Hit snooze. Snooze again. And … just one more, I swear. Roll out of bed and get ready for the day. Enjoy some coffee and get crankin’ with work. My husband and daughter leave for work and school, respectively. Work throughout the day. I work from home in case you’re wondering why I’m not leaving the house. Then, if there’s still time after work — take care of some errands before I pick up my daughter from school. Cook dinner, have dinner, then clean up (or let the dishes sit there for a while). Enjoy some family time. Get ready for bed. Sing some songs before tucking our daughter in bed. With very little physical and brain power left, my husband and I crash on the couch. Watch TV. Go to bed. Set our alarms and repeat the first sentence.
Then all too often I realize it’s Friday again and I ask myself, “Where did the week go?”
Does this sound familiar? Plus or minus a few things in your day or itineraries shuffled around differently?
Stuck on Auto-Pilot
With our hectic schedules and limited time, it is so easy to get lost in our daily shuffle. We go on auto-pilot. And it makes sense from an efficiency standpoint. It’s as though I’ve been on cruise control and I looked up and realized, a few years have gone and I feel like I have little to show for it outside meeting my “standard” responsibilities of being a working wife and mom. While I met my responsibilities, it seemed to end there.
The irony is, I feel so busy all the time. If I’m not rushing to get something done, I’m thinking of the things I need to get done. Yet, I still often feel unaccomplished at the end of the day, thinking of all the things I should have done or have to do. It’s as though I gain no real traction on things outside our daily routine. Picture a hamster in a wheel. It is frustrating and at times I feel like I just suck, to put it simply.
Are there any of you out there who feel the same way? Are you stuck in a rut and/or been on some sort of aimless auto-pilot? If you’re out there, know that you’re not alone! We’ve got power in numbers. 😃
The Bare Minimum
I’ve always been goal and action oriented with a to do list at hand. Nowadays however, I often find myself writing down my to do’s and forgetting about them or constantly procrastinating until I absolutely have to and it becomes a fire drill, or they don’t get done at all.
I’m not sure if my lack of energy or enthusiasm is caused by truly just being tired from work and the daily demands of our family, or if it’s because I am not inspired, or if it’s a combination of both. Oh and did I mentioned I’m pregnant? All you mamas out there can attest to our dip in energy levels when expecting. So that gives me another valid excuse! Perhaps I’m just getting old, so I just don’t have as much energy as I used to. Whatever it is, it’s not for lack of want. Fact is, my brain is always churning — while I drive, cook, shower, and so on — my brain is thinking I should do this, I should do that. Then I’d get a sudden, yet fleeting burst of motivation and I jot down a to do list… only to find myself not even checking that list to see what I need to do. Then time passes and I forget. I realize a week or two later that I didn’t do anything on that list. For some reason, I can’t quite sustain my motivation to do more.
Obviously, things need to change — for me at least. I need to get out of this auto-pilot state, of just letting the day take me, and doing just the bare minimum. Time will keep moving and it feels as though it’s only going faster. Again, I think it’s probably because I’m getting older. Regardless, I don’t want to think back with regret that I didn’t do more, live more and be more.
Make My Everydays Create the Bigger Picture I’ve Envisioned
Now, there’s something to be said for going with the flow and letting life unfold for you. But I think it should be a balance, like everything else. I don’t want to wake up 10 years from now wondering where the last 10 years went — like my last week. I want to shut this auto-pilot thing off and replace it with more mindful decisions and intentional actions. I want to own my routine, rather than let my routine own me — so that my everydays collectively add up to make the bigger picture I’m envisioning for myself and for my family. I want to ensure that I am veering in the direction I want to go without regrets that I should have tried harder or focused on my priorities better; or worse, having aimlessly navigated my way and realizing too late. I want to place more thought on the things I do and commit to do so that I know I made my time count on the things that matter most to me.
I am going to slow down and take a step back to reset and reframe. Take a closer look at our life and picture how I want it to be. I know this is going to be a difficult process. But I also know, it will be worth it. So, to help reel myself back in and get back on track, I’m going to:
- Assess the Situation: Figure out (at least try to) why I am where I am.
- Create a Game Plan: Drum up some master plan to get myself back on track with intentionally navigating my everydays rather than simply coasting.
- Set Myself Up For Success: Why not!? I don’t want all this effort to go to waste. Doing so will help me sustain whatever it is I plan to do.
- Pulse Check: After some time of making this come to life, it’s probably a good idea for me to reassess what I’ve done and see what’s worked and what hasn’t.
Note to self: I give myself permission to tweak this as I go.
By carefully evaluating the reasons for why I am where I am today, I will be better able to address the root issues. And hopefully, with this plan, I can break this current cycle I’m in, get out of this rut of just skating by and get back to making more mindful decisions… and ultimately take the driver’s seat to navigate our way through living a more intentional life.
I hope you stay tuned for what I come up with. And if you’re in a similar boat, feeling like you can definitely be doing more — not just with being more productive, but more importantly, being more intentional with what we decide to do and use our time on, purposefully steering the course for yourself and your ship (may it be you and your partner or your entire family), then I challenge you to take some time to take a step back and reframe as well. Ask yourself where you’re getting stuck and why. Let’s compare notes and take the first step in breaking the cycle.