Wow! I don’t know if it’s the season of life I am in or just the truth in her words, but Crystal Paine (moneysavingmom.com) really hit the nail on the head with Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. This book was very encouraging. Originally, I thought it was going to speak to moms. Whenever I hear survival mode I think of two things: a teacher in her first year and new moms. But this book is more than that.
I think it’s unfortunate how we can get carried away with our daily to dos & need to be busy that we forget life can be simple. Get sleep. Say No. Exercise. All of these things Crystal encourages us to do. She aptly reminds us that without these things our priorities can’t get done and we will experience burnout.
Two things really hit home for me: stop trying to do it all & stop comparing myself to other women.
I am a new bride. I have only been married for 9 months. I know I jumped into marriage with both feet and a desire to be the best homemaker & wife I could be. I wanted to be in control of all the house duties: meal planning, cooking, cleaning, organizing, etc. But I quickly learned this was not going to be as easy as I thought. (Have I mentioned that I teach junior high?) I began to realize that I needed a priorities list. I needed to zero in on the things that were most important for this season. Otherwise, I was going to run myself ragged trying to complete all my duties at home and at work. Crystal writes, “If we want to say goodbye to survival mode, we need to make time for what really matters. This means we have to clear out the nonessential commitments. (17)” While I still desire to be the best homemaker I can be, I am getting better at focusing on my priorities. If things don’t fall in line with them, then I say no.
“I think we, as women, are our worst critics. Comparison is one of the biggest traps to losing our momentum or giving up before we even start our journies to say goodbye to survival mode. It’s easy to want what we don’t have or see something better in others that we lack ourselves. (167)” As I read this, I was jumping up & down shouting YES!! (Well, not literally, but I was in my head.) This is so true. Being a new bride does cause me to compare myself to others. I want to be organized and well put together. I want my husband to be proud to be married to me and excited to come home. Man, have I worked myself up in a comparison tizzy. It really does steal my joy. Thankfully, my husband is loving, gracious, and patient with me.
The other area where I struggle with comparison is Bible journaling and decorating my planner! It has become such a trend now, that you can find an infinite amount of videos, blogs, pictures, etc on it. I am by no means an artist, but I can’t get caught up comparing myself to others in this area. I certainly don’t want to give up my joy in the Lord because I am too busy wishing I could animate Bible verses better. Crystal goes on to say that we can’t make the most of who we are or our talents if we are too busy comparing ourselves to others. We can’t live with gratitude, intentionality or purpose. (167)
I feel like I could become quite long winded about the encouragement that is on every page of this book. So let me leave you with a few more of the things I loved:
- Crystal encourages us to create a priorities list. She gives you space to do so right in the book. Jami Balmet discusses this particular point more on her blog.
- It is ok to say NO! (I am still working on this one.)
- I am excited to undertake her 4 weeks of declutter plan. I have a tendency to pick one drawer or cabinet to declutter. But I am excited to take a bigger chunk of space and declutter that. For more on decluttering, see How to Manage your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White.
If you’re ready to start thriving and not just surviving, grab a copy of Crystal Paine’s Say Goodbye to Survival Mode!