Yesterday evening, I was sitting in the pews getting ready to lead worship with the worship band that I sing for. One of our pastors (who is such a down to earth, wonderful man) sits behind me and casually states, “Hey! Haven’t seen you in a couple weeks. Give me the update: what’s new?”
It was a completely unassuming question, but I felt so convicted by it.
It was true, our pastor had not seen us in a few weeks, which was odd because my husband and I are very musically active in our church (I previously held a musical leadership position at our congregation before stepping into my new career role 2 years back). But at this point in time, everything seemed to be so inconsistent:
- Getting married-a wonderful blessing, but still completely uncharted territory affecting living together, learning each other’s rhythms and routines, and trying to run a household together
- Adopting a rescue dog-which we’ve been having some behavioral challenges with. She’s such a loving and giving animal, but I’d lying if I said this hasn’t turned our lives upside down a bit
- Navigating a new pace at work-coming from a season of “way TOO much” to trying to find which balance is right at this time
- Financial whirlwinds-combining money, trying to come to a balanced place on budgeting now for 2, being from 2 different worlds financially, unforseen expenses and the like.
- Finally being more at peace with my anxiety, but noticing that the changes in life have in small ways led it to rear it’s head in instances that I don’t feel it warrants
- Running on very little sleep due to some of these changes-which is something I have learned that I merely cannot become lax on.
Why is it that the most essential things are the first things to go in times of overwhelm or inconsistency?
I’m talking even baseline functions-or at least that’s how it is for me. The first things that tend to suffer (or even completely go) in times of overwhelm or topsy-turvey-ness (???) for me are:
- Eating patterns
- Sleep or relaxation/self-care patterns
- Intentional time with my Savior
- Investing in loved ones
Which is almost comical to me, as these are the building blocks for all other needs in my life. But when I’m overwhelmed (and overwhelmed isn’t even the more accurate term right now, but off-kilter“), they are the first things to slip.
It is at times like these that “getting back to the basics” is essential. And quite honestly, very empowering to invest in, because they fuel so many other elements of life.
I feel like I have recognized this and have tried to take some meaningful steps toward that in this season in small ways. For example, meal planning and making a list before going to the grocery store so I can make sure my body is nourished with what it needs vs. what might be most convenient or thrown together, as well as devoting Saturday to having eyeball to eyeball quality time with individuals that my husband and I truly value. But there are still basics that need more attention at this time-and part of this post was (selfishly!) for my own recognition in this. Maybe you can relate, however!
It’s important to be aware of what are the first things that tend to “slip” for us when we are in a season of overwhelm, and this might look differently depending on who you are. But without this recognition, how can we recognize that we are “off-kilter” and in need of re-focus? Even more importantly, how can we recognize what we need to fuel us through this season of inconsistency?
Maybe you’re looking for more input and guidance on how to refocus when you find yourself falling into this pattern, and I promise that will come at a later post. This is merely to raise the awareness that has been slipping from my gaze for the past couple weeks, and to own to myself the need to “get back to basics”.
What tend to be the first things to “slip” in your life when life throws curveballs your way? I’d love to hear your experiences and share in that with you-as well as include some of these in a follow-up post that will hopefully provide some light on how to get back on track in the essentials. As always, we all struggle in this more than we might realize ;). But that means there’s community, support, and hopefulness.