Summer is just about over and the kiddos will begin school again in about five weeks. I will have a 4th grader attending public school, a 7th grader who I will be homeschooling while working full-time (called and a little crazy), and a “home-schooled with a tutor” senior who will finish high school at the end of the first quarter (just a few months behind his class).
As a full-time working mom with a husband on unemployment, summer did not afford us a vacation to “get away from it all”. Life kept going, just as it was before summer. School, work, “training them up in the way they should go”. I never allowed myself to slow down, to sit and be still, to savor the moments that took my breath away.
And now, I’ve hit a wall. I feel zapped of strength, no motivation to do much, no interest in anything fun. Life seems to be passing me by as I sit on the couch, unable to move. There could be many reasons why I suddenly feel the wall is too high to jump over — not enough sleep, hormones (or the lack there of, as I am officially in menopause), working too hard, as well as working through the emotions of some of the hardest challenges in my life that occurred over the last few years (they are finally catching up with me). It really doesn’t matter. What matters is that I find the motivation and energy once again to feel like I can get over the wall.
Here are some things I’ve been doing to help myself.
- Ask for help. I have to be able to admit when I am weak. It’s hard for me to ask for help. I often feel as if I am imposing on others. Yet, there are people who want to help. I had a friend come over and tackle my downstairs dining/schooling area the other day. I was pretty immobilized and didn’t know where to start, but she was great and allowed me to sit in a chair while I told her what to do with all of my junk. But just looking at my nice, clean school bookshelf makes my heart go pitter patter.
- Understand my limitations. I simply cannot do it all. My house is messy and in need of a deep cleaning. My children have been living out of laundry baskets lately, and that’s okay. Did you know how much energy it takes just to fold a pile of laundry? Geesh! We ordered take out more in the last couple of weeks, or survived on whatever was in the freezer, and my family is not starving. I spent my day off in my jammies, unshowerd for most of the day. Gasp!
- Consult your doctor. This may not be for everyone. But as a mid-life woman with raging hormones, and one who has been harboring a lot of hurt and pain from losses experienced over the last few years, I chose to seek medical advice. I now have a plan to help me move forward and get over the hump. One day I will be singing, “I can see clearly now….”, but I’m not asking for the rain to be gone. This hot-flashing mama loves the rain. The cooler the better!
- Go to bed early! This one is a little harder. I love my “alone time” after the family goes to bed and it’s just me and God, or me and the TV, or me and my popcorn. I do laundry and some of my best blogging at night. It hasn’t been easy for me to get to bed early enough to get the adequate amount of sleep my body needs to function each day. I am realizing that my lack of sleep is not only affecting my emotional well being, but my physical health as well.
- Pray and ask God for help. This, above all others, has been the most important. He understands my weaknes. He is not surprised when life becomes overwhelming and all I want to do is sit on the couch with a bowl of ice cream while watching “You’ve Got Mail”. He’s right here. Never left. But I must pray and ask Him to give me His peace and rest, as well as the strength and wisdom to know how to bring balance back into my life. Apart from Him, I can do nothing. But with Him, I can do all things.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Are you feeling as if you’ve hit a wall? Get closer to God. If you can do nothing else, get into His presence — through worship, reading His Word, and praying the scriptures over your life. He alone is the answer. He alone will give you the strength to climb over the wall.