Photo credit: Etsy’s AllisStudio
I’ve been feeling a bit tired lately. Well, okay, a lot actually. Juggling a business, a writing career, family life, and homeschooling has never been and will never be easy; but the past month has been particularly tough and I am tired.
Articles are hurriedly written, business tasks are put off, my kids’ lessons can be more thought out. Oh, and blog posts can be written more regularly. Slowly burning out, perhaps?
But I’m not given to complaining. This admission of tiredness is just to provide you context as I share with you my secret mantra that keeps me going even when the going gets tough:
After all, tomorrow is another day.
Isn’t that beautiful? It comes by way of Scarlett O’ Hara at the end of my all-time favorite book, Gone with the Wind. Through all the hardships that she faced, she was still full of hope and optimism. She believed that the past belongs to the past and the next day is another chance to do better and to succeed.
Despite all her scheming and cheating (she’s one tough gal), her indomitable spirit is what she is most remembered for. She, who lost everything, had a bottomless well of hope to carry on and face the next day and the next and the next.
Whenever I feel tired, listless, and disappointed in myself for being too lazy and gasp, for daring to feel tired, I remember Scarlett’s wise words and give myself another chance to be better. I erase yesterday and start anew today.
Of course, this is not to say that I can excuse myself because “tomorrow is another day.” When I begin to feel the stirrings of tiredness, discontentment, and guilt, I learn from the past and take action to really make tomorrow into a new day. Here’s what I do.
1. I reflect
When I’m in the doldrums and find myself wanting to just sleep all day, I take it as a sign that there’s something wrong with how I’m doing things. To be honest, it’s usually because I feel that I’m working too much and might be shortchanging my kids. Totally not what I had in mind when I started working from home!
So, I think about what’s taking my precious time away from my little ones, what I can give up, how I can do things differently, and proceed to number two.
2. I tweak
I know what my priorities are, but having found my vocation just recently, I really can’t stop myself from working all the time!
So, the first thing that I tweak is our routine. I analyze when my kids are more open to learning, and I work around it. I used to dedicate my mornings to them, but since a lot seems to be going on at breakfast, I decided to change it around. I now work in the mornings and I’m much more relaxed because of it.
I play around too with their bath time. Instead of insisting on giving them a bath after breakfast, I tried to just let them go and play the whole morning away. So far, bath time after lunch and before learning time seems the best.
3. I purge
naturally slightly untidy person. I let paperwork clutter my desk until you can’t see any part of the surface anymore. However, I recently made up my mind to do a better job at looking after my mess.
Hmmm. I lasted about three weeks before things got left unsorted on the desk again. Oh, and I forgot to mention about our piles and piles of children’s books all around.
So, when I’m feeling grumpy and a little bit off-center, I clean up my desk, which is very therapeutic, and straighten up our books too. Though this takes a lot of time (three bookshelves of children’s books, anyone?), I feel relieved and energized after cleaning up.
4. I act
After I’m done reflecting and cleaning up, I find myself ready for a reset. I just do the changes I’ve thought of and hope for the best. I force myself to slow down and relax, to enjoy my kids more because they’re the reason why I’m doing all these.
This capacity to forgive myself and move on from whatever failings I feel I have keeps me sane and upbeat. It makes me get up every day, brave to start anew in everything that I do. As Scarlett determinedly said, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”
What do you tell yourself to keep yourself from succumbing to tiredness and feelings of failure?