Category Archives: Anxiety

Confession: I’m a Big Ol’ Scaredy Pants.

2013 curriculum

2013 curriculum

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sooooo….

Tomorrow is the first day of homeschool (and public school!) for us. {We’re a dual-educated family; my oldest two kids go to public school, and my youngest two kids are homeschooled.} I’m kind of like, freaking out. Just a little bit.

I keep wanting to post our “curriculum” plans, because I’m proud that they are actual plans, not just half-formed ideas. Last year, I posted our “Kindergarten Lite” curriculum. While my 4 year old easily worked on a Kindergarten level, I took ‘lite’ a little too literally… Or in other words, I was really bad at consistently doing anything.

This year is our official Kindergarten Year: all the kids my daughter’s age are headed out into the big scary elementary school with brand new backpacks and tennis shoes. My daughter is staying home and having her education held at the mercy of my energy levels. If we’re going to keep on doing this Homeschool Thing, then I have to actually do it, not just curriculum shop and plan and obsess only to skip the days when I’m feeling lazy, because that’s every day. 

I’m afraid to post our curriculum plans because I’m afraid. I’m afraid to “fail” again, and I’m afraid to publicly post plans that could end up being a complete joke. I know it’s Satan who tries to convince me that I’ve failed at all. In spite of me, my daughter excelled in the last year. Her reading has absolutely blossomed, and yet again, she’s easily working on a level above her school age. But.

But. But but but.

I’ve spent all the money, and I’ve talked the talk, but I’m scared that I’m too lazy/un-energized/overwhelmed/ridiculous to actually walk the walk.

Can I be a real homeschooler? Or has it all been an interesting diversion from any number of household tasks I should be doing??

Psst… sorry all these posts of late have been homeschool related. I’m completely obsessed with not screwing this year up! What are you obsessing over right now?

A Burst of Energy

Approximately once a month, I get a huge burst of energy which I typically lack. By “lack of energy” I mean, really, negative amounts of energy. When I get this surge of vitality I actually wake up early all by myself. I beat the kids up. NO. I do not beat my kids up. Ever. Ahem. I meant to say, I awake earlier than my children. Gosh, English can be tricky. :s

Where was I?? That totally killed my train of thought… hrmmm….

Oh yes. As I was saying, when I have these glorious moments of energized, uh, energy (?? see, English is hard!), I try to take advantage of it and go go go until the going is gone. It’s a temporary, likely hormonal, rush that is running on limited time. This morning I woke up at 6:00 a.m., fresh with whole new homeschool worries and anxieties on my mind. (And now, the ability to speak English seems like a limiting factor in my daughter’s schooling experience.) Soon, I was rearranging the living room. It was on my list of things to do but the list gets longer and longer and rarely does the doing get done!

The rearranging commenced. I had to move the book shelf over to the other side of the computer desk. It was in a dark and dusty corner and I wanted this year’s curriculum on it and I wanted it to be within arm’s reach of the table. All the better for the lazy homeschooler, yes? All of a sudden I was playing musical furniture–a very heavy game–and moving this stuff into that shelf, moving that shelf over here, moving the stuff that was on that shelf into that box that I just dumped out, then moving that stuff that’s now dumped into that storage tote I just emptied, and on and on and on and on….

The ironic thing is, I went to all this work despite the fact that we’re still hoping to move soon. (No word on that front, unfortunately.) Just your typical small-house-juggling-to-educate-your-kids-at-home switcheroo.

Do you ever feel the urge to rearrange your house allatonceinabigbigrush, or do you like to reorganize a bit more… methodically?

Grown Up Questions

Late last night, I lay in bed with the unsettling realization that I would not be able to fall asleep. Apparently, taking melatonin at 11 p.m. does not cancel out the fact that you chose to drink a second Diet Coke at 5 p.m. Regardless of the wisdom of that decision, I’m not sure my kids would have been fed dinner without that second Diet Coke soooo… you win some, you lose some? I guess?

As I lay in bed twiddling my thumbs, (truly. There was thumb twiddling!) I analyzed some pretty hefty questions floating around in my mind. I mentioned yesterday that we are considering a move to a new home. What I didn’t mention is that one of the considerations we are considering is making a bigger-than-average move.

My husband and I would love to be out of the Salt Lake valley. My husband wants land, to raise animals, and grow a garden. He has a goal of more sustainable living. I was raised in a smaller community and hate the idea of raising my children in a big city. The move we’re looking at is only thirty minutes away from where we are now, and will be a twenty minute commute for my husband. This is a comparatively small move for some, I know, but for us, we’ll be moving out of the range of everything we know.

I can’t help but wonder, what are the schools like in this county? Will the junior high be a good fit for my 8th grader? What is the high school like? Will it give my son the best opportunities for the future? Will the elementary school be set up to help my fifth grader with her needs? Is there an active homeschooling community for my kindergartener and I?

While a quick Google search will sort out some of these questions, nothing can answer the questions that really matter: will my kids like their new schools? Will they resent us for moving? Will they make friends? Will I?? What will I do without a Target, Old Navy, or multiple parks within walking distance?? Will I go crazy in a rural environment, especially with my husband a commute away? Oh my gosh, will I ever see my husband?

These questions feel like such big, important, grown up questions. Tomorrow is my birthday and I am finally feeling like a real live grown up. {It’s a process, you know?} The questions don’t yet have answers, so for now I will occasionally lay in bed late at night twiddling my thumbs and fretting. As for today, I will pop the top of my Diet Coke (just one, thank you!) and hope the caffeine required for today doesn’t keep me up at night again.

What grown up questions are weighing on your mind lately?

 

Wanted: One Mom (Temp. Position)

Source: Shoebox Blog

Source: Shoebox Blog

WANTED: ONE MOM FOR TEMPORARY HIRE

Our fast paced company (The Family, Inc.) is currently looking to fill a temporary position for one Mom. Current Mom is seeking a Mental Health Break and would like to train temp worker prior to taking Leave. Job responsibilities include the emotional, spiritual, educational, and physical growth of current associates.

Successful applicant will be:

Trained in math and spelling up to seventh grade level, with history of working with teachers and other school support. Exp. in making doctor’s appointments and finding babysitter’s especially helpful.

Skilled in making dinner, though willing to train. Dinner must be filling, thrifty, and somewhat nutritious. Getting certain members of the the company to eat vegetables would be a plus.

Daily janitorial duties are required. Junior associates will disrupt applicant during cleaning process, so applicant should be able to multitask well. Associates will also make messes in the area previously cleaned, so patience is required.

Must have good eyesight for finding the Lego’s and misc. thumb tacks hiding in carpet. Applicant should not have a strong sense of smell, as she will need to wipe the rears of junior associates. Applicant will also need to have quick fingers to fill a sippy cup before junior associate cries, a strong voice for reading the same story over and over; physically fit is preferred but not necessary, though ability to chase after associates and company animal desired.

Must be available 24/7. Ability to sleep less than six hours a night would be a plus, as junior associate wakes several times for the potty. Drivers license required. Position unpaid, though highly rewarding.

As current mom is feeling overwhelmed and underqualified for the position, possibility to turn into long-term employment possible!

Anxiety & Answers

Gary's "please stop crying so I can leave" smile. :)

Wednesday, I blogged (whined) about my husband and son’s four day hike up King’s Peak with the Scouts. Things didn’t go quite as smoothly as we had assumed for my husband. His company suddenly had triple the work they needed done, and it all had to be done before he could leave for the trip, and everyone is yelling because it isn’t being done fast enough. A small family business, he has no option of taking time off and letting someone else fill in for him. Work must be complete before he can leave.

Typically this isn’t much of a problem and results in some late nights and an all-nighter or two before a vacation. Not ideal, but c’est la vie. As the trip approached I had been feeling increasingly anxious about his lack of sleep. Finally, Wednesday came, but he was still madly working away at his projects. Jordan left on his trip, knowing that Dad may be late meeting them on the mountain.

Finally, Gary was able to get his work done at 9 p.m. on Wednesday. Due to the all-nighters and the long hours before Wednesday, the man had met his limit with exhaustion. He fell asleep in his office chair, even falling back asleep repeatedly after I called him, woke him up, and asked him to come home. He came home at one a.m. on Thursday morning. Apparently his office nap had energized him and he started packing to go. At three a.m. I stumbled into the kitchen wear he was gathering items needed, and I declared this whole trip to be stupid. After all, the Scouts had already hiked seven miles on Wednesday. His plan was to leave the house around 4 a.m., drive three hours to the trail head and hike the seven miles in time to meet them for the next leg of the trip. At that point, he would then hike another seven miles. The fear I had of him hiking with almost no sleep and alone with no communications made me sick. I yelled at him telling him it was impossible and dangerous. He threw up his hands and crashed into bed, mad at me.
At 10 a.m. I woke him up. I realized he had to carry in dinner for the Scouts on Thursday night!  I apologized for being so rude and told him I thought he should go. He resumed his packing, and it dawns on me that by the time he meets up with the Scouts, he will now need to hike fourteen plus miles all alone. By fighting and arguing with him, I have only made his predicament worse! I cried like a baby as he prepared his bags and was finally able to leave the house just past one p.m.

He called me from Evanston, Wyoming, and again as he prepared to leave the highway towards the meandering dirt roads on the way to the trail head. At this point, there is no way he will make it to bring the Scouts their dinner. (Um, sorry, Scouts, that’s my bad- though he assured me they would have enough food to not starve the Scouts. I hope.) There is no way he can hike all fourteen miles in an afternoon, not before dark. There is no way to let the Scouts know he is on his way, and there is no way to let me know if he even finds the Scouts.

 My afternoon consisted of panic, crying, anxiety, and complete and total fear for the safety of my husband. Finally, I pile the girls in the car. I had to get out of the house before my head exploded with anxiety. I figure we can go to Ikea and wander around mindlessly. They will overwhelm distract me, my non-napping toddler will sleep in the car, and I will be a little more sane. Possibly.

The Ikea plan backfired the second one of our wedding songs came on the radio, and within seconds I’m a sniveling mess. I start a mental prayer, pleading with my Heavenly Father that my husband will be safe and will find the Scouts. A complete anxiety attack is building, and I can’t not think about all the terrible things that might happen. As I drive, crying, I glance at a freeway exit sign, and notice I’m close to my sister in law’s house. She experienced this same anxiety when her husband, Lee, went hiking last year, leaving her with two young girls, a newborn, and no communication. A thought pops into my head: go to Savannah’s house. It’s immediately followed with: ask Lee for a blessing.

I’m not hugely good at asking for help, or appearing on someone’s doorstep sobbing. It took me a moment to even sort out if I had passed the exit to her house, but as soon as I exited, I texted at a stoplight, “r u home?” I begged Heavenly Father to let them be home. I knew I needed a blessing, I needed the comfort of the Spirit. I’m so grateful that I chose to act on that simple thought to go to her home. I’m so grateful that the Spirit spoke loudly enough to my anxious heart to know exactly where I needed to go. I’m grateful for a sister in law who immediately took me in, and her husband who was ready to give me a blessing with a moment’s notice.

The blessing comforted me in a way no human-crafted words could. The reminder that my Heavenly Father is watching over me and my sweet little family was priceless. The insight that everything will be okay calmed my frantic soul. After the blessing (and some deep breaths), we joined Savannah’s family as they went to watch Lee play Ultimate Frisbee. Then we took our rambunctious children to my other sister in law’s house, and the women talked while the children played.

As we drove home, I took note that my heart was still calm. No desperate what-if thoughts plagued me. I read scriptures with my daughters and then tucked them into bed. Another miracle–all of them instantly closed their eyes and went to sleep. I knelt down and said a prayer of gratitude to my loving Father in Heaven, and fervently asked Him that I might remember the calmness I had felt since the blessing. I don’t want to doubt tomorrow morning, I don’t want to yield to the temptation of worry. I want to have faith in the things I have been promised.

These things I share are the thoughts behind an intensely emotional day and are hard for me to share. I don’t share them to brag or whine. I feel the need to share them. Maybe someone out there will read this and remember that your Heavenly Father loves you and cares for your worries and fears the same way He does mine. Maybe I need to write this to remind me of that–tomorrow, next week, or next year. Or maybe someone is about to send their own husband out into the world, and needs to find a measure of peace–or know from whom they can seek that peace. (If you are looking to know more about God who knows you so well, this link will help you get started.)

What has brought peace into your soul lately?

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