The Next Best Step
Updated: Aug 3, 2019
Rushing, rushing. Always rushing. My thoughts are racing all day, every day. It's a constant battle to tame them, slow them down, to keep them from trampling me in the process. From the second I awake in the morning, my unending mental to- do list is grasping for my attention, pushing me to get started, threatening that if I don't, my entire day will disintegrate into unproductive nothingness. The notepad on the bedside table next to me is full of jargon and arbitrary tasks sleepily scribbled down throughout the night for fear that they'd be lost forever. Today's gonna be a busy day, so what's the plan? Focus Faithie, you can do this...
But first, Coffee.
Oh and Jesus... Thank God for my One Year Bible.
And a 5 minute yoga/stretch/cardio thing...
Gotta set my intention for the day.
Can't forget to work on the details of the new coaching program starting in the Fall.
Well, first lemme get up and make Bean's breakfast before she spreads an entire container of Nutella on her croissant.
I can start a load of laundry right quick, too.
What's on the menu for dinner tonight? I'll take the chicken out to defrost.
Arghhh... almost forgot- Neuro appointment at 1:30pm. Gotta set a reminder for that.
And a conference call at 2:15pm for the self- care training coming up.
Wait, did I take my meds yet? #questionable
Did I tell Bendrick good morning? Did I kiss him before he left for work?
Bean's out of the purple gummy vitamins- gotta add that to the list.
Oh and school supplies. Definitely school supplies.
Darn it! Where IS that freaking list? Oh well, I'll just start another one. I'm definitely gonna keep up with this one this time. #doubtful
Yipes- I need a shower. #asap
I haven't even gotten out of bed yet. My mind is at capacity, bursting at the seams. I've got lots of plans. The most sophisticated one involves pulling this snugly, weighted blanket over my head and pretending to disappear. That one's not gonna get me very far. What am I gonna do? Add a traumatic brain injury to severe ADHD and you've got an unruly, unsupervised mental house party where the guests are super annoying and follow you around everywhere but you're so frazzled and distracted that you forget to put them out. Every. Single. Day.
Ok Faithie, you got this. Start small.
Dear God, help me today.
Yup, that's it.
Gotta keep it short and sweet. If not, I'll be here for hours praying for world peace and the baby deer I saw alone in the backyard and the little girl in Punta Cana who brought me to tears last year begging us for money on the side of the road and that person whose car stalled in the middle lane of I-85 on a Friday afternoon in rush hour traffic that everyone was honking and yelling at and... all worthy causes, of course. But I've got to focus.
So, Dear God, please help me today. Thank you.
That's it. Take a deep breath.
I'm not sure how the rest of this day is gonna go, but I'm putting one foot in front of the other. I'm not promising to do anything grand or life-changing. I'm gonna write this note. Post it to the gram. And then do the next best thing.
Like play restaurant/ grocery store with Bean. Without my phone in my hand. Or in my pocket. Or even in the same room. She's in charge and all of her items cost a hefty "one thousand hundred dollars" but I don't mind. I've been so, so busy... So inundated with tasks and obligations and controlling my own wayward mind. I've forgotten how when she smiles, her big, brown eyes get super squinty and look completely closed. Or when she tells a joke, she's searching for affirmation in my eyes that I think it's just as funny as she thinks it is. Or how much she loves to help me and rub my back and remind me to make a list so I don't forget things we need at the store. Or how she will stop whatever she's doing to find me in the house, give me a hug and a kiss without saying a word, and prance right back to what she was doing before. Or how much she loves having me to herself. All of me. Present me. Mindful me. Not the " in a minute" me. Or the "later" me. Or the "let mama finish x/y/z right quick" me. Or the irritated and distracted me. Or the me that rushes her so I can get back to what I was doing.
That person takes effort. Being that person requires intentionality. That person cannot function on auto-pilot or schedule every day down to the half hour or behave as if her way is the only way to do something. That person plays tickle-fight even if it's past bedtime. That person doesn't rearrange the sous chef's cookie dough on the cookie sheet to make sure it's "right." That person has pizza picnics in the middle of the bedroom floor. That person gives grace and doesn't expect perfection from herself or the people she loves. That person doesn't grimace at the way her husband loads the dishes into the dishwasher, but is immensely grateful for a spouse who is thoughtful and helps to share the load. That person accepts that God is faithful and always answers our prayers. That He did "help" me. Not to knockout my to-do list in record time like I'd intended. He "helped" me to find exactly what my heart needed: a slower pace, a calm mind, and affirmation that no matter how disheveled or unaccomplished or ineffective I may feel in this challenging process of my recovery, there are beautiful people in my life who love me fiercely and think that I hung the moon. And that on this day, in this moment, slowing down long enough to receive and experience their love is my next best step.