anxiety, Monday's Posts

Our Future Self

Anyone who has been to my house knows that I am not a fan of cleaning.  This is a lovely picture of my family room this morning.  If you come over in an hour it will probably even look worse because then all my kids will be awake.  I always wondered why I just couldn’t get it together like “all” the other moms out there.  You know, clean up after the kids all go to bed.  But at 10 pm, I’m just too tired to care-at all.  I’ve learned a few things about my personality in the last little bit,  and how my anxiety affects productivity, and of course that I have too much stuff to begin with!

I love the podcast A Slob Comes Clean!  She is SO fun to listen to!  If you have a few minutes, download her podcasts and listen while you do dishes, etc, you’ll be glad you did! And one of her recent post “My Mother has Nine Cutting Boards” {wordpress link button isn’t working of course, so I will fix this later!}  In this post she talks about a “clutter thresh-hold”.  I am clearly over mine.  But it is something that bit by bit I am working on.  And it makes me happier and less stressed when I keep working on this task.

Here are a few tips I have gathered over time as I have listened to her.  Please note that I am NOT Perfect at these tips.  I share them mostly to remind myself what I want to do.

#1 favorite tip of hers: START THE DISHWASHER EVERY NIGHT- NO MATTER WHAT

I can’t even say how much this has helped me.  In the past, with my anxiety, I would always wait because I could fit in two more dishes, so how could I run the dishwasher that wasn’t 100% full?  That would be horrible, right?  Then of course, not all the breakfast dishes could fit, and then I would be behind on the dishes all day.  This may solidify that you all think I’m crazy!  But I do do this rule 97% of the time now, and it does make a huge difference.

#2 favorite tip: TIME YOUR CHORES/TASKS

One of the best things that I’ve learned from this amazing lady is to time my chores.  When my anxiety gets the best of me on busy days, I used to, and still do often, feel so overwhelmed that I don’t completely finish any tasks at home.  Everything gets halfway done.  But now that I have timed a lot of my chores, I can look at my schedule and know instantly that I can do a certain task in 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes…you get the idea.  So when I keep the presence of mind to say to myself- I need to leave in 5 minutes, let me hurry and unload the dishwasher, or throw in a load of laundry or tidy up the family room, I feel my anxiety lessen.  I feel like I have accomplished a task that needed to be done.  And my family can better feel peace in our home when I get my tasks done.  Now I still have days where I truly should have gotten more done.  But now I have more days when I do feel accomplished.

#3 favorite tip: WILL YOUR FUTURE SELF THANK YOU?

Another tip she has given, is to ask what your future self will think.  This comes into play when I am SO TIRED I CAN’T THINK ANYMORE.  I often feel this way with a baby.  It seems to me that it takes at least until my babies are 18 months for me to stop feeling like this several times throughout the day.  ANYWAY…when I am tempted to not do the dishes in the morning, I simply need to remind myself, that my future self(myself in 5 hours) will thank me for doing the dishes now instead of having a huge pile AND dinner to make.  And since I’ve timed all my chores, I can further convince myself that it will only take 7-10 minutes to load up the dishwasher and wipe all the counters.  Then I can look around at my kitchen and feel peace…and THEN take a nap.  I still can get a good nap, and have a clean kitchen.  I’M NOT PERFECT AT THIS- not in the least!  I still have too many days when my future self wishes it’s past self was more diligent {insert crazy emoji face}!

I have also started letting my kids touch the dishwasher recently-I know it makes no sense, but for me, I really just wanted it loaded JUST RIGHT, so I never let them help.  And actually rarely do I let my husband help.  I promise I’m not crazy!  But I am getting better at letting go of what I think needs to be perfect.  Because I can’t do everything myself.  I have to let things get done “unperfectly” or they won’t get done at all.  Baby steps friends, baby steps for me.

One thing I have noticed is that the Spirit of God in my home is more present when I have taken time to clean and declutter.  And at this Christmas season, I really, really want to have that spirit more  and more in our home.

Until a few years ago, when I started listening to A slob comes clean, I never realized how much my clutter affected my happiness.  I want to be happy.  I want my family to come home and feel peace, not the stress of disorder.  So, my continual goal is to keep at it.  I’m still very far from this goal, but one day, I will conquer it {maybe when my kids leave}.

My future self is depending on me though to make a difference now.

In my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a book of scripture called Doctrine and Covenants.  There is a scripture that I love, that gives me a guide in all my trying.

“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning , a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.(D&C 88:119)”

These are the ideals that I want for my home.  A home where prayer happens a lot, where we fast {once a month for two meals- or more if you feel inspired to} as a family for the things we need ourselves or blessings we seek for others, a home where my kids are taught to have faith in God, a home where learning the things of God and how this world works are important, a home where God receives glory for all the good, and home of order and tidiness, and ultimately a home where the Spirit of God can bring peace.

May you receive the strength you need today to help your future self and family be prepared to feel the Spirit of God more fully in your home.

Life is Good.  Share the Good.

PS We are all given challenges.  When I listen to Heavenly Father teach me where to find solutions, I receive the strength I need to keep trying.  I think having a tidy house will always be a challenge for me.  I get distracted easily from doing work-I’d much rather play with the baby, be outside { in the summer- I try to avoid going out in the FREEZING WINTER}, or make a mess in my kitchen cooking dessert more than cleaning.   But when I remember my ultimate goal-of having more peace in my home, it helps me to buckle down and get the tasks of cleaning done.

PSS I AM NOT PERFECT.  SO if you come to my house right now, it will be messy.  But at certain times in the day, it will be tidy-jut not whenever someone drops by!

PSSS  My kids don’t care.  At least in a manner of speaking.  They feel more at peace, but they don’t realize it’s because the house it tidy that they feel it.  Mess doesn’t seem to affect them like it does me.  What they care most about is that I take TIME TO ACKNOWLEDGE THEM and their needs.  And that’s a trick in and of itself.  To balance the work of the home and the time your children need your focus to be on them.  Good thing I’m planning to live to be 100.  It’ll take me that long to figure this out.

I love you all!

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