Anybody Else Already Feeling Behind in 2018?

Remember the old playground “merry go ’rounds”? We would spin and spin, leaning back, our faces tilted toward the sky. When it finally stopped, usually by dragging our feet in the dirt, we would stumble off, dizzy and unable to walk.

That pretty much sums up the end of 2017 for me. I crossed the finish line of 2017 feeling a little shocked it was over and wishing I had more time to tie it up neatly with a bow.

With no time for reflection, I plowed right into 2018 with the “Goals for 2018” page completely blank in my new planner. There is now a “post-it” on that page with some thoughts, but I haven’t filled anything in.

True confession, my Christmas tree is still standing in the bay window of the living room adorned with colorful lights. The ornaments are packed in boxes, but the tree still stands. A pile of stockings rests on the sideboard in the dining room alongside a small stack of Christmas dishes. Other boxes sit in the living room awaiting some sort of order.

Apart from sitting in an empty room waiting to have blood drawn, today may be the first time I’ve been alone since before Thanksgiving. I’m breathing in the quiet, willing my brain and spirit to calm.

The critical voice in my head says, “You’ve already blown it, 2018 has only begun and you are behind on everything.” Then I remember it’s only January 5th and I have 360 more days to set goals and accomplish them.

Tomorrow Russ will help me heave the tree out the living room window and then drag it to the pasture. Boxes will be stacked in the barn. Laundry will be put away.

The blurry vision I have for 2018 will begin to come into focus. Good news – God will not leave me floundering, but I need to get quiet enough to hear his voice.

Anyone else feel this way? I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to receive a more personal email, subscribe to my friends-letter which I send out every few weeks and you can read in a minute or two. I hope this year brings good news to share – first to my subscribers and later on my blog and social media.



Speaking of social media, I’m posting on my Insta Story as often as I can. The unedited nature of it appeals to me. Also, I’m much better at replying to messages and comments on Instagram than anywhere else!

My speaking schedule for 2018 is filling and I’m praying for exactly the right times and places to serve. First up is the Refresh Conference where I’ll be teaching at the Early Morning Mom’s gathering, facilitating a “Giving Voices to Siblings” panel, and sharing at another breakout, “Hope for the really, really, really hard kids.”

At the end of the month, Russ and I are speaking together at a very small retreat for couples parenting challenging children from “hard places.” This event in Texas is going to be very special and I’m looking forward to it.

I have dreams and plans for One Thankful Mom in 2018. My heart’s desire is to make this site more useful to you, offer helpful materials, and be a friend and mentor to you. And remember the book? It’s inching forward and I’ll be sure to let you know when I have news to share.

Happy 2018 from the bottom of my heart. If you’re off to a rocky start, you are not alone; hang out with me and we’ll figure it out together.

One final thought, I launched my reading for 2018 with Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. I’m two chapters in and love it. Join me?

[This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]

How is the start of 2018 going  for you? What are you dreaming/planning/hoping?  What are you reading? I would love to see a comment from you, friend.

Much love, hope, and courage for the journey,

Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

16 Comments

  1. Anne
    January 5, 2018

    I’m in the midst of perhaps a battle similar to yours with your daughter Kalkidan. My son, Abel, 10 years old, has been home with us for 3 years. He has PTSD AND RAD. There’s a struggle every day and I’m oh so weary. My heart is broken for him and the rest of the family as we attempt to continue in a somewhat ‘normal’ day to day life – yet there’s really nothing ‘normal’ about it. I too feel behind already but my word for this coming year is ‘breathe’ so I’m trying to rest in that. Praying for clarity, hope and peace.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 5, 2018

      My heart is with you, Anne. Sometimes our lives feel unlike anyone else’s and it’s lonely. I love your word, ‘breathe’. I say it to myself too.

      Reply
  2. Joelle
    January 5, 2018

    In order to avoid getting behind I always write my to do list at the end of the day–that way everything on the list was done and gets checked off :). My decorations are still on the tree and the stockings still hang on the wall. Sat was going to be undoing christmas decoration day but it just got filled up. Christmas trees can wait grand babies can’t. Maybe next week? I bet your house was lovely and doesn’t want to let go of the Christmas cheer any sooner than it has to :).

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 5, 2018

      That’s a great idea, Joelle 🙂 You’re so right that tasks can wait, but people (especially grandbabies!) are more important.

      Reply
  3. Rebecca
    January 5, 2018

    I’m feeling the same way. Today was the first day of stillness I’ve had in many weeks, and it was so badly needed. There will always be time for resolutions, and I’m telling myself January 6th is just as good as January 1st.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 5, 2018

      Very true, Rebecca.

      Reply
  4. Emily
    January 5, 2018

    I always think of January 6 as the first day of the New Year anyways since it marks the Epiphany. Sadly, it looks like 5 members of our family will still be down with the flu, including me, on 1/6. So I’m embracing flexibility, postponing our 12th night celebration, and viewing it as an opportunity to practice what I preach about the virtues of flexibility. 😉 All that to say, I’m definitely feeling like I’m starting 2018 behind! (C’est la vie!)

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 5, 2018

      I appreciate your attitude! And I hope you are all well soon.

      Reply
  5. Jenny H
    January 5, 2018

    Oh how I would love to attend the couples retreat in Texas, my home state! Is it a closed event? Are you able to share details?

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 5, 2018

      I’m so sorry, but it is closed. I would love to do more events with small groups like this.

      Reply
  6. Sarah Pulliam
    January 6, 2018

    Lisa, my New Year’s resolution is a simple one: Let’s not let the kitten into the dryer again. We spent New Years at the emergency vet, with me feeling like the worst fur mama in the world… extrapolated into worst mother of all time. Thank God, she is now recovered from what was a wholly traumatic incident for us both. I forgot my kids’ basketball practice last night and her first game is this afternoon. She has no uniform or really any idea of how to play. Last night, I farmed out another kid to a family willing to drive her to a soccer tournament an hour and a half away… and let her spend the night. When I received a call later in the evening that she injured her hand playing goalkeeper, my response was, “I am not taking anyone to urgent care tonight. If she can feel her fingers, it’s ibuprofen until tomorrow.” Truly, it is hard to start the new year feeling so depleted. And yet, it is just a day on the Gregorian calendar- if it helps, remember that there is also an Ethiopian calendar, and and Islamic calendar, and regardless of which calendar… there is always a fresh start tomorrow. Speaking of which, Happy Birthday!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 8, 2018

      Sarah, oh my, the kitten in the dryer! You are courageous and have so much going on with your girls and meeting all their needs. So true, this is only one New Year, there are others to consider. I like that idea. And thank you for the birthday wishes.

      Reply
  7. Jeri
    January 6, 2018

    I’m tired. I talked to my husband about what God wanted from us this year. I see people so often with their word. I’ve never had a word. Instead my life seems to just unfold before me. Though I’m not on the go constantly like some moms, my brain NEVER shuts off. It never seems to relax. In July 2015 our 18yo beloved son moved out with 5 days notice. He had just turned 18 in June. He doesn’t speak to us, moved back to the toxic relationships we moved away from in Texas, moved to Seattle on a whim, and doesn’t speak to us at all. I cried for about 6 months. I don’t cry anymore. Since then I’ve learned some of the bad things he had done between ages 8/9-18. We’ve been shocked and after 2.5 years I still can’t comprehend how to feel about him knowing what I’m sure is just the “top of the barrel”. Add to that our other 5 (adopted), each with their own personalities and, well, somedays its all I can do to just open my eyes. I don’t tell them that. But man I feel like the worst mother in the world some days. Sigh….

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 8, 2018

      Jeri, that all sounds so hard. I’m very sorry. This mothering journey is filled with the unexpected. I’m praying for you right now.

      Reply
  8. Ann Hodgman
    January 7, 2018

    Hey, wait! According to the Christian calendar, the feast of Christmas doesn’t end until after sunset on the 6th. Pretend you live where I do–many of us leave up our trees until Valentine’s Day. They’re pretty and they took work; why not leave them up for as long as possible? (Several of my neighbors leave their Christmas lights on until the first day of spring.)

    I do have to put all the Santas away, though. They look kinda dated once December 25th has passed.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 8, 2018

      Ann! I appreciate the encouragement to relax! We keep white lights up on our porch until spring and that makes me happy. Also, good news, Claire’s dog is doing really well. 🙂

      Reply

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