I wake up most mornings super excited for a new day and all the potential it holds. The failures of yesterday are gone and I have a brand new day full of hours to try again! All of the things I can get done, what order I should do them in, how awesome it will be to end the day with a clean house and goals met, what I can do and accomplish the next day and the day after that are the thoughts that race through my brain before I climb out of bed. My teenagers feel very strongly that I am crazy. It usually only takes a few hours…or sometimes a few minutes…for overwhelmed chaos to take over my brain and then the optimism for the shiny new day fades to feelings of hopelessness and failure. I think “I’m going to fail anyway, so why should I try?”
I truly believe I can control where I allow my thoughts to linger, but it is often a daily effort to not overthink every little thing and end up plagued with indecision. Indecision about stupid things. Things that shouldn’t even be a decision. Like should I do the dishes or start laundry? Should I mop the floor or scoop the cat box? Um? Why is this a decision? It all needs to be done. I get bogged down because there is so very much that needs to be done that I can’t figure out what to do first. I scream at myself in my head that it shouldn’t be this hard. And then I question myself all over again.
I don’t know why I have to force myself to do simple, daily household tasks. It’s truly ridiculous. I’m not even doing something fun in place of the normal household chores. I also have a backwards belief that I can’t do anything fun or discretionary until the things that need to be done are done. But, I’m so busy overthinking those things that they never get done. Instead, I stare at a screen allowing my brain to go blank while I play a mindless game or scroll through Facebook or wander around in circles not really accomplishing anything.
I have all kinds of tricks to use to get myself to accomplish things. I listen to books while I vacuum. I watch Netflix while I clean the kitchen. I set a timer and work on something for 5 or 10 minutes while constantly telling myself “you can do anything for 10 minutes.” I “eat the frog first” which means I do the most dreaded task first to get it over with. I make mini lists of 5 items to accomplish and then reward myself when they’re done (with sitting on my butt staring at a screen…which starts the whole process over. Maybe not the best reward). Or, I’ll make a giant to-do list picking out the three most priority items although the giant list makes my head explode. All of these tricks are fine and dandy and some are awesome productivity tools, but even with these tools I feel like I have about one successful day each week.
Something needs to change. It all needs to change. There’s got to be a better way that I can use the emotional energy I spend on mindless household tasks. My first reaction is to spend the rest of the day scouring Pinterest for all the fabulous flow charts and fancy printable to-do lists and reading all the How To Clean Your House Blogs. Those are all great…they really are full of some great tips and inspiration, but I’ve already done that. I’ve turned overthinking, researching, and planning into an art form. I need something just a little bit different.
For the next week this is what I’m going to try: My new mantra will be “OHMYGOD Shannon. Just fucking DO SOMETHING!!” Every single time I try to procrastinate or overthink or get indecisive or start the internal whining about having to do something unpleasant, I’m going to try to remember to stop myself and say “OHMYGOD Shannon. Just fucking DO SOMETHING!!” I know it sounds easy, but it’s not going to be. I’ll whine (to myself) and try to get out of it. I’ll say (to myself) I’m tired or my back hurts. I’m going to argue (with myself) that why should I bother to do the disheslaundrycatboxfloors when they will just have to be done again tomorrow. Maybe my kids are right about the crazy thing. I’m not going to fool myself and say that I will be 100% successful and my new mantra will completely eliminate the games my brain likes to play. But…I’m going to TRY!
Starting now! As I look around I can’t decide if I should run to the store to get something for supper (a whole new level of indecisiveness…that whole what’s for supper thing) or fold clothes or vacuum the carpet or pick up the foyer (super messy and unpleasant right now) or sweep the kitchen or clean the bathroom or run the dishes or search Pinterest for something new to try or rearrange my living room or on and on and on and on……so here’s where I stop my crazy brain and say “OHMYGOD Shannon. Just fucking DO SOMETHING!”