"Five shades of white" or "I used to be cute" - JJ Landis
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"Five shades of white" or "I used to be cute"

Does anyone else ever get overwhelmed? I know you do. Overwhelmed may not be the best word. Perhaps frustrated or confused better fits me at the moment.


Why? I am afraid I am losing my handle on the basics. I have to-do lists for me, chore charts for kids, schedules and calendars for everything. I’m organized and driven (maybe that’s my problem – I want to accomplish too much). But I look around and see other people who are so much more productive with their lives than I am, and I can’t figure out what I need to adjust.


I want to be a writer. My memoir is finished, percolating until that enchanted time when the publishing fairies will work their magic.
Being a writer these days means keeping a blog. Keeping a blog means linking to other blogs, advertising, writing blog posts frequently, writing articles for other publications, tweeting, facebooking, commenting on other blogs, and all other manner of getting yourself “out there” for the world to see and know. Most of the time, I find I have no time for such networking.


I am lucky if I read one blog post a day. How do some people stay current with so many blogs? Facebook is just a running commentary of mind-numbing nothingness. How am I supposed to keep up with everyone there? Twitter, I look at maybe once a month, rarely following any links, for fear of what time-wasting place they will lead me.  


I used to watch TV. I could easily consume five or six sitcoms a week plus an American Idol or Survivor. There was even a time years ago, when I watched Oprah and Dr. Phil every day (they were my best friends, sadly). Now the remote control is handled only by the kids who watch one or two shows on Netflix a day.


My house used to be tidy and clean and somewhat decorated. Now it feels full of mismatched everything and clutter everywhere. About forty household improvements have been waiting patiently on my “home improvement” list for years. Our ceiling is five shades of white. All the bedrooms need an upgrade. My office, as I look around right now, has about a hundred beads, a Bible, a letter to be mailed, a Dirt Devil, and another vacuum on the floor.
Our back deck is made up of splintered wood. Our front porch furniture is dirty, white plastic, which is broken. My walls are covered in smeared fingerprints. (I’ll spare you more examples. You get the idea.)


I used to exercise. I ran three or so miles every other day. I lifted weights. Now I run two miles at the most every three or four days and even then, I have the nagging idea that I am neglecting something when I go out for a run.


I used to be cute. Now I have gray hair and yellow teeth. My cellulite and muffin top are coming into their own. My hairstyle has been the same for several years. I used to shop. Now Amazon Prime (free shipping) is my favorite store. I buy hair products, birthday presents, patio furniture, lightbulbs, catfood, you name it – all online.


How does everyone around me have time to keep decorated homes and manicured lawns (forget my previous post, I’m done with yard work again)? Where do people find time to shop? To be cute?
How does everyone in computer land have time to write so many witty, inspirational blog posts and be a presence online to further their writing careers? When do women have the time to find clothes that are stylish? And whiten their teeth?


What is it that I do??? I don’t know! I do take time to read a book every week or two. I read aloud to my kids every night. The newspaper and Bible usually get some attention on a daily basis. Of course, I manage normal housework and the occasional social event. I work 15 (give or take) hours a week.


I have three kids, but so do a lot of other people. And my youngest is seven so it’s not as if I have to monitor every movement like when the children were younger. My kids don’t even do sports, so I’m not running from practices to games all the time like other mini-van driving moms. Mainly, my kids just hang out and play.


All good blog posts (by me anyway) wrap up with a little life lesson and some Biblical rhetoric or Jesus-ey advice. But I have nothing today. Just feeling blah and wish I could figure out how to have a clean, decorated home, while being nourished by uplifting blogs, while helping the poor, while getting my own writing done, while praising God, while praying for my family, while praying for others, while feeding my kids nutritious dinners, while being a good friend, while being the most up-to-date, well-read youth librarian there is, while being a fabulous wife, while keeping my teeth white, my hair black, my nails painted, while finding time to relax.


I know it’s about priorities and expectations. Just struggling with those right now. I have nothing to complain about. My life is charmed and it’s the only life I want. I’m not complaining, just trying to sort myself out.
  • Justacogitating
    Posted at 10:26h, 06 June Reply

    I admire you.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 13:15h, 22 May Reply

    When you stay off the grid, it’s a lot easier to avoid comparisons.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 10:00h, 08 May Reply

    Tammi has a point. Perhaps we can use that on the ceiling. – Lee

  • Tammi Hoke
    Posted at 16:56h, 07 May Reply

    Ha. Three words: Crest Whitening toothpaste.

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