Have you ever heard the joke about, “I try to take things one day at a time, but lately several days have attacked me at once?” This is how I’ve been feeling the past few weeks, and why I had to take a mini blog break. As much as I like being here, and sharing new ideas with you — and the challenge of coming up with those ideas — the blog is the one thing I feel like I can put down if I’m overwhelmed.
Now, maybe you don’t have two jobs and a blog, but I know you’ve felt overwhelmed. Maybe you’re planning your child’s birthday party and it’s becoming too much to handle with work and your other commitments. Maybe you planned big and now are running out of time. Maybe you took on a DIY or baking project and it’s just not going well.
Moms say to me all the time, “I don’t know how you do it!” I want to make sure you know I am no better at coping with overwhelm than anyone else. If you think my kids always look photo shoot cute, or my house always looks magazine ready or that I celebrate every holiday to the nines, well just stop. Ha. Hahahahah (she laughs maniacally).
So here’s what’s been going on. It’s been busy, busy, busy — even if there was no evidence of it here on the blog.
- I published my latest party plan.
- My daughter’s 9th birthday party was featured on AndersRuff. (So exciting!)
- I graduated from an eight-week business school course.
- I hired a developer to fix a list of things on my site and shop.
- Four months later, I fired the developer for accomplishing nada.
- Lindsey at Pretty Darn Cute (who designed my logo and business cards) recommended that I move to a different WordPress platform and to a Shopify-powered shop. As usual, Lindsey was spot on.
- So, I rebuilt my website and shop (with a pitch-in from Thauna at Bellano Web Studio).
- Lord have mercy, I built my own website. It is far from perfect yet, but I’ll keep plugging away.
- My Flower Fairy Party was featured on Disney’s Spoonful. Whoopeeee!
- My Dress Up Party was featured on Bloom Designs Online. Love Jenny!
- My Pink Pig Party was featured on Baby Shower Ideas 4U. Thank you!
- I shot two videos (but can’t for the life of me figure out the editing program).
- And oh yeah … the whole time I was also creating Custom Party Plans and Party Kits.
This is not the full list, by any means. And, I have been so fortunate to have some amazing opportunities come my way in the past two weeks. I’m busting to tell you about them, but that has to wait just a hair longer.
And of course, school ended, kids got sick, I got sick. There was lice again. All that happened on the same day. Seriously: lice, fevers and ickiness on the last day of school.
So with all this good fortune, and everyday life, what did I do? I got really, really stuck. Please don’t hear this as complaining. That’s really not how I feel. It’s just that sometimes, we don’t know how to manage everything we’ve been given — even if we’re really excited about all those things.
My to-do list was so long, and everything seemed equally important. At any one time, I had pieces of projects in the works, and nothing complete. I was really afraid I’d never get it all done. My dining room was a complete disaster of project piles that only I could understand. I felt stuck, but didn’t have time to stop, so I just kept moving, in the world’s most disorganized fashion, and somehow, it all came together.
Today, I delivered the last of my big projects. I should feel great and raring to go, right? I actually had the luxury of the remainder of the day with no expectations on me. My husband would take care of the girls, and I had only to take care of me. I had a huge chunk of time to shake off “plowing-through mode.” To make a list of strategic and tactical to-dos. To re-prioritize. To blog. To take first steps on next projects. To continue prepping for the Gardening Party.
What did I do instead? I binge watched Friday Night Lights on Netflix. I feel so guilty for not using the time productively. For three years, I’ve worked almost every single night on Double the Fun Parties. I guess I’m tired.
I have nothing to complain about. Nothing. Just a quick check of Facebook tells me that I don’t have cancer, I don’t need a bone marrow match, my child didn’t disappear, my brother didn’t die. Life is good, and I am blessed with a business I love and opportunities that are so exciting.
I thought and mused and prayed about how to introduce the new site and shop to you. What could I say after being away for weeks? What wiz-bang party trick should I share? I finally decided it was more important to write from the heart.
When you are feeling stuck and overwhelmed, all I can tell you is: to keep plugging away. Do it little bit each day. If you don’t, you’ll feel even more behind and more stuck. Nothing revolutionary in that advice.
But here’s what I’d also recommend. [Tweet “Don’t let the stuck feeling take over. Live in it a little. Let your brain turn off.”] Let your internal dialogue turn off. Tell yourself to shut up.
If your list is nuts, do whatever feels good in the moment. It will all eventually get done, so just float down the river of the list, going where your gut takes you in any moment.
Don’t be a slave to the list. All you will do in spiral in your stuck-ness. Play Clue with your kids. Watch their cartwheels. Cook dinner. Do the things you think you don’t have time for because you do have time. It all works out. It really, really does all work out.
When you reach the end of your list, if you are fortunate enough to have a span of time like I did today, don’t jump back into the next list. Give yourself a little breather. Binge watch something and paint your toenails.
I’m off to watch my kids catch fireflies. Back at it tomorrow.