Someone Has a Case of the Mondays

Dear Home Ec 101,

I’m overwhelmed. There’s stuff everywhere, I was late to work again, there’s no food in the house, it’s hot, the kids are cranky, and my butt hurts.

Not really a single reader, but a compilation of about 30 conversations over the past few weeks

Heather says:

Dude. I feel your pain, well maybe not the butt part. Let’s start with the bad news, this isn’t a one day fix, sorry. The good news is that there is hope.

Being overwhelmed sucks.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s by a new work project or your home life, that overwhelmed feeling is soul crushing. The extra annoying part, whatever seems to be the problem, isn’t actually causing that feeling of helplessness.

The real problem is inertia.

When you stand at the base of the mount of crap to do, it looks deceptively large. It’s way too easy to fix another bag of popcorn and watch another reality show than to take action.

Today your job is to take one step toward the solution.

If you have too much clutter and junk in your home, today one box or bag will go out. Still no clue where to start?

What about clearing off the bathroom vanity, your nightstand, the kitchen counter, the table, that place near the door where everyone dumps their crap. Pick one.

But Heather, one bag won’t make a difference. Sorry to disagree, but one bag does make a difference, you just might not be able to see it. Today’s bag isn’t the only one. Another bag will go out tomorrow. Today that first bag needs to leave the house, whether it’s via the trash, recycling, or sitting in your trunk waiting for the next time a GoodWill or other donation center is on your route.

Why were you late to work?

Couldn’t find your keys? Your uniform or clothes weren’t clean? Today the keys get a designated hook or bowl, the uniform or clothing is ready before bed tonight. Traffic snarl? Leave earlier next time.  If you’re consistently five minutes late, most people interpret it as apathy or disrespect. They really don’t care about the whys. Keep a book in the car, it won’t kill you to be five minutes early from time to time.

No food in the house?

Stop that cycle. Take inventory of your fridge and cupboards. Dispose of the science projects and expired foods that fool you into putting off a trip to the store, just one more day.

Can you make any meals playing pantry clean out?

No, well then maybe you do need to go to the store, but start by menu planning. It doesn’t have to be rigid, but a framework prevents the 5:30 refrigerator stare.

Cranky kids? Well, if they are healthy and get enough rest, they are frequently reflecting the stress and misery you are projecting. Rein it in, get help for yourself -medical if necessary- first. Get your house in order literally and figuratively and eventually some of the bickering dissipates. (Not all of it, kids squabble by nature).

The heat, wait a few months and you can complain about being cold. The butt hurting? Well, you’re own with that.

So for the TL:DR crowd, we all get that way. Sitting around and complaining about the problem only allows it to grow. Get up and do something. Do anything productive today and tonight there will be less guilt. Don’t judge your progress by looking at the mountain ahead. Celebrate the small accomplishments. It’s discouraging that atta-boys (and girls) are often far and few between. I may not know you, but I know what discouragement feels like and I am pulling for you. Hang in there.


  1. jerseys on December 9, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    all danged day. Thanks for the reminder that if I just get moving, things will get better! 🙂

  2. Dr Alice on July 13, 2010 at 5:01 am

    I was cleaning kitchen cabinets this weekend and came across a long-forgotten glass tray which I've placed on my breakfast table. It's serving as my launch pad (thanks Wiccan333!) My glasses, keys, pager, outgoing bills, etc. are all on it.

    • HeatherSolos on July 13, 2010 at 10:44 am

      I hung a bulletin board near the door we use most. I screwed some hooks into the top and that's where our keys live. I think they've only gone through the wash once since. I usually post one of Cameron's fab calendars… that has the big events of the month. Gmail calendars shared with my husband keep us coordinated.
      We are by no means perfect (just ask my boys' violin teacher), but it's a lot better than before.

  3. @alsatia on July 13, 2010 at 2:51 am

    Wow…had the Mondays today, all danged day. Thanks for the reminder that if I just get moving, things will get better! 🙂

  4. @Wiccan333 on July 13, 2010 at 1:10 am

    We have a 3 shelf tall table we call The Launch Pad near our front door. Jeff is constantly being late for work due to lost glasses, lost security badge, cell phone, etc, etc. Now I have him (nearly) trained to drop all of his items for work at the launchpad. The top has a tray with a letter holder that outgoing mail & Netflix goes into. The tray holds all of his things needed for work. The 2nd shelf has a basket for out-going library books and shopping bags and the 3rd shelf holds my purse. Luckily the table has a scroll work on its sides that act as hooks for umbrellas! I made a magnet that is a check list for everything he needs before getting in the car stuck to the front door. Hanging above the table is a whiteboard and key holder. It has helped a LOT!

  5. Linda on July 12, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    baby steps, baby steps….

  6. Danielle on July 12, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Thank you for this post!!!

  7. Jenn on July 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    i find one of the hardest things to do is to break a cycle of being late. I can be full of resolve, get all organized ahead of time and something will get in my way and I'll be late again. It takes me a good week of concerted effort to get that first on-time and then another couple of weeks to make it a habit.

  8. Nicole on July 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Perfect timing for this post. I too was about to have a case of the Mondays. Sent Baby Girl to the sitter's today and tackled a few things without my cute little distraction 🙂

  9. Kathy Sykes on July 12, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    This is a great post. I am always looking for life organization tips and these were great ones!!

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