The Power of Getting Off Your Butt…

…even (and especially) when you don’t feel like it, is amazing.

Through a weird and somewhat disconnected series of events including fatigue, hair loss, rock-bottom low blood pressure, and generally feeling like garbage, I wound up being put on an anti-depressant about this time last summer. I wouldn’t have chosen that as my first line of action (we tried several others, diet, exercise, and re-checking my thyroid levels -twice), but being that I’d found no success, I caved and went along with it.

Was it a good idea? Yes, but not because being depressed was my problem, totally. What the medication did was clear a place in my brain and give me the ability to “wake up” out of my funk enough to see all the stuff I was letting go. Once I started in with taking care of the household responsibilities again (keeping up with housework, getting things done on time, not escaping on the computer so much), it was amazing how much better I felt. From there, I had the clarity and freedom to go on to figure out what a lot of my “root issues” were, and work through to find coping mechanisms and solutions. One of my “biggies” is perfectionism, and believe it or not, relatedly, laziness when I can’t do things perfectly.

So, a year later, armed with those solutions and after some prayer about it, I decided it was time to go off the meds –I did, and, as I predicted, it’s somewhat harder to do stuff again. I don’t have the “four cups of coffee” energy burst that the meds gave me any more. I wake up feeling tired again. It’s hard to get through the afternoon without a nap. BUT -I do it. That, for me, is a big part of the solution; do hard things, even and especially when there is no drive to do so. If it is the right thing to do and it needs to be done -then do it. So, today, that’s what I did. I got up from my computer chair after a brief time this morning, cleaned the house, cleared the kitchen (keeping the kitchen clean, I discovered during my recovery, was one major thing that kept me going some days –flylady may just have something with the “shiny sink” theory…), and finished the laundry. I went on a walk. Except for the bakery-related indiscretion this morning, I ate well. Did I feel like it? Nope. But, realizing how much my family needs me to be “there,” and how much my husband likes to come home to a home that doesn’t resemble an explosion at Toys R Us and Bed, Bath and Beyond combined, I got it done.

…Which leads me to the second secret of my recovery. I didn’t do it myself. No, didn’t hire a maid. I had the help through prayer of God to keep me going and motivated above the ever-present siren song of sitting on my behind aimlessly wandering the internet and reading about (as opposed to doing the work on) how to be a good homekeeper. Giving it up to God and asking for help, I’m realizing is the key. I tried for all this time to fix the problem of my lack of desire to be a wife and mom by attempting to cure it myself with diet and exercise and shaming myself, but that never worked. It did quite the opposite, driving me to self-loathing and an intense craving for sloth. What finally worked was realizing that to have a clean house, Godly kids, a happy husband, and a healthy and desirable dinner on the table, if I’m the one getting the credit, I’m likely to either a) not get there at all, or b) be really grouchy when I don’t get the thanks I “deserve.” So, I gave up. It’s not about me. When I do it “for God’s own glory,” it infuses my everyday routine with so much more power and stamina, even and especially -when I don’t feel like it. And, at the end of the day, when it’s all done -not perfectly, but done to the best I could offer to God, that’s so much more gratifying than shuffling guiltily off to bed with everything half done, or collapsing into bed angry and exhausted at attempting to live up to Martha Stewart and June Cleaver.

So, that’s it folks. Give up. And just do it.