Here’s a funny riddle for you.
Want to make the universe laugh?
Paint your house a beautiful shade of gray because you’re sure you’ll be staying there another year.
On Wednesday, just like that, out of nowhere, the perfect house for our family showed up. A BEDROOM FOR EACH BIG KID. AN OFFICE FOR ME. A BACKYARD. CLOSE TO SCHOOL. SWOON. A friend texted us an hour after the listing went up, we went to see it the very next day, and two hours later we’d already put down our deposit and made an emotional call to our current and beloved landlords.
So now we are MOVING! In like 19 days!!!
And between now and then, we are taking our kids on a road/camping trip to Washington, which is a mere 15-hour drive from here!!! Because we are crazy, clearly. (No, actually because our kids think this is the very best thing to ever happen to them and we don’t want to break their hearts.)
Things are happening at warp speed over here. Nick is over at the new place right now, planting trees and reseeding our new backyard. I packed the first box of books last night. There are 84,000 THINGS that need to happen in the next two weeks.
I am making SO MANY LISTS, you guys. Lists of things to do right now. Lists of things to do the week of the move. Lists of things we need to acquire to get ready to go camping. (Because we are not people of camp. Not at all. Not even a little bit.)
Not to mention all the juicy new Declare Dominion projects I lined up in a burst of visionary zeal last week before I knew we were going to rent a new house in about five minutes— I’ve got a new quickie class coming your way very soon, and lots more big! beautiful! exciting! things coming down the pipes to help you be an EFBA through the rest of 2017 and into 2018.
Also, just to keep things spicy, the babies are in that phase. Yep, you know, THAT one. Parenting them is a full-contact sport right now and they are only even still alive because they are cuter than baby goats.
So things over here are A Little Bit Cray Cray, to say the least.
As a life coach, this is sort of exciting in the nerdiest way possible. Oooh!! A challenge!!! Let me go grab my life coaching toolbox!!!! I have pliers for exactly this situation!!!!
So here it is. Here’s what I’ve learned (mostly the hard way!) to do when life suddenly goes to full volume.
How Not To Go Actually Crazy When Life Gets Cray Cray Intense
1. Cut yourself some slack and let your standards slip.
Order pizza. Put a movie in for the kids. Buy a gift card instead of the perfect present. Pull your hair back in a bun. Use paper plates. Drink some wine. (All of which I have done in the last 12 hours, I’m pretty sure.)
2. But keep up those bare minimums of dignity and self-respect.
I’ve written before about my daily non-negotiables, those little promises to myself that I always keep even when things feel hard. Even on moving day, I will wear perfume and earrings. Even when we’re camping, the kids will have to say “please” and “thank you” because we are mean and we hate joy. The kitchen counter will be clean before I go to bed every night, even if there are piles of boxes stacked against the wall. These little grace notes of civility and order and routine will help us all stay more calm and grounded even when things are chaotic.
3. Notice how clear your true priorities suddenly are.
Like super, super clear. This is the strange gift of intense seasons; they show you what really matters. The immigration attorney still needs that document. But the guest post I wanted to write is on the back burner. We need to buy river shoes, stat. But those cute saltwater taffy I wanted to buy the kids? Enh. Suddenly it becomes crystal clear which of our belongs are treasures that must come with us, and which ones we wish we’d garage sale’d last month. Big transitions like a move really bring home the reality that you have limited time and energy, so in order for the truly crucial to get done, some of the other things will have to go. This is always true, actually, but the intense pressure serves as a kind of forcing function. Pay attention to which things still matter even in the most hectic times. Hmmmm.
4. Plant a treat down the road for yourself.
There will be no mythical “balance” over the next few weeks. There will not be healthy levels of self-care, or enough alone time, or proper levels of emotional fuel. We will be making withdrawals from all our important accounts— we’ll be drawing deeply our own inner wells, on our marriage, on our emergency backup energy generators. In other words, we’re going to work like dogs for the next few weeks. (In case camping sounds like a respite, let me tell you that camping feels way harder to me than moving house. A five-star hotel is respite. Camping is good hard gold-star-parent drudgery.) So we are making sure that there are things to look forward to after all the hard parts. We booked a sitter for a date night right in the middle of the packing phase, when we’ll be sure to think we can’t possibly take a night off— but we’ll also probably need it the most. We have a staycation blocked out on our calendar IN BLOOD for after everyone starts school, about an hour after we move into our new house. And we have promised ourselves sky-high levels of massages, manicures, and general indulgence once we’re into the new place.
5. Remember that EFBAs thrive on a challenge.
The truth is, we feel overwhelmed right now but we also feel ELATED. It’s so exciting to grapple with a challenge that’s new and different and feels so creative and constructive! Sometimes it feels like adulting is just one long slog of solving the same problems over and over, and it’s a bit thrilling to flex different muscles you forgot you had. This feels like an adventure, and we’re stoked to be having it. Most of my clients report the same thing: maybe it’s the adrenaline rush, but some of life’s most intense moments are also some of the most rewarding.
So here we go. We’ll keep you posted. (Mostly in Instagram stories for the behind-the-scenes down-and-dirty stuff!)
And I’ll be back in your inbox with— I can guarantee it— more stories of cray cray very soon.