Friday, July 19, 2013

Simple Mom, take me away!

About a month ago, I was in a rut. Not even a rut of boredom. It was a hectic rut. My anxiety levels were through the roof. Sleep, which is when the sub-conscious is supposed to file all those thoughts and memories into neat little folders for me, wasn't as efficient as it usually was. I kept just feeling like I was barely hanging onto sanity.

The only time I was able to focus on anything was when I gave my 110% to L. And then, I realized that meant I wasn't giving anything to myself. I was in a mental place where I felt like I didn't deserve it. I had let any idea of a diet fly out the window because I couldn't afford to eat well. My bills were paid exactly on their due date because of an e-mail reminder, and the ones with automatic withdrawl usually weren't accounted for in my head so I would overdraw my account. (Luckily, thanks to "Friends," I put 10% of my paycheck into a savings account, but by the end of the two weeks after getting paid, I usually have transfered most, if not all of that, over to my checking account.)

My only form on entertainment for myself were podcasts I began listening to in the car to and from work. I had gotten sick of the radio. And I don't just mean the Top 40 stations since those don't even have a preset in my car. But I mean my alternative station wasn't any good anymore. My oldies station just wasn't playing music that I felt fit my mood, even NPR was just too much, especially after working at a newspaper for eight hours and the last thing I wanted was to hear about the news I just had to read about.

So, I found myself looking for new podcasts. The two I usually listened to only had their weekly episodes, and as soon as they downloaded, I listened to them right away. And I had listened to all of the older episodes, as well. I needed something new. I needed to find something to help me. I always searched for mom podcasts, but I would listen to the first 10 minutes and not be into it. Either the kids were older than L. and I couldn't relate, or the moms on there acted like they knew everything there was to know about parenting. And they were very niche-y, if that's even a phrase. They had their convictions and preached them as gospel. I hated all of them. If I knew what it was I wanted to hear, I would have made my own podcast. In fact, when telling the boyfriend about this problem, he told me he had the equipment, if I wanted to. But I didn't. I could barely hold it together. At least once a week, I was crying because I was so stressed. And the last thing I needed was yet ANOTHER thing to add to my mental to-do list, which was just a jumble in my head.

Enter Tsh Oxenreider, or more specifically, Tsh's podcast, The Simple Mom Podcast

This is Tsh. She is simply amazing.
Photo from

After listening to one of her podcasts, it was like talking to an old friend. And, actually, I wasn'te ven the one talking. But her personality was so similar to mine, it was like I was listening to the ideal me talking. In fact, from how much I have gotten to praise her work, I may be bordering on obsessing about Simple Mom just because I feel like it's taken me out of whatever funk I was in. Step one in my climb out of the dark hole of overwhelmed-ness was printing out a bunch of Daily Dockets from her site.

I printed 21 out, figuring I could do this for three weeks, and since doing something for three weeks is, what I'm told, what will turn it into a habit.

I didn't necessarily think I needed the inspirational quotes at the top, but I figured maybe I needed something positive to focus on in my mind, instead of all the negatives that I couldn't help hear pretty much every second. Then came the first day to use one. This is what an earlier version looked like, with all the chaos in my head finally finding an outlet on paper.

Once I began crossing things off as I accomplished them, it was like a burst of energy to me. It felt so good to physically be able to get rid of things that had been swirling around in my head. I began writing a journal, as well, to get any leftover crap out of my head.

This is the journal after three weeks, with the daily dockets thrown in between daily entries. It felt so good to have it out of my head and on paper. I haven't reread it. I don't think I want to even picture myself in that dark time again. It was all too much.

Finally, I got to the end of three weeks (not counting a much-needed vacation to Mexico with the boyfriend in between, in which I didn't feel the need for the Daily Dockets, since my to-do list consisted of "swim, eat, be happy).

This was my inspirational quote I printed and pasted onto the last of the dockets.

And, finally, I was done. I had actually finished a long-term project. At least, in my head, that's what it was. Now, my dockets are much shorter. There isn't as much head-crap all over the pages It's even hard for me to fill out ten items to do, although, if I were really honest with myself, all the things I need to clean would probably fill about a week's worth of dockets. But I do put two or three cleaning things on my dockets daily so the apartment doesn't get too out of control.

So, now I have this almost filled journal and a ton of dockets. I recently just moved them over to a folder with the used dockets on one side and new ones on the other. I like keeping the old ones just so I can flip through and see all the things I've accomplished. I kind of need that.

Oh! And because of the feature the dockets have to remind you to drink more water, I actually have been getting my daily recommendation of at least eight! My soda consumption has dropped, my morning headaches have pretty much disappeared, and I get the satisfaction of crossing something else off the docket, even if it's something small like a glass of water.


Sometimes, organizing my day can be a easily put off or distractions pop up while I'm trying to get it done. But I still carry the docket with me wherever I go and update it throughout the day.

I finally downloaded Simple Mom's eBook, One Bite at a Time, and found myself becoming more inspired to create simplicity in my life. And, of course, doing the Daily Docket was No. 39. So, yay for me! Yay for Tsh! (Yay for Little Man!)