Learning to Say No: Survival Mode 7-day Challenge (Day 1)

I am blogging this week about Crystal Paine’s book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, and her 7-Day Challenge related to the book.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

The theme for the first day of the challenge is titled “Learn to Say No” and discusses how you have to say “no” to some things so that you can move toward your goals.  Whether it’s saying no to PTA or MOPS duties or deep-cleaning your house, you have to do only what is right for you and your family, and not for other people.

The moment I stopped feeling obligated to other people, I finally felt like I was living. Really living. I could breathe. I could laugh. I could love.

Wow, that sentence really hit home for me.  Right now I am reading Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst, and did some thinking just last night about how, when I feel like I am being watched and judged by others, I am not the same mom as when I am focused only on my kids and their needs.  I need to do for my children what Picasso and Cassatt need, and not what other people think they need to see from a mother.  I am not responsible to them, and it really does not matter what they think.

In the same way, I need to do what is needed for me, my family, and our goals.  Other people needing me to be involved, to participate — need someone who can follow through.  If I am over-committed, I am not the person they really need.

The challenge for today was to make a to-do list for your day, then cross off 3 things from that list — say no to them.  Making the list wasn’t hard.  I had 3 different to-do lists on my phone, so I compiled them onto a single sheet of paper.  Man, that’s a long list.  Then cross off 3 things?  After some deliberation, I decided on things that can wait: organizing MOPS paperwork, vacuuming the stairs, and decluttering (which I try to do every day).  I wasn’t happy about crossing these things out, but I knew something had to go.  Right now, I’m going to bed in 2 hours and still have 10 things on my list!

Are you doing the challenge?  What can you cross off your to-do list today?

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Survival Mode 7-day Challenge

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

If you’ve read this blog much, you’ve probably noticed my passion for the blog Money Saving Mom and its author, Crystal Paine.  And you’ve read about my excitement about her new book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode.

Crystal is offering a taste of her book through a free 7-day challenge.  If you sign up, you will get an e-mail from her every day for a week.  Then they stop.  (I know because I signed up a while back, but didn’t do the challenge because the e-mails are somewhat lengthy and hard to read on a cell phone.)  She will be blogging about this challenge for the next week.  I will be blogging along with her!  So stay tuned for my adventures on this challenge!


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Survival Mode

Sometimes I feel like I am living in survival mode. Do you?

There are things I do to stay out of survival mode. Like my daily load of laundry.  (My washing machine broke though and was out of commission for the past 3 days while I waited for the part to arrive from Amazon.  Darling Husband fixed it for me, bless him!)  Or meal planning.  Of course, meal planning works better when I remember to bring my list into the store with me!  (And with a 2 and 4 year old in tow, I’m not going out to my car just to get my list!)

Other things put me into survival mode. Especially when the kids are running around not listening while I’m trying to get dinner ready.  Or I put on ANOTHER TV show so that Husband can fix the washing machine without losing parts.  I have to remind myself that these things are only temporary.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode
I recently finished a book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, that will be published later this month.  I was so happy to be chosen for the launch team!  The book is by Crystal Paine, author of Money Saving Mom, one of my favorite blogs.  The book has practical solutions for doing everything from organizing your time to budgeting to home management to giving to others.  Some of her suggestions have really helped: for example, the idea that saying yes to one thing means saying no to others.  It’s simple, but important!

I wasn’t thrilled with the book at the beginning, but by the time I got to the end I really liked it.  I look forward to getting a hard copy that I can thumb through and mark up!

What do you do when you feel like you’re in survival mode?

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And the Word of the Year is …

Do you have a Word of the Year?  Have you thought about choosing one?

I have, and my word is …


Gentle is calm. Gentle is caring. Gentle is loving.

Gentleness is moderated — in word and action.

Gentleness is NOT passivity.

Gentleness is one of the Fruits of the Spirit — a gift that comes from God.

One of my goals this year is to learn about and practice gentleness, to be a more gentle mother and person.

Do you have a word of the year?  Share it here!

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Happy New Year!

Well, it’s 2014, and I’ve started my new calendars.  Oh yes, the most wonderful time of the year … when I get new calendars 🙂  Actually, I haven’t been that bad this year.  We have the free one from the zoo, a desktop one I got from my Aunt, and a new printable one.  Oh, and there’s Google and my ongoing Franklin-Covey love affair.  Obsessed? Not in the least … At least maybe this way I’ll remember what year it is.

I’ve also been busy making goals for the new year.  I’m trying to be realistic, but there are a lot of them.  Some are:

1. Stay within my monthly spending budget (which will probably mean reviewing my envelopes)

2. Lose 5 pounds (most of which I gained in December …)

3. Go to 100 Jazzercise classes this year

4. Make a career plan and start following it

5. Always have a creative project going (mostly knitting, but some sewing and crochet), and work on it every day.  Right now I’m working on a scarf for my brother.

6. Do creative projects with the boys.

7. Be more active at church.

8. Find or form a knitting group to meet regularly.

9. Be in better contact with my extended family.

10. Have a monthly date night with Hubby.

11. Do estate planning documents (Will, durable power of attorney, and advance directive)

12. Get the basement organized.

13. Blog more.

I know these aren’t “SMART” goals but they are a start.  Have you made New Year goals?  How many new calendars do you have?

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Household routines

The house is (generally) a mess, but I have some routines to keep things flowing here.  If I didn’t have routines, I wouldn’t be able to function!  After being away for several days, followed by consecutive viruses, I have a big uphill battle this week to get back into my routines.

Laundry is one of my major routines.  Every day, I do a load of laundry.  Even more important, every day I sort that day’s laundry.  If I didn’t do that, laundry would pile up and not get done.  I have learned I can’t handle looking at a huge pile of laundry, I have to break it up into smaller pieces.

Another major routine is that I empty the dishwasher every morning.  Now to do this, the dishwasher has to run, which is my favorite part of the routines–I have help.  I cannot work in a messy kitchen, and my ADHD makes cleaning a messy kitchen a near-impossible chore.  So my darling Husband cleans the kitchen every evening.  Because if I were to clean it alone, it would take twice as long and be done half as well.

Every once in a while I will get in a cleaning spree and my house looks pristine.  But in between, I keep it livable with my routines.

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Kids Aren’t the Only Ones who Do This …

I was rushed on Friday getting ready for a meeting. Among other things, I was supposed to bring some pictures for someone to make Christmas ornaments.  I procrastinated until the last minute, and hadn’t picked out the pictures yet.

I searched through 3 boxes to find the envelope of pictures I wanted, then picked out the pictures.  I set them aside to take with me, and finished getting ready.  I promptly forgot about the pictures (after all, I had done my work, right?  I picked them out.) and finished getting ready.

Got to the meeting and, lo and behold, the pictures weren’t there.  I had forgotten to put them in my purse!  Sure enough, when I got home, they were sitting on the counter (along with a pile of other papers that haven’t been put away …)

Yup, that’s ADHD for ya.

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