sanity savers: a semi-regular series in which I share quirky tidbits and habits discovered in my quest to avoid panic, head trouble off at the pass, and uphold law and order in the West (or wherever you hang up your spurs). While I certainly don’t think all of these ideas are completely original or something you’ve never heard before, I hope you find my ramblings helpful, inspiring, or adaptable for your particular situation.
Shortly after Spud’s birth, we bought a key rack. The key hooks were a Home Depot purchase that was 100% inspired by my lack of memory/focus (continues to this day), which, when combined with my bad habit of setting my keys down in a spot that I would “remember”, had disastrous results.
Since Spud is now 2 years old, this Sanity Savers idea just might be the original Sanity Saver–the first attempt of my post-pregnancy self to restore order and sanity to a world that had been turned upside down by one little person.
In the months that I returned to full-time classroom teaching after my maternity leave, it was a struggle just to keep my head above water. Life was a crazy blur of frantically pumping breastmilk while my students were at recess, planning lessons, grading, midnight feedings, trips to the babysitter, daily errands, and a work day that ended with a mad dash home to begin cooking dinner, and a thousand other tasks, all the while, trying to be the wife and mother I wanted to be to the three other people in the house who also deserved my time and attention.
It was a delicate balance, to say the least. One that was frequently upset by things like misplaced keys. Ridiculous. Disheartening. Stressful.
So, on a trip to the Big City we bought our key rack for something like $6. I don’t think we had it home 5 minutes before Cowboy had it drilled to the wall. I haven’t looked back since.
The key rack now holds all of my keys, my camera, and my jump drive. When I walk in the door, putting those items in their place is my first priority. In the 2 years since the key rack arrived, I’ve probably misplaced these items five times or less, and I can live with that, considering my track record. Funny how such a simple thing can make life more peaceful, less harried, less worried, less chaotic.
And, really, the key rack is just an example of what I’m realizing about all of my Sanity Savers. So often there’s something that causes stress in our lives or our daily routine, etc., and I just keep butting my head against that brick wall, allowing myself to be frustrated by something that’s easily fixable. Instead, I need to STOP, think about a solution, and then act on it—as soon as possible. Why waste time, energy, and life, fighting little things that begin to pile up and become big things, when a little time spent right away would eliminate the problem completely?
What little problems have you solved that make your day more peaceful? How do you tackle small stressors before they become large ones?