The Beauty in Weakness

It’s been a LONG time since I wrote on my blog as sort of a journal entry.  I say sort of because I would never write on here exactly everything I would write in my personal journal {or would I?}  However, an online friend of mine has reminded me of the value of doing so.

A voice in the back of my mind is always telling me, “people don’t want to hear about you.  They don’t want to hear about your struggles, your imperfectness.”  “I don’t blame them,” I say/think back to the voice in my mind.  I guess part of the problem is the way I use other blogs.  I use/read blogs as motivation or inspiration…to make me better.

Unless I truly know a blogger, whether by meeting them in person at a conference or by getting to know them on their blog/online, I tend not to read personal posts about a blogger.  Mainly it’s a time thing.  I limit the amount of time I’m online {because I’m trying to keep a balance.}  I’m pretty sure I spend way too much time on my blog posts as it is…trying to make them just right.  {For some reason I haven’t learned that the posts I spend the least amount of time on are the ones that receive the most traffic.  It doesn’t make sense to me.  It’s just me & my personality, I guess.}  Anyway, after doing this I don’t have a lot of patience to stay at the computer.  Besides, I have a household and family to manage.

Leftover's from Playroom Closet Organizing sitting on the stairs

Speaking of managing a household…mine is a mess.  Ever since my housekeeper quit, it’s been difficult to keep up.  Even so, I can’t seem to pick up the phone and call some recommendations from others I have received.  I need to.  You see, it is my weekly visit from the housekeeper that motivates me to get my rear in gear.  It’s an ADD thing.  I hate to feel as though I’m making an excuse but, it is what it is.

THE book

It was my very first housekeeper years ago after having my second child {once a month back then} who helped me realize I had ADD.  This is the deal.  The housekeeper is supposed to be helpful to a Mom; doing household chores to help alleviate some tasks needed to be done.  For me, I dreaded her coming.  Why?  Because I had to clear the clutter, before she came over, so she could clean.  I would run around the house like a chicken with my head cut off not only before she arrived, but also while she was there.  I wasn’t sitting on the sofa relaxing and reading a magazine.  I was always just as winded as her when she left the house.  After a few months of her observing me, she recommended a housekeeping/organizing book for me to read.  The book had a whole chapter on ADD.  After reading the book and talking about it with a professional, I received the diagnosis of Inattentive Attention Deficit Disorder.  It has been liberating to realize why I do the things I do.  Medicine has been a lifesaver, but it doesn’t always make the frustration any better of my incapability to finish projects, say things out loud that I shouldn’t,  being oversensitive and the list continues.

This mess has been here for months

More leftovers from Playroom Organizing in the kitchen

I still have to clear the clutter before a housekeeper comes over.  Nothing is new there.  However, it is a motivator to do it.  And since that motivator has not been here…well, I should be very well aware my house is going to be a little cluttered.  Problem is,  if I let it go too long, let the clutter pile up, which is what I have done, the monster I hate comes.  The monster I’m referring to is called Overwhelmed.  When he comes it’s hard to know where to begin.  Do you know this monster?  I can’t stand him.  However, it’s my own fault.  I pretty much invited him in.  Thus begins the shame cycle I inflict on myself.  This only snowballs into depression and boy am I realizing I need to make some phone calls!

I am struggling right now NOT to push the delete key and erase this whole post as the voice in my head says, “No one is going to read your blog now.  They know you’re a failure.  They know your weaknesses.  They probably stopped reading this post when you said how you don’t like to read other blogger’s personal posts. {reminder: bloggers I don’t know}  That was rude, you know.”  So if you have read thus far, please know I was not trying to be rude.  I was only trying to explain myself.

Honestly, I would love to read other blogs all day and leave a comment of encouragement for each one.  I hardly ever read a post and not comment because that is who I am.  Reason is…YOU are a person.  You have value.  You aren’t just words.  I don’t comment in the hopes you come visit my blog and comment…even though I completely welcome that.  I comment because I know the power of how uplifting it is for me, personally when someone takes the time to say something, however small.  It is a conversation between 2 people.  Connecting is important to me.

Past time to file...ugh.

Have you noticed how random I’ve been in this?  How I go from one topic to another?  Yep, another sign of my weakness.  Just yet another reason NOT to do this very often.

Back to my online friend I spoke of earlier.  Yesterday, I visited Angela’s blog, Button Bird Designs, in hopes of finding a craft I could work on.  I was in need of some crafting therapy.  She is crazy talented and always inspires me with her artistry, creativity & thinking outside the box.  Angela authentically shared her thoughts about how she sees herself.  I was caught off guard at how similar thinking I have engaged in.  Then I read the comments and instantly thought, “I’m not alone.”  Comfort.

Top of my dresser...can't believe I'm showing you this.

There is beauty in sharing with others our weaknesses, in being authentic, open and honest.  To me it is like a breath of fresh air.  None of us are perfect.  We all have trials, struggles, weaknesses.  To me, it’s way better to know up front if a person is trying to be real and not cover up their faults.  I feel way more comfortable with someone who is this way, then with someone who is trying to cover up or hide what they aren’t good at.  A friend once told me, “With you, it’s what you see is what you get.”  I took that as a compliment and still do.

All photos were taken today. 🙁

This is me,

Comments

  1. Thanks for being real, for trusting us, for sharing and for letting it all out there. Hugs friend! I struggle with similar issues, I get overwhelmed by clutter and sometimes it is a monster, piling up to attack you. I should’ve taken pictures of our basement storage area for you but hubby cleaned it all up and organized it but needless to say, I couldn’t walk through there or find half of my crafting stuff because it was a giant pile! Love you!
    ange
    Ange recently posted..Blooming Blogger: Cassie from Primitive & Proper and a bonus feature

    • Thank you for loving me the way I am, Ange. Three cheers to your hubby for organizing your basement. I guess it’s nice to have a before and after photo to remind us of our accomplishments. HUGS! Maybe one day we’ll be able to hug each other in real life? I really hope so! 😉

  2. I used to know that monster too, Shan. I am proud of you for sharing your thoughts and feelings in this arena. I have a feeling that you feel a lot better getting that out there and to have some good feedback. I find it easier to keep up now that there are no young children in the house and that makes a big difference. I also have a husband who is willing to help and do anything to help keep down the clutter and keep things clean. He inspires me to do more critical thinking about what things are important to keep and what are not. I think it must be quite common for the overwhelm monster to visit young families. Especially the Momma. I didn’t know you had lost your housekeeper, so, if anything, I would say, PICK UP THAT PHONE AND CALL SOMEONE NOW. I love you and wish I was closer to help out. Mom

    • I love you too, Mom. You always help out a lot when you are here visiting. My sweet housekeeper got a full time job doing what she was going to school for back in November. Thank you for leaving sweet words of encouragement here. I love knowing you read my blog.

  3. Well, read and sent you a text already. Wanted publicly stand with you in the constant battle some of us have with our homes. I simply am just not wired to keep a de-cluttered and tidy home. It takes intention (sound familiar) and effort against my natural ways. Then I struggle with guilt and even envy of those for whom naturally “keep up” with the evidence of living. I too totally understand the structure of picking up for a house keeeper. It can keep the chaos under control since it must be dealt with regularly. At the same time, I am choosing to make sure my kids and husband are loved on and invested in rather than putting the house first. Today, my house needed attention after spring break and a holiday weekend. Yet my kids had one more day off so I just ignored the messes and we went to the zoo, the park, and got frozen yogurt. Guess what, the mess was still there. It will be there tomorrow too, but my kids won’t. So tomorrow I’ll tackle the mess. PS, keep me accountable too 🙂 Keep, keepin’ it real girl.

  4. Sheri Nelson says

    Love it! Glad to know that I’m not the only one who has a dresser or stairs that look like yours:) just one pile 15 min a day and set a timer…. That’s it and then go read a magazine on your comfy couch. No need to do it all at once 😉 love you

    • Sheri, I don’t have being pregnant or small kids at home {mine are at school during the day} for an excuse…lol. The timer idea is always wonderful. Thank you for reminding me I don’t have to do it all at once. Love you too!

  5. Wow, Shan, such nice comments up there so far! Well, first, before I forget, I am in total agreement with you about how the posts that we spend less time on are more successful! I find that, too! The ones that I don’t plan out before hand are always the better ones. Go figure!
    But, more importantly, I am so happy you wrote this today. You are keeping it real, and if you’re not, then why bother? And, I mean that for all of us. It’s like you said, we’re in a community here and I bet 9 out of the 10 of us are the same exact way. I’ve been walking by dust and piles and toys since I got back from California-like 2 weeks ago! I mean, I pick up enough to keep it reasonable, but the piles just aren’t going anywhere…and I do know that overwhelm monster…its hanging around and I love that you put a name to it because I don’t know where to start now. It’s gone on for too long and I feel defeated! 🙂 But, I like how Sheri suggests setting a timer and cleaning for the length of the timer. That seems reasonable. I had set aside today to clean clean clean it all. Well, I’ve been playing with Eli and hiding and re-hiding Easter eggs with him instead! I want my kids in a (reasonably) clean home, but I also want them to remember a mom who played with them instead of cleaned all the time. These days go fast my friend, my kids wont beg me to play with them forever and when those days come, well, then I’ll clean! 🙂 Sorry this is so long. Best best best to you!
    Jen DZ recently posted..Wish I Could Drive the Bandwagon Once!

    • Jen, you always make me smile. You are such a light to me with your encouraging comments. They really mean a lot to me. Sometimes I think, “How great it would be if all of my blog friends & I lived in the same neighborhood!” We could all help each other and have so much fun! Meanwhile, back to reality…I’m all about keeping it real. 😉

      You are so right to want to spend time with your kids and play with them. They should be your top priority, however, we do want to have clean homes to play in. {I’m not talking about floors so clean you can eat off them or anything.} Not only that, we need to teach our kids the value of work and responsibility. Kids need to see us taking care of our property. We need to teach them how to do the tasks so when they leave home they will know how to be independent, self sufficient, and responsible citizens. I believe it’s all about balance. I’ve begun to detest that word, but it is so true. Besides, we can still spend time with our children while teaching them to help around the house. I’m not perfect at this at all. And all the piles I showed you are 90% my doing, not my kids. But I think to myself, “if the kids see me leaving these piles around they might think it’s acceptable. They also won’t want to pick up their own rooms.”

      I can tell you are a wonderful Mom, Jen! I’m thinking we need to create a group to help us motivate and encourage each other to get our tasks accomplished? Hmmm…something to consider. What do you think?

  6. Shan,
    Does it help you to know you aren’t alone? I have ADD too, and take medication for it. And clutter is a real problem for me (I read Sandra Felton’s books YEARS ago!) I have a hard time having people over because of my clutter. I am preparing to have an event at my house next Wednesday (my Mary Kay biz debut!) and my daughter’s baby shower in 3 weeks. I am nervous about the house. I have so many piles to clear, go through, throw away, or just hide, lol!
    It IS good for you to be real and write what is on your heart. It is excellent therapy for you and you will find that others understand.
    Hugs to you!
    Bernice @ Living the Balanced Life recently posted..Depression is NOT being sad

    • Yes, Bernice. I think it always helps to know we aren’t alone. I forgot we talked about this at BlissDom. I think it’s because of who we are that we have a desire to help others in this regards. I believe your blogs are so helpful with time management and life balance.

      Good luck with your Mary Kay Business debut and Daughter’s baby shower. I completely understand your anxiety about the house. I have become a master at hiding things…which is why my closets {all but the recently organized…miracle…playroom closet} are a night mere! And you are right, writing is excellent therapy. I am happy to find others do understand.

      I am grateful God brought us together, Bernice. I know I can learn a LOT from you! 😀

  7. Shan…You are really an inspiration to all people out here and I salute you for your awesome post… Thank you for letting us know about this…
    Crystal recently posted..Online Job Stories

    • Crystal, You really think so? You’re comment caught me off guard, but I am touched deeply that you think so. It is my utmost desire to inspire and help others through this blog. I just didn’t think this would be very uplifting airing all my “imperfections.” 😉 Thank you for taking the time to say this to me. It means more to me than you know.

  8. I just found your blog today…from a broken Pinterest link, of all things. But THIS IS ME. You are describing ME. I’ve never had the luxury of a housekeeper, but my mom is far enough away that every time she comes to visit I basically do what you describe — run around like a crazy chicken with its head cut off cleaning/pickup up even WHILE she is here, helping me. Now with 3 kids I am overwhelmed. She came for a FUN visit this week but still helped with some laundry and dishes…but the CLUTTER. What was that book someone recommended you read?

    I loved what this person said, though: “I want my kids in a (reasonably) clean home, but I also want them to remember a mom who played with them instead of cleaned all the time. These days go fast my friend, my kids wont beg me to play with them forever and when those days come, well, then I’ll clean! ”

    We are at home today trying to clean clean but keep getting sidetracked. Which is ok, I guess, but jumping from thing to thing is not good for any of us. How did you know you needed to be diagnosed by a professional?!

    • Thank you so much for leaving this comment. I am glad you found me, Allison. 😉 Sometimes it is helpful just to know you are not alone in what you are experiencing.

      The book recommended is ‘The New Messies Manual’ by Sandra Felton. I added a link to this book {via Amazon} on my post here.

      You asked how I knew I should go to a professional. Honestly, I already had been seeing a psychiatrist for depression. The next time I visited him I showed him the book and the chapter on ADD.

      I definitely understand where you are coming from. When my kids were young it was always a delicate balance on play time with them and cleaning. I would get so tired from jumping around the house and nothing visible to show after the day ended. It is very defeating. My Mom worked full time and I remember us preparing the house for company as you were describing, but for me, I felt I shouldn’t be doing that since I’m a full time Family Manager.

      I have to say that hiring a housekeeper is something I recommend highly. I find it worth every single penny. For my sanity, it is worth giving up clothing, entertainment purposes, eating out, etc. I think people don’t realize how affordable it can be. For example, if you hired a housekeeper to come once a month, depending on where you live in the country, and how big your house is, it could be as low as $60 for 3 hours. $20 an hour. $60 is not a lot for a month. It’s something to consider. Some people spend that much money or more on coffee per month.

      I am grateful your Mom is willing to come and help you. I wouldn’t feel bad about her helping you at all. What a great Mom! 😀 Feel free to email me with any more questions or to talk. 🙂

  9. I stumbled onto your blog from pinterest. I was intrigued by the tag ADD, since both my dh and ds#2 have been diagnosed with it. I’ve wondered if I too have this- your description of the “monster” is eerily similar to what I battle constantly. Thank you for this post- I often wonder if I am somehow “broken” cuz I can’t seem to pull it together. I always find myself apologizing for the condition of my home- I have visions of a beautiful home that is company ready, yet I can’t seem to make it happen. I’d like to blame it on the fact I have 4 crazy boys, still nursing a baby, busy with this-that-or-the-other. But since we are all “keeping it real”, I know it just comes down to me. (And I know all about cleaning before the cleaning lady. Did that before any kids were in the mix.) I guess my entire purpose in posting is that I appreciate that you were willing to expose your weakness, tough as it was. It’s nice to know I’m not the only person that has so many of these struggles. 🙂

    • Afton, It brings me great pleasure to find this comment this morning. Bless your heart! 4 boys with one you are nursing! Not sure if you have ADD, it’s just a crazy season in your life as a Mom. You know the vision you see of the ‘company ready’ home? I finally have come to terms that it is just that, a dream, a vision. I might have ONE day, used to be on the days my housekeeper came, where my home LOOKS ‘company ready.’ However, it doesn’t last. It’s just not realistic for me to ever believe that it will be that way, except for MAYBE when the nest is empty. Please give yourself a break. Know how valuable you are to those children and when they are young, it is completely difficult to keep a house tidy. My only suggestion would be to have your children help as much as possible, meaning as much as they can, with the ages they are. I am very grateful for the support I’ve had from keeping things ‘real’ and being open/honest about who I am. I hope you will continue to visit us and I commend you on sharing how you feel and struggle. It takes courage. You are not alone.

  10. Well said!!! I personally like it when bloggers are real. It’s a glimpse into real life. We want to feel “normal” and I’d rather feel that way than those who put themselves on a pedestal and only talk about the good.
    Colleen recently posted..Last day

  11. Daughter, your post was so well said & has been received by many who have appreciated your willingness to share your personal struggles, filled with minor shortcomings & successes! Yes they are minor, though they often feel major.
    I had a family bring a Mom in to see me (very unusual! Normally it’s the parents bring a kid(s) in!). Three teenage kids, husband & the Moms parents accompanied her. The complaint was that the family could not enjoy their home because she kept it so clean! She had plastic runners throughout the house over the carpet & if a family member got off the runners, she would get the vacuum out & vacuum until the foot prints were gone. She treated the whole house this way & it made living their a nightmare for the rest of the family.
    I dismissed everyone after hearing from them all about their feelings about her behavior and met with her alone. She knew she was causing great stress & turmoil but did not know how to control herself. I said to her: “imagine that one Saturday morning your husband & kids leave the house to do some shopping. They are gone about 2 hours when the door bell rings. You answer the door to find two police officers standing with hats in hand. They ask you if you are related to your husband by his name and do you have three teenage children. You confirm you are married to your husband and that you have three teenage children. They tell you they are sorry to inform you that they have been in an accident and have all been killed. As she heard this part of the story, Mom exclaimed “Oh that is horrible!” She was told: “Yes, it is horrible, but you wouldn’t have to be concerned about any unwanted foot steps in your carpet!” She left my office with her family, went home & removed the plastic carpet runners & spent her additional time enjoying her husband & three kids. She found a more enjoyable balance for her life in relation to what was truly meaningful & important to her. Her families foot prints in her homes carpet took on a new & important meaning for her.

    Shannon, you are a wonderful person, woman, wife, & mother. You have some exceptional children & a loving husband, who adores you, as he rightly should! You have a good sense of humor, use it. You enjoy life, embarrass it. I LOVE YOU to the Moon and Back!❤️

  12. Nancy Dlabaj says

    Me to a T Shannon! I am embarrassed to admit I have piles of papers I have no idea what to do with! I do the same thing when the housekeeper comes! Freak out! Love your post and your blog!:) Glad to know I am not alone in my clutter stress!:)

Trackbacks

  1. […] I don’t mind CLEANING, it’s the clutter pick up I can’t stand.  As I have mentioned before, this is my hang up, my snag, my difficulty.  The house is worse than it has been in a while […]

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