence is what I’m after in my life.

When was the last time you epically failed? Because honestly, if you are not failing you’re not going for it hard enough. Your not striving for greater and bigger things. The next time you thing your epically failing remember that you’re not just “trying” for something – your really going for it! Your closer than you think to those incredible dreams and ideals. Failing is progress in massive proportions because you are way farther off than if you hadn’t gone for it at all.

1 John 5:5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Isaiah 41:13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Unplugged

Unplugged

My husband and I read together. Out loud. There is a whole train of thought that reading aloud is one of the best things you can do for your brain but, for us its more about being together, doing something “old-fashioned” and simple. Going back to the basics and to things that make us joyful. Reading aloud was one of those childhood things that takes me back to days of Narnia and Lord of the Rings and my parents voices at bedtime. Between the amount of shows and social media, the art of reading can get cut out and squashed out of life. And that is saying something when a book-worm like myself says it!!!

This summer my lofty goals of reading are by far way behind but, I am still relishing in some good reads and enjoying the process of slower months and my children’s nap times. A book on the back deck with some sun has been bliss for me and something that truly feeds my soul.

The most recent read we are into has sparked a summer choice that I might do for the rest of life. The book’s sub-title says it all…… “the effects of technology and the internet on parenting, work, and relationships”. Its been a fascinating read so far and as the summer launched I was feeling the effects of being “tied” to the beeps and sounds and “oh I need look that up” mentality. Not even 15 years ago I was still on the land line in my parents home and unless someone called or went through the trouble of dialing up the computer I was “free”.

Summer is freeing. It is my happy place. Sunshine, poolside, no school, vacations. It holds a more relaxed schedule and as such I decided to put into place a silent phone rule from 4- 9 pm every day. I don’t check, or Pinterest, or Instagram, or Facebook, or ask Siri anything.

Let me set the record straight for you. I am not someone who is “all the time” on my phone. I am the opposite according to most of my friends. I am also not saying that technology is bad. It can be a marvelous and wonderful thing. But I can see it creeping into my afternoons more than I would like and I have felt a pull to cut back. To get back to tangible things that are in front of me. My Lunch, my kids. Do I really want to spend the only quiet hour and half (of my children’s nap) on my phone, laptop or tv?

This decision all started when I was at the park a few week’s back. I was mad texting and debating someone over a heated conversation while I missed all the sweet fun with my toddlers on the play ground. I left the park flustered, frustrated, and furious. It was also fruitless. The whole conversation got me nowhere and there was no resolution to the situation. How tragically sad. It didn’t benefit anyone and left me not only in a bad mood but I missed precious moments. Moments I don’t ever want to be distracted from. I want to see that these are fleeting times and so very much important. I want to live in this season and be ever present.

I am a one track minded individual and I wear the title proudly. Because of this trait, I must learn how to turn into things and turn off others.

This resolution has shifted over time and has evolved into adding the TV and the computers. My kids are not watching tv in the afternoons and I am not on my computer. It’s not implemented perfectly (I sometimes cave for a rerun of kid shows when I’m going crazy) but, it has created space. Where we have space to be quiet. Where we color and build tents. Where we read.

What are you choosing, in this season, to unplug from? A negative person, or attitude? Maybe it is something that is a good thing but has now become toxic for you. Whatever it is, take the steps to shift into your now. Be present to whats in front of you today.

I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies.

  1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the world that works.
  2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career out of it.
  3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.                       – Douglas Adams