Present – Word of the Year – April 2020 Update

On the last Tuesday of each month, Honoré hosts a linkup to share our progress on one little word. This year my word is Present – here’s some links to catch you up on the reason I chose it and what I’ve been thinking about in 2020:

In a recent post, I mentioned that I’d been feeling overwhelmed and having a hard time (just like every other person in the world right now!). But a couple of weeks ago I did something I don’t do enough of – I asked for help. Isn’t it amazing how a new perspective can completely shift a situation when we open ourselves up to other people? I don’t do enough of that, either.

I had a massive post written full of details, but those details don’t matter. I’ve deleted them. What matters is how asking for help keeps me present. When I’m not present, it’s usually because I’m escaping something. And I’m usually trying to escape because I don’t know how to fix something or what to do. So my answer to that is to start cleaning or scroll through my phone – to do something to mentally check out instead of dig into the hard stuff. I still feel ill-equipped to stick with so much of what’s hard around here, but I’m trying. Connection, connection, connection. Breaking that connection to wash a sink load of dishes isn’t helping the situation. Asking for help, collecting strategies for managing difficult behavior, meeting my children where they are without blaming myself for their challenges – those approaches help me stay present.

April has been difficult for the entire world. Yet we keep showing up and keep trying.

Just a quick update on my other strategies for staying present:

Clearing clutter
I’m not making much progress here. It’s been challenging to find a good time to do this with all three kids underfoot. But I have managed to get rid of two big contractor bags full of things that are broken or otherwise not appropriate for donation. I’m sort of psychologically paralyzed here in some ways – I don’t think Goodwill is accepting donations right now and it feels incredibly wasteful to just throw everything away!

Revel in daily living (trademarked by Kat)
I’m still doing okay with this one. I feel like I’m constantly cleaning the same messes, but I think every mother in the world is feeling that way right now. I do quick tidy-ups as I walk through the house, but am able to let most of the big stuff slide throughout the day without getting too worked up. I do most of my big cleaning in the evening while the kids are watching a movie (thank you, screen time!). I’ll claim this as a success.

Decreasing social media use
I’ve put Instagram and the WordPress app back on my phone, but I often forget they’re even there (success!). I haven’t posted or liked anything on IG since I’ve added it back onto my phone – it seems like I’ll break some sort of spell if I do. So I’m doing some scrolling without any engagement and I feel guilty about that in some ways. IG helps to create a (false) connection with the rest of the world right now. I see that other people exist and are living their lives and that makes me feel better. Is that enough? Yes for now.

Thoughts for the month of May:

  • Keep asking for help and be open to new ideas
  • Take a few deep breaths when I want to walk away
  • Don’t assume that everything requires an immediate response
  • Continue to evaluate the usefulness of items around the house
  • Perfection isn’t necessary

I’ve loved having monthly check-ins about my word of the year. Breaking it up into small chunks has been so helpful and I’m grateful that I’ve found this linkup. I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s posts and for a new month!

11 thoughts on “Present – Word of the Year – April 2020 Update

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  1. “Perfection isn’t necessary” is a great mantra for right now. I keep seeing reminders on my SM feed that we need to remember that we’re trying to go about our ordinary lives during an extraordinary time, so if we’re merely getting by, we’re succeeding. I try to remember that; if I’m sleeping enough, managing to get dressed, and feeding myself and my family every day, then I’m succeeding. Everything else is a bonus, no matter how well I do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So much you have written speaks to me, Katie. Believe it or not – kids aren’t the only ones who “make messes”!! I am struggling with a significant other and his messiness while he works from home most of the week. Your mantra is one I am going to use! Especially when I am picking up the billionth dirty dish… lol.

    Oy. My words are coming back to haunt me because I am really not reveling in daily living these days! Haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! I bet it’s not easy to share your hard-earned quiet days!! But you know – this is unprecedented. Our lives are all upside down! I just hope your husband (Steve, right?) starts putting away his own dirty dishes soon!!

      Like

  3. This would be the perfect time for a major clean-out of belongings but right now we can’t donate them to a thrift store. Ugh! I think you’re doing a wonderful job especially considering you have three young kids in the house! Perfection not only is not necessary, but it’s also impossible. No one is doing life perfectly. No matter what image they project to the outside world. I haven’t even been outside or gotten out of my lounge pants and it’s 2:00 in the afternoon! And I just ate four mini Reece’s cups. 😂 Anyway, good for you for checking in with your word. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Laila. And thanks for reminding me that perfection is impossible. What’s funny is that I don’t know why some things are so important to me all of a sudden – all of a sudden I want the floor to spotless all of the time. I guess it’s a control thing. I know that so much is out of my control, but I at least want to be able to control the floor, dang it!!

      Thanks for all of your kind words and support over the last few years. You’ve meant a lot to me!

      Liked by 1 person

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