Last week I finished up two classes, and I start a new one tomorrow, so this weekend has been light in the school department. I also had the weekend of work, so... yeah. It's been pretty great. Last night I was doing stuff around the house and thinking "I feel different. What is going on with me? Oh wait... sleep. I got sleep. This is what it feels like when you get sleep." It was a good feeling. I enjoyed it while it lasted.
As you probably know, life has been busy around here. Nursing school + baby + working overnights = a whole lotta stress and tired. Work has been crazy for Tim as well, and we've had some family stuff going on that called for a quick weekend trip to Florida on the tails of Hurricane Matthew. The day after we got back from that trip, the Peanut had her 9 month check-up and I was filling out the post-partum screening.
"Rate the level of stress in your family right now:
Severe. Yes, that is us. But by God's grace we're getting through it, relying on His strength and the amazing friends and family He has blessed us with.
My cousin, Paige, is also in nursing school right now (at a very different school in a very different state), and I said to her on Facebook "I hope you're surviving all right! It will all be worth it...probably." I loved her response:
"Well, right now surviving feels like a bit of an exaggeration, but it'll be worth it!"
Yes. Surviving does feel like a bit of an exaggeration.
If this sound like you, if you're just trying to get through It (whatever It is), I'm here to offer some advice. I (obviously) don't know it all, but I've learned a thing or two, and I would like to pass it along. Whether you're home with littles and they're wearing you out, or you're in school and living from deadline to deadline, or if your family is in crisis and you spend so much time at the hospital that no one has clean underwear... this is for you. And I am sorry for you. I won't ask you if you're ok, because the answer is probably "no" and that's probably ok, because it's ok to not be ok, and it doesn't mean you will never be ok again. Because you will. Probably.
So here are 5 bits of advice/tips/permissions for you (photos of my house included so you can feel better about your house):
1) The laundry doesn't need to be folded. It can sit in that laundry basket, and you can rummage in that basket every morning for something to wear, and yes it will be wrinkly, but that's ok. The stuff that's crusted on your stove top? It can stay there. The dust and dog hair in the corner? Don't even worry about it. We're in survival mode.
2) It's ok to eat frozen convenience food. No, it's not usually the healthiest option, but frozen food has come a long way in nutrition in the past several years, so throw that food in a skillet and don't even worry about it. If you really are worried about it, eat and apple or a banana and take a mulitvitamin. Life's not always going to be like this. You just gotta do what you gotta do.
3) Let people help you. Did you catch that? One more time for the kids in the back. LET. PEOPLE. HELP. YOU. If you're anything like me, this is a tough one. Asking for help is so much harder than just doing it myself. At least that's what I tell myself. So I've settled on this goal for myself right now: Say "YES!" when someone offers to help. Whatever the offer, and whether I need help or not, I try to say yes, just so I can practice accepting help! Even if it is just someone holding the door open for you, LET THEM DO IT. Yes, I know you are a strong, capable, independent person. That's not the point. Don't you feel good when you can help someone else? Then let someone else have that good feeling by helping you!
4) When your baby falls asleep in your shoulder, and you really need to start studying, rock that baby for a few more minutes. Just soak it in. If your husband wants to talk about cars or politics or work or anything, but you need to get something done, talk to your husband, and forget about what needs to be done. Above all else, spend time quietly before the Lord everyday, telling Him your troubles and asking Him to help. Because He loves you, a whole lot, and He wants to help. And there's no way you can do it without Him. What I'm getting at here is priorities. Fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.
5) Work hard, do your best, and trust God to take care of everything else. Because when we're being honest, "everything else" is really a lot of stuff because what we bring to the table is basically nothing. But we should still offer our nothing.
Hang in there, my friend! This too shall pass.
Disclaimer: I want to mention if "this" is life, with no end in sight; if the "It" that you're getting through is day to day life, with no end to the season in the foreseeable future, you need to look long and hard at making some adjustments. I don't know what those adjustments are or what they may mean for you, but survival mode should be time-limited.
I love you guys! Thanks for hanging in there with me. Life is good, and I am enjoying it, because God is good, and He has blessed me through (and with!) these struggles.