Struggling Daily with My Daily Struggles

Struggling Day with My Daily Struggles Does it Ever Get Easier at

My alarm went off at 4:45 this morning.

I wasn’t surprised because I turned it on last night. I scrolled to the very top of my alarm app/whatever-it’s-called on my phone and slid it on. Just like I do (almost) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

For three glorious weeks, my workout group, Camp Gladiator, had been on break. Sure, there were “bonus” workouts offered during those weeks, but who in the world goes to a workout when the official word on the calendar is that it’s a break? Not me. I don’t.

Anyway, today is January 4th and real life is back in session. The kids went to school, Hubby returned to work, and I have a To Do List a mile long for this crazy writing job I created out of thin air more than six years ago.

I knew  my week/day/year needed to start with NOT skipping today’s workout.

But when that blankety-blank alarm sounded at 4:45 a.m., even though I was already kinda-sorta awake, some pretty awful thoughts went through my head. I thought about how much I hate getting up so early. I thought about how much I resent that dumb alarm every single time I hear it.

Really. If I’m out in public and a stranger’s phone rings with the same song as my alarm, I scowl. I maybe even snarl a little.

And the thought I ponder each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 4:45 a.m. is how this whole thing hasn’t worked out the way it was supposed to in my dreams. Specifically, I dreamed I would one day bounce out of bed, eager to run and squat and lunge.

I looked forward to the day when I would like it.

Other people like it, right? Other people are passionate about exercising and can’t wait to hit the gym, right?

I thought that once I liked it, I wouldn’t hate getting up so ridiculously early.

I wouldn’t struggle.

Unfortunately, after almost two whole years, I still dread setting my alarm, being awakened by my alarm, rolling out of bed, contorting my way into the necessary wardrobe pieces, and walking out the door when all is dark and every sane creature is fast asleep.

I dread it. I despise it. I feel like my feet are made of cement.

But do you know what I say every single day at 6:02? (Sometimes aloud and sometimes in my head.)

“I hate going, but I’m glad I went.”

And not because I got a runner’s high. (I’ve given up on that ever happening to me. You probably have to NOT cheat on your seven laps, walking every time you notice the trainer looking the other way.) But just because I’m glad I did it. I made it. I survived. I did the right thing and can go through the rest of my day knowing I’ve done what I needed to do and am a healthier person because I did.

The thing I dwell on the most in my moments of pre-dawn self-pity is that this will never end. Ever. There’s never going to be a time when I don’t have to do this anymore. Maybe it won’t be so ridiculously early, but I will have to do this, exercise, for the rest of my entire life. And for now, ridiculously early is the only way I’ve found to make it actually happen consistently.

And now, I apologize. I will not end this post with a Lightbulb Moment for you to use in your own health journey. I will, however, compare this never-ending struggle with my never-ending struggle to keep my home under control.

I received a question recently about motivation. About needing it, not feeling inspired. I suggested listening to a podcast, since many of you tell me that listening to them makes you get up and get moving in your home.

I’d misunderstood. The real question was, “How do you make yourself do what you need to do every day?” Basically, the struggle was with (as my True Texan Husband says) her wanter.

I know all about this, as I struggle with what I call the Idonwannas. (As demonstrated above.)

I felt bad giving the bad news. There’s no cure for not wanting to do it. I just have to do it anyway. Not that I’m trivializing the very real, I-can’t-force-myself-to-tackle-those-dishes feeling.

I have removed decisions so there’s no choice to make in the crucial moment between time-to-clean-the-kitchen and what-happened-in-here. (Listen to a podcast about that here.)

But even when habits and routines and decisions have already been made, I still have to just get up and do it.

I think the problem is that it looks like other people don’t have to make themselves get up. It looks like they move through their daily chores without even realizing they’re doing them.

They realize, y’all.

Even now that I know without a doubt what it takes to keep my house under control, this will always be a struggle for me.

I will always struggle. Daily. In that moment right before I walk to the sink.

The struggle, my own resistance, is just part of the process for me.


Note: If you have emailed or messaged me recently and haven’t received a reply, I’m sorry! I’ve replied to the ones that came through in a moment when I had a moment to respond right away. Otherwise, I’ve put responding on my mental to do list, and we all know how that goes. Hoping to catch up soon!

Second Note: Let’s blame this melancholy mood on Jump Squats. I despise those things.

Third Note: I really didn’t write this as an advertisement for Camp Gladiator (obviously), but if there’s one in your area and you want to try it out, email me at aslobcomesclean @ gmail . com (with the spaces removed) because I have a code for a free month I can give to someone, and could possibly get more codes.





Using the Awkward Pauses

Making Use of the Awkward Pauses at

I don’t like awkward pauses. I’m that person who fills the seven-minute-lull in party conversations with sometimes-funny-sometimes-not remarks.

This school year has been full of awkward pauses as we haven’t been able to develop a rhythm to our days. I’m blaming Junior High. The year started with football before school, leaving the house at 6:30 a.m. Then we had a week or so of 8:30 drop offs before basketball practices started, requiring a 7:20 drop off.  Now, we’re back to 8:30.

All this is coordinated around another child who needs to be at school on the other side of town at 7:40. (Or 7:15 for choir one day a week.)

So I usually have 20 to 30 minutes between getting home from one drop off and leaving again for another.

Similar crazy talk happens in the afternoons. Some days, three kids are done at three different times. Usually, the three times are just far enough apart to justify coming home for a 30 minute awkward pause.

Awkward Pause: A chunk of time in my day where I feel like I should do something, but I don’t think I have the time to tackle any of the monumental tasks on my mental to do list.

Awkward pauses once paralyzed me, but I’m learning to use them. Through this deslobification process, I have figured out THE most basic tasks that are necessary to keep my house out of Disaster Status. Turns out, THE most basic tasks aren’t big projects or long, drawn-out, put-on-your-special-cleaning-pants events.

They’re the daily stuff. And the weekly stuff.

Things like emptying the dishwasher and then putting breakfast dishes in it.

Things like switching over the laundry on Monday’s Laundry Day or folding and putting away that last load that is still sitting in the dryer (on Friday).

Things like a five-minute pick-up.

Or whatever else that I have to consciously remind myself to do every single day.

I’ve chosen to embrace the Awkward Pauses and use them as reminders to check something off the Daily Checklist.

When I feel the “Uhhhh, hmmmmm, weeeelllll” feeling, it’s time to work my way through whatever hasn’t happened yet off the list of basics.

Maybe you don’t have an insane drop off schedule to provide you with multiple awkward pauses throughout the day, but here are some other examples (many of which I’ve heard from you):

– waiting for the coffee to brew

-warming breakfast in the microwave

-administering timed quizzes or activities to a homeschooled child

-waiting to help with the next almost-impossible math homework question

-waiting for the shower to get warm

-waiting for the water to boil


Which Awkward Pauses do you find most useful in your day?

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Reality Check 2/16

Reality Check 2.16 at

Last week’s Reality Check:

I’ll start with a possible excuse for not actually posting this on the 16th. The kids will be out of school, so unless it’s ready to go and they sleep late (pretty pretty please?), it may not happen.

Monday –

I got posts scheduled out for the week, which always takes a load off my Blogging Shoulders. Laundry was sorted by the kids before they left for school. When 3:00 hit, it was craziness from then to 8 p.m. Kids being farmed out so they could still go their own basketball practices while we drove to another city for the oldest’s last game, that last game going into overtime, meals at various places for various people at various times, etc.

I didn’t run the dishwasher. With only one person eating at home, there just weren’t enough dirty dishes to fill it.

Tuesday –

I filled the dishwasher and ran it. Last night, I was wrong about not having enough dirty dishes to fill it. Just like I’m wrong every single time I let myself make that decision.

By 11 a.m., the last load of laundry (which was sheets, which every slob knows is a totally negotiable load . . . ) from yesterday’s Laundry Day was in the washer. After not starting on Sunday night and leaving the house at 3 p.m., I think that’s pretty good. Especially since I actually did that laundry management method that rocks my world and means laundry is actually done. I’m talking about folding straight out of the dryer and putting away immediately. Seriously, doing it that way is like magic. (But not magic at all.)

Morning was a little crazy being on the phone working on details for helping my in-laws purchase a used car that my MIL will be able to get in and out of more easily.

Trying to get NEXT week’s posts written and scheduled so I can really tackle some bigger projects.

Wednesday –

I’m so off my rhythm on dishwashing. But I’m doing it. Even though it’s generally the morning when I run it and then the evening when I empty it and that just doesn’t work as well.


That blankety-blank Alamo project is finally out of my house. Yay for that. I’m determined to block all of the musical I’m currently working on with 10-12 year olds today.


Ummmm, it’s Monday morning. I didn’t write anything after Wednesday because life was pretty much a blur. Let’s see what I can remember in these few moments before kids start stirring.

I did block all of the musical on Wednesday. This was big for me. While that’s exactly how I like doing things, the last few years I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants and blocking scenes in the hour before rehearsal. I’m sure I’ll write more about that in the future. I’m working on re-prioritizing right now.

I have no memory of what happened in the kitchen on Wednesday night.

Thursday, I rushed out of the house to drive the hour to meet my 87 year old father-in-law at the bank to help him get out the money to buy a new-to-them car. With the hopes that my MIL will soon be able to go back home, they truly did need a vehicle that was easier for her to get in and out of. I just made it back into town in time to direct a rehearsal. I did make dinner, but was so exhausted that I have a vague memory of justifying leaving the kitchen for “later.” Oh, and we made a toilet Valentine’s box for Kid #2. (Get it? #2?)

Friday was filled with counting money for a school fundraiser, taking my daughter to the dentist, discussing a rather exciting speaking opportunity on my phone while standing outside the dentist’s office, Valentine’s parties and recording, uploading and publishing a podcast in the one hour I had at home.

Saturday, we cheered on the kids at their basketball games and then Hubby and I went out ON Valentine’s Day for the first time in a very long time. Probably since before we had kids. Don’t worry. We ate before 5, so we missed (most of) the crowds.

Sunday, I paid for my lack of keeping up with the basics for the last half of the week. It only took about an hour to get things ready for our church home group (which is insanely amazing compared to pre-blog), but I was irritated with myself for needing to spend more time in the kitchen washing BIG stuff that I’d put off.

Oh. And that hour didn’t include dusting or vacuuming. Because I didn’t bother. Everyone coming knew (from last week) that my vacuum cleaner is still in the shop. (Grrr.) I also didn’t bother changing out of my pajama pants. Really. Yay for friends who accept me for my dusty house and lack of proper attire.

Now it’s Monday morning. I’ve worked out. (Totally skipped Friday.) Even though the kids are home today, it will still be Laundry Day (and they’ll “get to” help) because Laundry Day keeps us clothed.

I’ll let you know next week how that all works out.

What’s your reality right now?

Oh. And if you’re not on Facebook, see what had me giggling all last Monday. The comments on this post are hilarious. I was trying to be funny and lots of you totally got it. I felt a little bad about those who thought I was serious. Bad, but not bad enough to not keep checking the comments over and over and laughing at the thought of people thinking the video was actually Hubby and me.

One last thing: #2 did win “funniest” for his Valentine’s box. And it really did “flush.” He borrowed his sister’s dollhouse toilet that makes a flushing sound.

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