Monday, March 31, 2008

The Secret to a Lasting Marriage

"One of the people has to be sane, and the other one is only allowed to be insane occasionally. We take turns on who gets to be which person."

-Actor Christopher Meloni

Fred was the sane one yesterday. And today. Do I have to take turns???

Seriously, though, I feel like I've been under oppression lately. Too many things crowding in at once. Instead of being my normal energetic and rather cheerful self (right??), I've become a mess of blubbering curls.

So what do I do with this new development? Pray? Read my Bible? Cry? Call friends? Well, all of the above, but not in the right order. I'll let you in on my not-so-successful coping strategy: I bawl. Yep, I just sit somewhere and eat cookies and bawl my eyes out. Great, huh? I like to cook when I'm anxious, so there are plenty of breads and desserts abounding right now.

Some people offer wonderful advice. Some people think they offer wonderful's well-meaning, but totally the WRONG thing to say!! I had one of those conversations today. So I called someone else, naturally (actually my Mimi, to pray, and then a friend to come over.) Thank the Dear Lord for friends when you need them. This dear friend drove right over and helped, while I took a time out with the Bible.

And you know what? THAT helped. Duh. So why don't I do that immediately?? WHY? I can't claim the new-Christian-syndrome, because I don't even remember when I was saved. Why do I wait so long to run to my Father's arms? Possibly because I feel foolish crying over such little things when there are so many BIG things that other people deal with. You know, who am I to disturb God, right? Sounds foolish. I tell my kids just the opposite all the time, but then I wait and wait and wait before I work up the courage to knock on that door.

I have two verses on my computer desk: 1 John 5:14 "Now this is confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."
and Psalm 144:2,3 "He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my deliverer. He stands before me as a shield, and I take refuge in him. He subdues the nations under me."

I can believe that. I do believe that. Yet I crumble so easily. Argh.

So, I'm setting some goals, and putting them out here for all to see. Why? Because, like Adelia, I believe that sharing your goals with people you love will help you achieve what you desire. I need prayer, encouragement.
First, I need to stop worrying. I know this isn't easily gauged, and everyone worries to a certain extent. But, specifically, I need to release the worry over things of which I have no control. That does no good.

Second, I need to redeem my time. A line in a book last night suddenly struck me: "A person rescues what he loves." Yes, how obvious. But, really, I tend to let the most important things in my life slide while I take care of "everything else." I need to rescue what I love. I need to focus.

Third (and this is directly related to every other goal), I need to get back on a schedule. How can I redeem my time and reduce my worry if I don't have a game plan? I'm overwhelmed. I need my structure back. Right now I feel like I've lost it from every area: church life, finances, homeschool, housework, you name it. Everything has slid away from me. My darling little sister is helping me work on my Home Keeping Binder, which I plan to put into effect on Thursday. Pray on Thursday. ;-) I know it won't be --KABOOM-- change, but that is the start of my implementation!

Fourth, dang I'm tired. I forgot. Oh, yeah!! I need more sleep. I just *think* that I can get away with 5 or so hours of sleep, but I'm not doing so hot apparently. So I'm setting a curfew. And I'm planning to get up earlier than the kids (no small feat), and have my Bible time ALONE. The kids can read in bed until 7am.

Okay, enough for now. Bible time in bed. I need it.

PS Am I stressing anyone out lately? Didn't someone recently comment about me being upbeat or something? Yeah. Sorry about this, guys. "And this too shall pass."


Adelia said...

You are doing great, my dear. Instead of continuing the blubbering(which could be the direct effect of associating with me) you are standing against it. And it took me a while to figure out I needed sleep too. Oh, sure, I can go on 4-5 hrs of sleep for a while, but when it catches up with me, I am a MESS. Emotional and irrational, never a good combination! You are doing a good job, Momma. We're always a work in progress. Way to progress! Praying for you always!

Ann-Marie said...

I believe Paul Reiser (he's an actor, Wendy, of Mad About You and My Two Dads fame, but I know you don't watch TV) said something similar - "In marriage, one of you has to be sane enough to talk the other one out of their tree, so they can then talk you out of your tree."

I hear you, girl. I hear you.

Also, just so you know, there was a news report today saying adults need between 7-8 hours of sleep. Less or even more can be the tipping point for all of us. Like we need more things to be specific about! Sheesh!

Thinking of you!

Trish said...

OK, I just had a brainstorm... After reading several blogs of dear friends, it seems we all have some "bedtime issues". If you've read my blog, you'd see I suffer as well. What if you and I, and anyone else, started a little "Bedtime Club"? We could each come up with our own bedtimes and then just do our best to get there! No condemnation if we don't. Then, about once every 2 weeks or so, we can treat ourselves to...oh, I don't know...maybe something chocolate? I think you said you like coffee. We could meet at Braums after the kids go down...or Barnett's, or Sweet Aromas. Some place that's a treat. Maybe for every night we get to bed on time, we get to spend .25 on our treat... I'm sort of a "gift" person, and I'm motivated to earn rewards, no matter how small. What do you think? I find that I get all run down and then pick myself up again and promise myself I'm going to do better...only to find myself in the same situation weeks later. With a little accountability, we might be able to actually wake up without dragging. Wouldn't that be lovely! I truly WANT to be a morning person...

The Shan said...

Ok, I wasn't going to tell ANYBODY this but since we're talking about needing sleep..
After yet another late night for me last night, today, I had about an hour before school ended to get to the grocery store (because I read and messed around all morning). I drove to Price Cutter and got so warm and cozy in the sunshine during my five to seven minute drive, I just turned off the car and sat there. Then I laid the chair back, locked my doors and had a little power nap right there by the cart return in the parking lot. EMBARRASSING!!
Oh, and just before nodding off, I thought of all of you bloggy girls and how many things you would be accomplishing while I napped instead of buying groceries! Pitiful.
I am convinced I need a solid 9 hours of sleep to do anything with a proper attitude and that just isn't happening with me either. Time for curfew!! :D Let's all get some shut-eye tonight and feel better!!

WendyJanelle said...

Bedtime Club!! Yes, I'm in! So what time to curfew? I listen to others so well, but have the most difficult time setting limits for myself. ;-) I so like to push my limits.
10pm lights out? I could handle that. Oopsie...better get to bed!

WendyJanelle said...

By the way, I think I like that quote even better than the one I found in Readers' Digest, Ann-Marie.

Trish said...

Here's my plan. I want to be IN BED, Sunday through Thursday, by 10:30... Not going to bed, not checking my email, not washing my face, not folding a load of laundry, not starting the dishwasher, not picking up shoes, toys, junk, etc... I want to be in my cozy bed when the digital clock clicks 10:30. It's 10:08 right now...I'd better get going!

WendyJanelle said...

That sounds good...except...what time do you get up? How much sleep do you tink you need? I was IN BED last night by 10:30...and awake this mroning by 5:20, plus once in the night.
I have to rise early to beat the kids and say goodbye to Fred.
It's SO hard for me to get the stuff done at night that needs to be done. I'm usually so tired that I just want to work on my own projects to relax, and not do any laundry or dishes by that point...

Trish said...

Do you feel that 10:30 is early or late for you? Can you function well on 7 hours of sleep? Perhaps, 10:00? I know how precious those couple of hours are in the evening when everything is quiet and I can actually sit down for a minute. Perhaps you can set your bedtime for 10:00 for just one week. See how it goes. See if you're able to get your evening things done. If that won't work, perhaps change your bedtime to 10:30 and see if there are any times during the day for a power nap. Letting the bigger kids watch Cyberchase while the little ones nap is OK. I've been known to set the oven timer for 22 minutes (it takes me 2 minutes to get myself settled :-) and then lay down on the couch while the kids watch a PBS show. I don't do this much anymore, but every now and then it changes my whole attitude!
Ask Fred if he has any ideas. I love being able to sit and visit with Roger for a few minutes before he goes to work, but maybe Fred would be ok with just 3 mornings a week, just until you're sleeping through the night.
Last night I signed off at 10:08 and then forgot that I had a whole chicken cooking on the stove! So, I thought, "I can do this!" I got that thing de-boned and the broth saved and was in bed by 10:34!! THEN, I layed there until 11:20! Bother...
I just thought of something else. When my kiddos were a little younger, I didn't want them getting up and wandering all over the house in the morning by themselves, but they were getting up between 6-6:30...closer to 6:00 actually. So we got them a clock of their own and did a little lesson on time. Then, I told them that when they wake up, they need to play quietly in their room until 7:00, and then they could go to the kitchen for breakfast. By that time I was up and ready for them! Obviously, the smaller ones would still be in a crib, and it might not work right now, but maybe in the future...just thinking out loud :-)

WendyJanelle said...

Heh. I don't know. I'm thinking 10pm is a good bedtime for me. And, since it's now 10:30, I'm wondering if 10pm is a realistic bedtime for me. Hmmm...

I feel like I have so much to do and so much that I WANT to do, that it's hard for me to stop and rest. When I finally hit the pillow, I'm OUT hard.

I know I'm more refreshed when I get adequete sleep (at least 7 hours for me).

And, actually, I'm a morning person. I like to rise at 5:15 and get my coffee and Bible time in before the kids get up.

Speaking of the kids, yes, they can certainly wait in their rooms until 6:30 or so. It's a matter of training, and I'm working on it! :-) They both have digital clocks in their room, and they are getting small rewards for making it to the appropriate time. They have books to read if they can't fall back asleep. Trevor is a bit more difficult. ;-)

WendyJanelle said...

And Fred has never asked me to get up when he does. And he doesn't wake me up. I just like to see him off and have my alone-morning-time after that. :-)

Also, WOW for you, getting a whole chicken deboned in that amount of time!! What a feat!!