Summer Wrap Up – What Worked with the P-L-A-N?

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Oh my gosh Team Confessioners it’s so nice to be back in the wonderful routine of fall—but before we get too far into the change of season, I’d love to take the opportunity, on this last day of summer, to take a quick look back at the impact that planning had on that extended school vacation we all just had to endure.

In case you were too busy in the spring to listen, I had a whole series of posts on how I was going to approach summer with a new acronym I came up with for plan, a Please Love And Nurture, Plan. And I’ve got to say, I think the planning had a substantial impact on how my summer ultimately turned out.

We covered a lot of topics back in the spring, but I just wanted to touch on these three, because I discovered some micro shifts that ended up having big returns in the end: The three I’d like to chat about are: house projects, family time, and rest.  

      1. House projects: One mistake I seem to always make when it comes to house projects—whether it’s cleaning, organizing, hanging pictures, fixing something, you name it—is that I always seem to work past my breaking point. I get super overwhelmed, and let’s be honest, pissy when the project has to be cleaned up and/or completed. But, I changed my approach this summer. I actually stopped working right when I could tell I was getting burnt out. If you’re anything like me, some signs of burnout might be: Everything feels like it’s getting harder and harder. Maybe you kind of want to hurt someone if they touch something you’ve been working on. Perhaps you start snapping at people? I’ve even been known to get a little weepy friends. So—this summer, as soon as I started to notice any of those signs, I stopped, so I could use that last bit of energy to put everything away and fully finish the project. Or, I would choose to walk away and pick up the work the next day if it wasn’t a one-day project. I know it sounds like a little thing, but I can’t tell you how many times my work sort of undoes itself simply because I’ve run out of energy to fully complete it. That shift of listening for my breaking point (not just for the day, but also for house projects in general) saved some lives this summer. I’m not gonna sugar coat it, this wasn’t a perfect art—there was a point there at the end of July when every single person in the house was driving me mental. Every time they didn’t put something away I died a little bit inside. But, I was able to use that mounting annoyance as a very clear ‘dashboard light indicator’—a sign that it was time to S-T-O-P cleaning—and that’s exactly what I did. Walk away Mags—just walk a-way.
      2. My second micro-shift this summer was giving my kids space. Doing so was tough this summer, and not for the reason I’d thought it would be tough. Accepting that the kids were either working or busy and wouldn’t be able to join the rest of the family for different activities wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was knowing that our family is officially in this phase where it’s not ‘the six of us taking on the world’ any more. The emotion of letting go of that phase in our lives was the hardest part. I can get emotional just talking about it now…But honestly—if I hadn’t told myself at the beginning of the summer to give all of them space, I think my lack of control over our evolving family would have tripped up my micromanaging wires something fierce. I’m so completely out of control of this natural evolution of the birds leaving the nest, and sometimes my response to feeling deeply out of control in one area of my life is to go into hyper-control mode in other areas of my life. But, I think that mental prep I did with all of you in May and June really helped here, so thank you TeamC. And while that doesn’t change the fact that all the wing spreading around here is making me choke pretty hard on all those flying feathers—I deeply appreciate the space you all gave me to anticipate this huge life shift and behave a little better through it. So, again, thank you. And, the last shift I want to touch on…
      3. REST! Team—Rest is like jail for all of my bad behavior! There is zero doubt in my mind that any and all calm I felt this summer, all of my mild mannered conduct, was all a direct result of slowing down and getting more sleep. And honestly, the only change I made was that I didn’t schedule things for myself first thing in the morning. For so many years that was the only time I felt I had for myself… to head to the gym, or go for that walk—but that’s not the case anymore. Easing my way into the day, rather than forcing myself into the day, ended up positively affecting everything else I did. Truly TeamC, it was so much easier to manage myself this summer because I wasn’t overtired every day. And it felt so good, I’m completely inspired to bring that joy-filled experience into my school year. No more 5am morning’s for this Mama. Friends, I’m going to be so well behaved this year—you’re not even going to recognize me! 

So as you can see, all in all, the planning truly helped and I’m definitely going to do it again next spring, so you can stay tuned for that reinforcement in another 8 months! Meanwhile, I’ll be telling  you how I water teenagers. That’s right! You heard me—how I water teenagers. Sound kooky? Well, then tune in next week to find out what the heck I’m talking about.


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    Welcome to my blog! Here you can read about what’s on my mind as I try my best to recover from screaming at my kids and nagging the bejesus out my husband.

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