Channeling Josie

Have you ever seen Never Been Kissed? That moment Josie’s brother tells her to yell out, “I’m not Josie Grossie anymore!” It’s this changing moment. She lets go of her past and who she once was. Sure, she may have been a mess in the past but there comes a time you have to let that go and scream out “I’m not going to be that way anymore!” It isn’t easy, because nothing ever is. Even during the movie when Josie is going through her transformation she still struggles and faces challenges. Ultimately though, we can conquer our past struggles and move on with pride. We can accept that’s how we were in the past but be ready to start a new chapter. I’m tired of being held back by this mental/physical block. If I want to move forward, I need to conquer this beast.

What is this beast? My house. Sometimes things get so overwhelming, I don’t even know where to begin to fix it. Little by little, life got a bit crazy, a bit crazier, and then all out chaotic for a while. Put busy kids in the mix with pregnancy, then a newborn baby with your busy kids, and a few other significant life events over the course of a summer and before you know it, you look around and your house is a complete catastrophe. Ok, honesty check: it’s always been this way, not just this summer. It feels like total unrest in my life. I can never feel fully relaxed because nothing is where it should be. Something has to change.

I’ve hit the point that I just need to get my act together. I also realize there is no sense in beating myself up over the past and all the craziness that happened. It’s part of life, and life was insane for a while, but now it is time to reclaim my life and get things organized. I’m tired of beating myself up over a stressful home, or feeling too embarrassed to dare ask anyone to come inside my house. No, I shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks, but it isn’t a source of pride either. I look at myself and think, goodness, I’m 30+ years old and still have no idea how to keep a house under control. One of these days I’d like to have a home I can proudly invite people to visit. I can walk in and have that relaxed feeling in each room. I’m not asking for Better Homes & Gardens, because, let’s face it, I have three kids and pets. However, I would like to feel like I can ask someone to come inside without a sense of panic either.

I’ve tried different ways of taking care of it, for example, cleaning the majorly used areas, trying to find one little spot to focus on, or trying FlyLady. Nothing seems to stick. I get stuck and hit a mental roadblock. I’m trying a new strategy now: one room at a time, and starting at one spot and working my way around. Top to bottom. I’m even making notes in a notebook of what I did, and what else I can do next time I may have forgotten. Maybe my new notebook of writing things down makes me feel more accountable. I see something on paper, I see the date I did that and know what I need to do next. It may be a bit extreme, but I’m desperate to try anything new.

So far, I’ve conquered my master bedroom, kitchen, living room, and I’m about half way through the kids playroom. My goal today is to have their playroom finished. Each room that is completed gives me a huge sense of accomplishment. Right now I can finally walk into my bedroom and actually feel relaxed. I can sit in my living room and kick my feet up and enjoy a movie (except for the occasional Nerf gun I still find). Even though the play room is only half way complete, Adam is already playing in it more. I’m sure he and Elijah feel the same way I do about the chaotic rooms.  Now, when they walk in, it is like a sigh of relief. Well, almost since their room isn’t completely done. In just over a week, we are leaving for a trip to Virginia for 10 days. Ideally, I would like to have everything complete and an entire house I can walk through and feel relaxed. Truthfully, I have no clue if that will happen before we go. I can only hope my momentum keeps going when I get back.

I want a sense of accomplishment. It feels like this always holds me back. I can never fully relax because I always think something else needs to be done. I’ll never sit down and write or type something because there is no place to clear my thoughts without guilt.  My mind may be a chaotic mess sometimes (or a lot of times), but I need somewhere that my surroundings aren’t like my brain. Then I can mentally dish out everything on my mind. I recently read in the book “A Year of Writing Dangerously” that a writer needs a space that is their own. A space that is like their safe haven to release all their thoughts. As they say, “You’re courting the muse,” so I need to make it look good, or more importantly, I need to feel good. This is a constant struggle that always holds me back and I’m tired of it. I’m ready make not only my work space a sacred space, but my entire house a sacred space.

I could choose to keep this little secret that I have no idea how to remain in control of my own house, but that isn’t being honest with myself. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? I don’t need to create a false image for everyone because I know there are tons of others on the same road as me. There is a sense of comfort in knowing I’m not alone. I also know I need someway to hold myself accountable. Admitting this is a way of holding myself accountable. Using a notebook system is forcing me to be accountable for my actions. I’m ready to yell out “I’m not Josie Grossie anymore!”

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