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September Surprises: Navigating Life's Curveballs and Finding Strength in Chaos

September started off a tad differently than I had in mind. This was the first year both my kids were heading off to school full-time, which meant more time for me to focus on, well, everything. From managing the household to plotting out business plans, and maybe even grabbing some precious moments for my mental health and personal space—I hadn't had this much breathing room in over eight years. For the past couple of months, I've been telling myself to wait, just hold back because my time will come. But this was it, I was ready to burst out of the starting line and make some serious headway.

But you know, the universe sometimes has a way of throwing you a curveball. No matter how psyched you are for the possibilities that change can bring, life is just plain unpredictable, and it'll keep on being that way as long as you're the one who has to pivot and make sure everything runs smoothly.

It was just the second day of school, and wham, my daughter comes home with a muscle spasm. Nothing too serious, but it sure demanded a chunk of my attention, and now I had a kiddo at home. Just as we got her back in good shape for school, guess who decided to crash our little party? Yep, you guessed it—COVID-19 made a surprise cameo in our household. We had managed to dodge that bullet for 3 1/2 years, but now, right during what I was calling "my time," COVID had other plans. 🙄

I won't deny that I had to take some time to feel frustrated, discouraged, and honestly, a bit let down. It's totally fine to feel all those things; we're only human. When plans you had such high hopes for don't quite pan out, it stings a bit. But hey, I've got some nifty tools in my tool bag, and I'm ready to share them because they might just save your sanity if you're feeling the same way this September.

So, here's what helped me get back on track and reset my mindset. You've heard me rave about it before, and you're going to hear it again—my trusty brain dump. It was a game-changer. With my energy and capacity limited, I couldn't tackle as much as I wanted to. So, writing it all down, prioritizing, and even delegating became my lifeline. It freed up precious mental space, so I didn't have to constantly remember everything. It was there on paper, a handy reminder for when I needed it. This helped me ask myself what truly needed my energy and what could be handed off to my husband or someone else if it needed doing but I couldn't muster up the energy for it.

Oh, and resetting my expectations? That was key. I went from thinking I'd have seven glorious hours a day to do whatever I pleased to realizing that I might only squeeze in a power hour before needing a breather. But I often talk about this in my decluttering course and when mentoring other moms for organizing and decluttering. Breaking it down into manageable chunks, even as little as 15 minutes, can make a huge difference. It might not be as lightning-fast as you'd like, but progress is progress. Pair that with another super helpful tool, my weekly planning sheet, (get it here). It’s a really simplified way to look at the week ahead. Or sometimes just days ahead, if I haven’t gotten to it until mid-week. I jotted down all of my digital calendar events onto my free downloadable printout. This gave me a good visualization of the week ahead. Even when I was feeling under the weather, this planning sheet made it really easy to see what was coming up and what might need adjustment.

The icing on the cake? Having a community to lean on. I'm part of a rad group called Boss Ladies and Babies—a bunch of entrepreneurial moms who've got each other's backs. Sharing my vulnerability and hearing that so many others felt the same way was like a warm virtual hug. Communities like this are gold, and you can find 'em in so many different nooks and crannies, from local Mops groups to Facebook communities.

And so, my friend, as September takes a few unexpected turns, remember that it's okay if things seem to be going to the dogs. October's just around the corner, and with it comes the promise of settling into routines, enjoying the crisp fall air, and indulging in those delightful outdoor activities. Life's unpredictability can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but it's during these twists and turns that we often discover our own strength and resilience and gain tools for next time.

So, hang in there, keep rolling with those punches, and know that even when September feels like it's in chaos mode, October is ready and waiting to bring a little more order to the world. Here's to the adventures that await in the months ahead! 🍂🎃✨

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