I really should call this "!0 Things I Did Right! This Month!," because! I did something right!
Years and years ago, I learned a few tricks that I still keep in my back pocket, so I can pull them out to use after the kind of weeks that feel more like they're months. The wise dispenser of this universal knowledge was my then therapist -- she would listen with her chin resting on the heels of both her hands, while I sat in her office that felt more like a living room, and tell her about my life.
"... and and (hic sob) and... i just can't take on anymore, you know? (hic)"
"... oh, that just ... sounds like SO much. You really are doing so much."
"... i... i... i know. and i'm tired." (knocks over mugful of pens on her desk grabbing for kleenex)
She was so smart, she knew what I needed was someone to hear my lamentations and to not offer advice. Her words were like honey down a sore throat, I lapped up her syrupy medicine by the eager spoonful. "You need a break." "My gosh, how do you do it all?" "Is there anything you can't do?" Such music to my ears.
Yup, some mighty fine days in the sun right there. Until said Dr. developed psychotherapist burnout. Buh-bye Wisconsin and your soul-crushing winters, hello rejuvenating Arizona with your healing rays.
But this treasure of a human being left me with something ever eternal: several use-to-the-day-I-die bits of advice that I have also passed on to my children.
Behold, Dr. Suzanne's glistening pearls of wisdom:
1. You don't have to be wrong for others to be right.
2. Accept yourself for who you are, and live that life joyfully.
3. Eat right, sleep enough, get out once a day.
4. Be careful with the music you hear and the words you read.
5. Wear a rubber band on your wrist, snap it every time you think a negative thought about yourself and then immediately replace that thought with a positive one.
6. And one of my favorites: If something was hard to do, don't wait for someone to say good job, YOU tell yourself *good job.*
I call this week a "good job, Alexandra!!" double exclamation point phase of life right now.
Had to call in the big guns more than once in May and remind myself to give out that pat on the back for work that I did manage to do, and forget about the two-thirds things that didn't move any closer off the to-do list than when they were on last month's to-do list.
Celebrate with me, won't you, my friends, and read along to my list of 10 things! I did right this month:
- Hauled off a vanful of toys, shoes, books, games, clothes to Goodwill.
- Cleaned, repaired, pressed, donated, school uniform items for kids that aren't able to buy a uniform when they outgrow their old ones.
- Saw my mother several times this week. I never lose my patience when she asks me ten times in three minutes where the kids are.
"Where are they?"
"Oh. Where are they?"
- Got it together at the last minute and hellyeah just made it into the neighborhood rummage sale. Reduce clutter, increase home zen.
- Wrote a stack of long overdue thank you letters.
- Vacuumed and cleaned the minivan!
- Cooked dinner at least four times per week.
- Said what the heck and laughed in the face of stacked dishes and laundry and went with the three boys to see Star Trek Into Darkness.
- Made a meal for a family of three boys whose mother just had surgery.
- Starting at 7:30 a.m. one day this week, I went out to our front yard and had at it. We no longer look like the only haunted house in the subdivision.
There is still a lot I didn't do that I need to do before the kids are home for summer vacation BUT I did do some stuff, and doing some stuff is how you one by one knock the items off the list.
Am I right? Or am I right?
Wait, I can't hear you, can you say it louder, please?
GOOD JOB, ALEXANDRA!
Aw, I know.
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