Last night my husband told me about this old proverb that describes what happens when you cut a strip of rug and sew it onto the other side, expecting a longer rug.
Sometimes that’s exactly how I feel about my days this month. Easily overwhelmed.
I wake up on weekdays and start my morning routine, eager to get ahead of my to-do list. Over the next several hours, I work, write, edit, clean our new house, cook dinner, kiss Devin hello when he gets home, download with him about our day, and fall asleep almost as soon as my head hits the pillow.
But somehow lately my to-do list, instead of shortening over the course of the day, has just gotten longer.
Because it has.
Something about buying a house (and renovating said house!) has added layer upon layer to my list. For instance, the added cleaning tasks because we live in a larger space now.
I recently said to Devin that I’m really thankful that we didn’t buy an even larger house because I’m still learning how to keep this much space clean and organized.
Then, there are the added renovation tasks because right before we moved in two weeks ago, what seemed like a simple project (removing and replacing old baseboards) initiated our first setback.
We found old termite damage (inactive, thank God!) due to water damage due to a leak in an exterior wall. A slew of contractors have been by the house, and there is now a gaping hole in the drywall of what was once my freshly painted office. Studs and insulation galore.
I’m literally typing this to you from my desk beside the hole. I’ll spare you the pictures. ;)
So on and on the projects stretch.
Confession: I’ve been feeling behind almost constantly. And more easily overwhelmed than ever.
Oh, I’d like to think I keep up with what must be done. Work tasks somehow get accomplished. Receipts get filed so I’m able to keep up with the budget, even when it blows up (see above about holes in the wall and ask me about why we had to purchase a new fridge). I’m pretty sure I mopped the bathroom sometime last week and I’m listening to a load of laundry in the washer and dryer as I type.
But this month I’ve never felt so tired.
And then Devin said what he did about the proverb, and I realized I feel like I’m trapped in that old proverb in a revolving loop, like some twisted Groundhog’s Day come to life. Only it’s someone else adding that length of rug back onto the to-do list I’ve worked diligently all day to trim down.
Halfway through the month today, and it’s hard to see any progress.
But then I stop and assess the very real progress…
So far this month we moved in. After two months of being homeowners, we’re actually living here. That feels grand, if I glance away from the hole in the drywall.
I also unpacked almost every box. Almost because our boxes of books sit in the guest room, unopened. We’re not going to fill our bookshelves until we’ve replaced all the baseboards (which will probably wait on the wall repair) because those shelves are heavy once filled!
I also organized most of the kitchen and bathroom cabinets this week, in an attempt to start to feel at home here.
But the biggest win so far is writing this to you today. You see, I’ve dedicated an hour every Friday morning this summer to writing a blog post. Even if it’s not perfect or even if you don’t walk away from my blog each Friday this summer with some great truth about how to be a better writer (though I have so many ideas of tutorials I want to write for you!).
I’m prioritizing this because my soul breathes just a bit better after I’ve composed something.
And I hope to encourage you, too. Today, especially, I hope to encourage you to look at your to-do list like a rug. No, really. ;)
Two ideas to try when next you feel easily overwhelmed:
1. Assess the progress.
Are you accomplishing more than you know because tasks keep being added on?
How can you celebrate the progress you’re making, however small it may feel?
Maybe instead of tackling the grocery shopping right away today, you could take a moment to write a note (or just a sweet text!) to a friend if that will make you smile. Instead of working through your lunch, you could crack open your Bible or put in a podcast and listen as you walk and enjoy the summer breeze.
My personal favorite that I’m working on enjoying: Instead of devoting your Saturday to “getting ahead,” you could go out with your spouse, as Devin is forcing (*cough*) me to do tomorrow. :) (Thanks, handsome!)
Maybe reading my blog post today is a part of your break from your to-do list, in which case I’m thankful, and I hope you’ll sign up for my email list so I can make it even easier for you and send my blog posts directly to your inbox twice a month.
But first let’s chat in a comment below:
What task on your to-do list is the most daunting today?
P.S. Mine’s that hole in the wall!