I always have high hopes for August.
When Ordell was coaching college and players reported to campus the first few days of the month I had a few weeks of days with a flexible schedule. I would purge our closets and storage areas, organize the pantry and put freezer meals together, and in my more ambitious months I’d paint a room like a bathroom or learn a new craft.
When I started working outside our home again, I tried to maintain the same August routines. Purge, stock up on freezer meals, and learn a new fun skill. But I failed, or at least I FELT like I failed. My August routine wasn’t the same, and I was frustrated.
I’m almost embarrassed to tell you it never crossed my mind that I couldn’t do the same things because I had sixteen fewer hours at home each week. Instead I increased my caffeine intake to focus more and sleep less.
I’m sure you’re aware this craziness only lasts so long, and what I knew but chose to ignore is that when your body is exhausted, you crave carbs and sugar. In tandem my stress, weight, and misery increased.
By the time I found an endocrinologist (after we moved and went through another football season) my hair was falling out in clumps and I could barely stay awake for more than a few hours.
My unwillingness to pace myself in personal or career goals almost left me bedridden, and I share my story in the hopes, my friend, that if you are telling yourself you are failing that you will stop right now and evaluate your situation.
You are doing a fantastic job! More than that, if you were doing half of what you are juggling you would STILL be doing a stellar job of getting through each crazy day.
I see you trying to figure out how to be the best employee and cheer your man on at the same time. It’s impossible to be in two places at the same time. Don’t feel guilty. You are doing the best you can.
I see you hunting for the meals that will fill the bellies of offensive linemen AND fit your already stretched-too-thin-budget. You are generous to feed. Don’t stress about the perfect meal!
You in the stands with kids crawling all over you while that one fan yells about your husband; you’re doing and an AWESOME job biting your tongue.
Small business owners trying to get your dreams off the ground while buried in sports jerseys that need mending? You’ve got this!
Hey, wife finishing your degree while figuring out how to do life on that shoestring budget? You aren’t alone! Keep going! You have worked so hard to get to this point and you have talents and passions and this degree will help you reach your goals that will put everything into action.
As much as I’d like to keep cheering for you, I’d be remiss to leave you without a few tips I’ve learned from doing things the hard way. Hopefully you can avoid a few seasons of exhaustion by considering these points.
First, make a list of everything that happens in a week. Don’t leave seasonal items out. For us we have weekly commitments like church on Sundays, date night, youth group for the boys, Bible study on Tuesday mornings for me. We also have seasonal activities like August-November football, January-March basketball, March-May soccer. This will help you keep an accurate perspective on your commitments for the year.
Second, remember the coaching life runs in seasons. As you consider your commitments, if they are 12-month commitments you need to think about what it will look like during the busiest months of the year to add this yes to your calendar. Just because you can do something in March when your husband is home in the evenings doesn’t mean you can also follow through in October.
Third, every time an opportunity to add something to your calendar comes up, pause. When you say yes to one opportunity you are saying no to something else and vice versa. If you say yes to helping with the PTA fundraiser you are saying no to having time to help your kids with their homework or drive carpool that day. Makes a list of your yeses. And make sure your commitments don’t require you to say no to one of your yeses whenever possible.
Fourth, find someone who will cheer you on, support you along the way and help you see when you’ve overcommitted yourself (again).
Above all, always remember that you were created with a unique combination of gifts, talents, skills, and passions. God has a plan for your life that only you can live out. Living your best life will require you to prioritize yourself at times. You can’t work or play with your kids if you aren’t healthy, and you can’t cheer for your man if you can’t get out of bed.
Pace yourself. You’ve got this. One step in front of the other is still progress!!