Let It Go! Not That Much, That’s Better

I feel like I’ve been on a weird roller coaster for the past few months.  Sickness and health with Buggy, work schedule and my job outlook for next year, things going on with family and friends, feeling overwhelmed with the mundane chores and errands of a mother, my own mental health.

I stepped back and assessed my stress a few months ago because I was WAY overwhelmed, and sad.  Simply stepping back and seeing what was getting to me was huge.  Of course, it was all the things I couldn’t control.  That always gets to us Type-A people.

When I finally decided to stop sweating the small stuff and just do what I could, things got better.  Stress and mental health-wise of course.  But I’ve noticed just how much I let go.  I had to stop trying to do everything on the time line I thought it should get done in, because when the time line wasn’t met, I got stressed and anxious… and weepy.

So I thought I would do a little “how you know you’ve let it go” that exaggerates (or exactly describes) my life since the step back.

You know you’ve let it go if…

1. when your son rolls around on the floor you have a hard time deciphering which ball of fur is the dog and which is your child.

2. you can’t tell which smells worse, the trash can or the dishes in the sink.

3. you have to dump clean laundry out of your laundry baskets in order to do this week’s laundry.

4. the ant line marching across the kitchen floor has more food than your pantry.

5. the hair on the bathroom floor could be donated to make a wig for a poor bald person.

6. the car still has pollen on it… from last year.

7. the Christmas decorations you forgot to put in the boxes only made it to the top shelf in the office, or the closet of the guest room – instead of the attic.

8. the yard is so overgrown with weeds – wait, that one I have nothing for because we taught Buggy how to pull weeds and now it’s his favorite thing to do outside.  We are weed free thanks to our almost 2-year-old.

Don’t worry, the laundry gets done, the dishes get washed, the floors get cleaned – on a weekly basis.  My house is sanitary and livable.  Just not the same day of the week that I might have planned.  Not perfect.  And while things may be a little less organized, a little more messy, there is a HUGE upside.

My garden is doing great because that’s where I spend free time instead of cleaning and cooking.

My mind feels sharp because I read for fun and for information instead of watching TV during my only free time.

My family is happy and close because that’s where I spend free time instead of constant cleaning and cooking.

I have fewer days that are marked “bad” and more that are marked “good” or “productive”.  It has been a month since I had a “weepy” day, where I felt sad and overwhelmed.  I feel happy and I’m enjoying how I spend my time.

It’s not that the uncertainty in my job has gone away.  It’s not that I’ve hired a maid to clean the house.  It’s not that I have less errands to run.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy having fresh banana bread, raisin bread, and homemade granola bars to nourish us through the week.

It’s just that I understand there are things I can’t control and I must LET IT GO.  It’s just that there are things I can control, but I have to LET IT GO if they don’t all get done.  Because I’d rather spend time with my family having fun in the backyard or teaching my son how to eat a giant ice cream cone.  I’d rather be happy.


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9 Responses to Let It Go! Not That Much, That’s Better

  1. Elizabeth Ferguson says:

    Well put! I am so glad it’s all working for you! Enjoy your family – they ALWAYS come first!

    • AKeo says:

      Definitely! And although I sometimes think that cleaning, errands, etc. is putting my family first, I realize now that can all wait.

  2. Julia says:

    Thank you! I need this today. We just moved and I am constantly wondering if I am doing the right thing by unpacking slowly and not keeping the house as clean as I usually do.

    • AKeo says:

      Moving is the worst! You have to do what you can, when you can. My new mantra is clean and safe ENOUGH – all the rest will come in time. In the grand scheme of things, getting out to enjoy your new area with A is going to have far more impact than the house being organized quickly! Good luck…

  3. Thank you for posting this. I enjoyed reading today’s article very much. Checking up on my health is something I do often. I try to keep up with today’s trends so I’m more active and healthier. Thanks again for sharing your article.

  4. Susan Vaughan says:

    I was having the same problem – especially once I got back to work after maternity leave. Letting it go is definitely the answer. Life’s too short to waste it on anything other than quality family time. Somehow the chores get done – just not necessarily when and how we think they should. (By the way, I can’t wait until J is old enough to pull weeds!)

    • AKeo says:

      I have to think the women that have perfect homes and 3 kids under 4 are all extremely unhappy on the inside. I’d like to be happy on the inside and a little messy on the outside!

  5. This post is GREAT! I battle with Mt Washmore regularly, myself.

    Your thoughts remind me of some advice I got from a friend that really helped me through my “OMG I have to let some things go before I go crazy” phase.

    She said, “Don’t let perfection get in the way of good enough.”

    I keep those words with me a lot.

    • AKeo says:

      I love that quote. I’m definitely going to remind myself of that as well. As we speak I have a load of darks that needs to be washed… oh well!

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