What to Do When Life Gets Hard

August 31, 2021

Can I be real? This season of life feels so hard.  My to-do list doesn’t seem to be shrinking, and my productivity has tanked. I’m not saying this to make you feel sorry for me; I just feel like a lot of you are right there with me and maybe you need this pep talk too.  The last few days I feel like I am slogging through mud just trying to get the basics done, not even trying to be productive. To try and figure out what was going on, I sat down and wrote out what has been going on this month.

Nothing Is Working Out Right

We were supposed to go on vacation.  The day before we were to leave one of the kids tested positive for COVID, luckily no symptoms.  All the kids were upset because this the is second vacation we had to cancel because of COVID.  Once again trapped in the house. We did manage to get some work done while we were stuck at home, a batch of podcasts recorded, not the kids’ idea of a great vacation. To make up for the loss of vacation, we ate lots of good food. That’s how we coped with the stress, and now my pants are tight.

My neighbor who lives alone is having lots of health problems. I’ve been helping her with doctors’ appointments, prescriptions, cooking and yard work. School started for the three youngest. I am happy about that, but we are all dragging around trying to readjust to the schedule. Back to the crazy juggling all the things trying to get all the kids where they need to go.

The air conditioner in the truck hasn’t been working all year, so we put it in the shop. Immediately both of the other cars broke down. Did I mention, I am finishing up writing and launching a book? Oh, a tropical storm is headed our way. Now let’s get the new college kid transitioned, gotta walk the campus and figure out classes.  Her schedule is all over the place.  Early morning classes and night classes almost every day. So she’s thinking about getting an apartment close to campus in a crazy tight market. The other kids need help with their online businesses. Oh, now would be a great time to refinance the house. What were we thinking? 

The Hardest Challenge of All

Yet all of these things are minor compared to the loss of five friends in the last few weeks. I have gone through patches of extreme physical work and exhaustion, but never the mental and emotional exhaustion that I feel right now. So much crazy stuff going on in our country and the world. This is not a post looking for sympathy. I just want to give you an idea of the thoughts going through my head.  I was feeling like I wasn’t getting anything done and beating myself up about things I needed to do.  Writing down all the situations and thoughts rolling around in my brain really gave me insight and helped me see the bigger picture.

No wonder I felt like sitting on the floor with a carton of ice cream, having a good cry. I was so busy trying to get things done and not really letting myself process what was going on.  I was doing a lot but mostly spinning my wheels.  Maybe a lot of you are in the same boat as me. Get it done kind of people, trying to push our way through the hard to get to the other side. But that’s not always the answer. I know that in my head, but I struggle to put it into practice. Anybody else out there like that?

Shouldn’t Life Be Perfect?

It’s crazy how our in our culture it feels like if life is hard we are doing something wrong. When really that is just a part of being a human living in an imperfect world. So for now I’ve decided to give myself some grace. Slowing down on the need to be productive all the time. I’m planning on spending more time just being quiet and processing my thoughts. Maybe take some time to hang out with my girlfriends or chat with a therapist. I may not get everything done that I want as fast as I want. Sometimes there are seasons of just maintenance and survival.

Let’s not beat ourselves up if sometimes our run, slows to a walk or a crawl.  At least I’m facing in the right direction, and after I have a bit to regroup, it will get better. I’m not going anywhere.  I love sharing and teaching young adults. My heart is still to serve and help people, but I’m gonna take some time to love on my people and maybe eat some ice cream.

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2 Comments

  1. Lynn

    Love this Rachel! All of us got things going on, some things that we feel we cannot share. That is when it really starts to bog you down, not feeling like you can share with anyone. When things start feeling too heavy , I just sit and do nothing for a minute, an hour, all day. Take time to figure out what I can do that will have the biggest impact and what I have the energy to do. Some days lots gets done and other days, nothing. So I pray…I know that God will take care of things and it will all fall into place no matter what I do. There is some peace in that. I also keep a running list and if one thing gets checked off, well progress is being made!

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