How I’ve Missed Thee

I asked a friend today how she deals with all the “stuff” that’s piling up. How does she deal with the overwhelm?

I’ve been burning the candle at both ends over the past 2 weeks, and Saturday, I came crashing down. Literally, I could not stay awake on the couch after getting up at like NOON, I was still beyond exhaustion! Thankfully, (again, I am sooooo thankful) my husband and kids allowed me the luxury of lounging on the couch like that. It was actually cool when these long legged kids would take turns snuggling in there with me. I liked that! I went to bed early that night as well.

I asked the question of her, because I admire her “together-all-the-time-ness”! How does she do it? Of course, she admitted that sometimes she has trouble with the overwhelm too. That in itself was a relief.

One thing that does help me, is my connection with my blog and my blogging friends. I have pretty much been off-the-radar for all this time (though not offline) because of focusing on my business stuff and a big event that we just helped put on.

Part of my support for the overwhelm is this community. Oh, how I’ve missed thee! Just being here, typing this (though not a good post at all!) just brings me such peace. Listening to the tweets from TweetDeck and checking out a few things has been so therapeutic this past hour. I long to pop into A Conversational Space tonight with Ronna, but I don’t quite have enough time for that tonight. There is a ton of other stuff I want to dive into again right away, but that will have to wait – but Oh, How I’ve Missed Thee…

Tonight, I have a romantic evening planned for my love and me – How I’ve missed him! He’s been here, helping, supporting, but I’ve been neglecting us too. Not tonight.

That was my friend’s advice today – just continue on, a little bit at a time. Don’t worry about all that you can’t do, focus on what you can.

And so my friends, How I’ve Missed Thee; I will be doing what I can, whenever I can! A little bit at a time! You are all so very important to me!

The Art of Conversation

For the past 10 days, I’ve been a part of Five For Ten:

– a wonderful blogging project hosted by Momalom’s Jen and Sarah. It has been an incredible experience. I made many new blogging friends; laughed and cried at so many new blogs from so many beautiful writers. It was very cool to see everyone’s “take” on the 5 different topics. And the comments/conversation that followed? Well, that is one of the things that inspired this post.

It is funny how I’ve been so drawn to deep, meaningful conversations since I began my Happiness Project. The self-reflection has made me ask questions of others and want to know so much more of them and of myself.

Ronna Detrick and her soul-searching, thoughtful discussions on Faith, Feminism and Truth has pulled me in like a vacuum. I’ve found myself wondering, believing, listening to my heart more than I ever have before. I jumped at the chance to be a part of her “A Conversational Space” so that I could learn more about myself through these meaningful conversations. I crave more each time I get a chance to dive into that world.

So many bloggers that I look up to – I worry if I don’t see their tweets on twitter or new posts for a few days; like a friend I haven’t heard from in a while. I consider these people true friends, even though we’ve never met in real life. Like we’ve sat at each other’s kitchen table and shared thoughts, dreams, funny stories and tears about family, love, children, God and ourselves. I thank them all for the opportunity to know them over the past couple months.

My Wednesday EpicChat – I am booked for an hour each week because I simply cannot miss the conversations that happen in the “room”. I am inspired and uplifted each time. Ready to take on anything, knowing that if I follow my heart, it will be epic, indeed! I learn more about myself in that frantic one hour of tweeting back and forth than I did throughout my 20’s!

The conversations I’ve been in lately in real-life…well, they’ve been some pretty tough talks lately. Talks where I’ve listened as others cried; and lately, especially, where I’ve been the one needing help. I’ve questioned my worth, questioned my ideas, questioned my journey. I’ve had shoulders to lean on; my Angels in the Desert as Ronna has talked about before. I have needed them. And they have been there. Conversations that have gone on for days. Started and stopped, then started again. Healing, bringing hope.

My life isn’t perfect. My husband isn’t perfect. My children are not perfect. I am very far from being perfect. But, as I have always said to anyone that will listen, as long as we can talk about things, everything will turn out ok.

That is why I love conversations so much. That is why I crave conversation the way I do – no matter what is happening or has happened, I can turn to someone, somewhere and I can talk it out.

When people get together, no matter who they are, and open themselves up to REAL, HONEST conversation, worlds can change. I truly believe that. I have seen that, here online and in real life.

The beauty of conversation is simply breath-taking. It is an art. An art where everyone can be an artist. All you have to do is open your heart and mind to someone else and see where the conversation takes you. Say what you need to say:
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Connected

This is a word I’ve been contemplating today:

Biological Connection with family – feeling like a part of you is missing if they are not around. So many times I’ve taken mine for granted. Not today. My heart aches for two little girls who have lost their baby sister this week – they will always carry a piece of her in their hearts. I read Lindsey’s post this week about supporting her daughter who is growing up so fast. Kristen at Motherese talked about connecting with her daughter in her Connected post (sorry that I stole the title Kristen-I forgot 😦 ) – Both reminded me how quickly they will be grown up and how much we hope for them. I have not been spending enough time connecting with them and shame on me for taking them for granted.

Love Connection with your spouse – I have been “neglecting” mine; both going in different directions with “busy-ness”. “Two ships passing in the night” sometimes.  A new blogger friend Shannon_O at Confessions of a Loving Wife reminded me of an important fact this week: needing to spend quality time together. The discussion that followed involved being “there”; being “present” when you are with your spouse, no matter how much or where that time is spent.

Online Connections: My new online friends and adventures. Elizabeth Potts Weinstein and Allison Nazarian and the awesome #epicchat that I try to participate in on Wednesday evenings. Twitter friends and blogger friends that I never seem to have enough time for, but desperately want to get to know better.

I feel connected with them because of the great conversations that we have. To know that so many are thinking about the same things, writing about being true to themselves, wanting to have epic lives! It is just an amazing feeling and I want more of it! I am inspired and called to action when “hanging out” online! I want to be connected more with great people like these!

Constantly needing to be connected to the computer or the phone or the computer or the phone (oh, I said that twice, didn’t I?) – I am constantly checking one or the other because of my need to be connected! I have to see who said what and when! Is that a bad thing? Am I addicted? I’m torn.

I spend so much time “connecting”, yet when I go “offline” like I have A LOT these past two weeks, I feel lost. I feel left out. I feel anxious. I need to read my favorite blogs. I need to write. I need to think about those words that I’ve read, points to ponder. I found those words in my online presence, but worry about the effects this has in my IRL relationships.

I crave working on our new business (that I’ve been neglecting in my trying to be more “offline” lately). I crave it! I want so much to build a community with our site, to create a place where like-minded people like us can go and be connected! Yet, it takes so much time away from other things!

Krystal and I talked (a.k.a. IM’ing each other) today about setting specific days in a month for working on certain things. To avoid the guilt feelings, actually scheduling family time when we are present, not 1/2 there, 1/2 secretly checking FB or our site. Be present in the days that we schedule to work. Focus on the business and not the family stuff. We’ll give them our time on their days, but they have to understand that we need our time too. If we schedule it, maybe that will help everyone understand.

I can schedule my “connected time” online so that I won’t feel guilty about being on the computer while my husband paces the floor. He will also know when I will be available and when I’m not. Then he can fill that time with something for him. We can then enjoy our quality time together. Again, I won’t be wondering what tweet just happened on my computer when I’m talking to him. I will be present with him, instead of one eye on a screen.

That’s the plan. Schedule my connected time. Online and Offline. I don’t like being alone. I like being connected in many different ways. I just need to find that balance so that I can be connected and present with whoever I’m trying to connect to at that time.

How do you find balance among all the things you’re trying to do? Let me know in the comments!

Some Good Blogs to Read

I always say  that things happen for a reason. I am a true believer in that theory.

I have come across some really great blogs lately that I’m trying to find time to read. Some days, I need this more than others. I am so great at giving others advice (well, I’d like to think I am!). I am not so great at heeding my own advice!

The biggest message in these new blogs: Simplify Your Life

I do like my life complicated, but I do let it get to me sometimes. The biggest problem I have with the complexity of life is setting priorities. That’s a tricky thing for me. I want to be everything to everyone all the time. And I can’t do that. Then I get frustrated.

So…I’m constantly on the lookout for ideas on how to set these priorities. I have read so many books and so many articles. They are too numerous to even count!

I guess what I need to remember is that I just need to keep trying. Life is Learning, so as long as I keep doing that, I’m still on the right track!

I also get distracted! I just got distracted from giving you those great blogs to read! Too funny!

www.mnmlist.com – I really like these ideas from Leo Babauta on basically living with the bare essentials.

http://zenhabits.net – another Leo Babauta blog about being productive, yet still living the simple life. I really like this one too. A lot of great ideas

I am following these on twitter too so that I can be constantly reminded to simplify my life! Yeah, using twitter to simplify – constant distraction. hmmmmm. Need to rethink that one to evaluate if it simplifies my life, or complicates it!

Good Witch Bad Witch – a don’t know how I stumbled on this today, but thought it looked pretty good. Humorous and helpful at the same time. Experienced life coaches. I thought I’d subscribe to this one too – I’ll see how it turns out!

And I continue to receive emails from FlyLady – there is always great stuff coming from her about how to get my home (and in turn my life…) back!

I’m sure as I go on, I’ll find more stuff to read and try to glean some advice from. I’ll keep you posted!