Overwhelmed by Excess

I’m saturated in excess. Every room I walk into in my home is an obstacle to my real to-do list (achieving dreams, writing new books, creating art, going back to school, organizing a bedroom, etc). Instead I face dishes to clean, laundry to fold, and toys, shoes, and backpacks to sort through with the kids, and that’s only if you don’t fall over the mountain of shoes near our front closet (why my kids can never remember to put them in closet despite having to clean them up every day is beyond me). It’s exhausting. And stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

The thing is these chores aren’t even my issue. Oh if only it was that easy to slap up a chore chart and stick to it so everything falls into place. I bet that feels as cozy as the first snowfall of the season. But that snowfall?  Yeah, it only comes around once a year. What woman on earth has time to wait for the magical moment where everything aligns and things simply work?  Umm, no. I have the world to tackle! Like the pile of unpaired earrings and broken jewelry I keep on my wardrobe that’s threatening to call a pawn shop? It needs to go!!!

Seriously. I’m so sick of all the stuff. I’ve spent the last six months to a year taking a stand against things. Turning my back on the Toy Story Syndrome, saying "No" to any object personification. Sorry Woody and Buzz, I’ve become the mad-trasher. Bopeep is outta here! At times it seems heartless, but I do whatever I can to gain emotional distance, chanting “Toss that toy!” like I’m on some game show while my kids watch in horror….Okay, okay. I  don’t do that but it's a fun fantasy.

Sometimes I include my kids in the dejunking process, but other days (especially with my four year old), I lock myself in his room with two bags, one for trash and one for GoodWill, while my husband distracts him outside.


Walking out of that bedroom with two bags in hand feels soooooooo good.

The more I get rid of, the better the buzz. It’s straight up addicting and with all the stuff I’ve given away, donated, and tossed over the last year, this house should not feel so … full, and not in a DJ Tanner type way.

(I am so witty. You are so blessed by my jokes.)

Why on earth is my home so overwhelmed?

*Raises hand* Oh yes, because of me.

Do you ever have days where you can not escape your own suckitude? All of your flaws weigh you down like a robe made out of soaking wet, stinky seaweed.

This is happening to me more and more lately, but I have a secret. I’m welcoming these days with open arms. I let the emotions hit me like a wave, and watch them roll past. Then dig in and try to learn from them.

This is what I've learned in the process:

I’ve spent far too long pacifying away my own feelings with my iPhone, using Instagram and Safari as a zen sanctuary. I love scrolling through #plantbased while I eat my last--yes, I swear last-- chicken salad. And Safari! Go to any news page at any time of day and it’s a quick hit of disgust and horror, giving one enough anxiety to never want to leave the home again. This is great for the hermit inside of me, but bad for someone who sincerely wants friends and wants their children to have a full and vibrant life. Safari is also knowledge at your fingertips. I reference it for everything… Recipes, cost of flights to Ireland (because why not know this tidbit), how many puppies are in an average litter, etc. You get the idea.

And then there is the old go-to for covering up emotional discomfort. FOOD. Pretty sure anyone living in America understands this issue. And I dare to  wonder why I can’t lose ten pounds. Can someone just come along and slap me silly? I’d like to attribute my issue to Ben and Jerry’s Almond Brittle and Caramel ice cream, but I want to be better than that. I won’t even blame my extra fluff on sugar, though I really want to. It's easier to have something to blame, isn't it?

But I don't want to take the easy road anymore. It's nice, but boring as F* and has only gotten me to the same place every year. 

Of course, my awesomeness doesn’t end there. Nope. I’d like to blame this on being a suburban Mom in Minnesota, where winter activities involve going to Target and the library, unless you are a superhuman and can somehow cope with being outdoors. Even if you are, we so rarely have those “perfect” winter days where you can go sledding and skiing. Usually it’s far below zero and straight up cruel out there.  Anyway, I digress. This one is tough for me to admit, but here we go. I have a shopping problem y'all! It's become an activity, one that feels good when I really don’t want it to! Did my girls really need that clearanced maxi skirt? Nope. But did I get it? You betcha AND the matching sunglasses from the dollar spot too! The deals! The deals! THE DEALS!!!

Folks, I’m so over it. My attention is split all the time, I hate feeling irresponsible with my money, and health and wellness is super important to me. My day to day activities do not add up to the person I want to be.

So what’s standing in my way? Comfort.  I'm allowing comfort to suffocate my instincts and creativity. I'm literally the bouncer to the club and only allowing in unproductive people I don't want to spend time with at all because it feels a bit uncomfortable to say "no"because I've let them in before.

So I’m taking a stand. It’s time to hold myself to the same standards I will be holding my kids to with technology, food, and smart shopping. My iPhone time will be more intentional. Instagram has been deleted from my phone during the day, and will be loaded back on when I decide I do want to spend a few minutes there. No more senseless scrolling and double tapping, allowing time to slip through my fingertips. And until I can prove that I'm an adult with this, it promptly gets deleted until the next time I carve out time for it. And as for my Safari? I put on parental controls. This is the first time I’ve ever needed parental controls, and I’m using them on myself. I'm like a layered cake of maturity and immaturity. Delicious.

Speaking of food, it is always a challenge. I’m such a foodie and have weird dietary needs and a messed up perfectionist mentality with this that I’ll dive into on another day. But for now I’m doing all I can to surround myself with healthy options, and lots of La Croix. (p.s. La Croix is my secret for everything).

And with shopping? Oh my goodness. It’s time to start ordering grocery pick up and refusing to let my booty go into a physical store. I am so sick of spending money, and -- quite honestly -- I’m not even that bad. It’s not like we are dealing with copious credit card debt or I have some secret storage unit filled with stuff. There is no hoarding situation happening in my home. You’d even discover you’d enjoy tea in my living room! What I’m talking about is simply the average purchases that we all make as consumers, that random cute mug, another pair of yoga pants or the newest Avengers movie type stuff.

This is the stuff that’s making me overwhelmed, sneaking into my home with the seductive promise that they will bring happiness, or at least help my table look a little bit more like Joanna Gaines’ face. And then they steal my precious time like a little gremlin.

I’m so over it!

My focus used to be so crisp and zeroed in on who I was, what I wanted to accomplish, and how to get to where I want to be, and I allowed it to dull with shifting my attention to easy fixes. I’m missing out on all of the feelings.

And isn’t that the blessing of being alive? To feel?

So welcome to the pursuit of shining brightly. Do you have any vices that are keeping you from leaning in and getting uncomfortable? Drop me a comment and let me know.

Lizzy Froehle