The Life Truth I Discovered At A Zombie Movie

If everything and everyone is making you crazy, maybe it's time to take care of... you. {Background image: grungetextures.com}

If everything and everyone is making you crazy, maybe it’s time to take care of… you. {Background image: grungetextures.com}

I was sitting in the theater, watching World War Z when it hit me. First: Why am I watching a zombie movie …for the second time? And second: I feel odd right now. Oh yeah, that’s because I’m relaxed.

Relaxed is a foreign feeling when finances are tight or my redhead has a new need that requires hours of time at Children’s Hospital or a counselor’s office. Relaxed is an impossibility when I’ve been writing at high-speed for my first book’s deadlines or when it’s six weeks in to summer and the kids have been getting on each other’s nerves since day two.

Or when all of those things are happening at one time. Like now.

Which pretty much explains my first question above. It would take something that adrenaline-producing to even scratch the surface of my wound-too-tight self. When you’re running at full speed for any length of time, your body sets a new threshold for stimulus. It takes more input and intensity to feel anything at all when you’ve been stretched too tight too long.

A friend shared a funny picture on Facebook last week, with this quote:

“You know you are really stressed when you start getting on your own nerves” – Gaining Age But Losing Mind

I was getting on my own nerves. I was waking up grumpy. Feeling tired after 3 cups of coffee. I had a millimeter-long fuse. Car rides with the kids had become rebuke sessions. And when the cup of milk that should have been finished inside the house ended up splashed across my minivan carpet this morning, I had two choices:

  1. Keep being annoyed and miserable.
  2. Get a life.

Oh yes, I ignored that choice for a little while. I got all life-coach-y with myself and said, “Do something productive. Then you’ll feel better about life.” Which would have been a good idea if I had a life to coach. (See number 2 above).

After an hour of staring at my computer, willing my fingers to start writing for my second book, due in a few months, the title snapped me out of my tailspin.

Get Your Joy Back.

Yes, folks, I’m contracted to write a book about managing resentments and having joy, even in the tough times… when I don’t have either of those things going for me right now.

Humbling much?

(God’s good at getting us to these places isn’t he?)

I imagined my kids and me on TV with Oprah in a few years (hey, an aspiring author can dream, can’t she?) where Oprah says to them, “Tell me how your mom lived the ideas of her book with you?”—and they all burst in to laughter because that was clearly a gigantic joke—and the nightmare forced me to get up, close my computer and decide I’m going to start this book by getting my own joy back.

So that’s the plan, people.

This fall here, I’m journaling my own pursuit of joy. Tight finances, special needs kid, new author-dom, depression-struggler, mom-of-a-new-middle-schooler and all. I’m ditching the other fall topic I just announced in my monthly newsletter to focus on a single word: joy.

Because I’ll tell you this: I will not write a book I don’t live. And I won’t live a life that makes my kids and me cringe when we think about it in ten years.

Sound like a plan?

Let’s do it!

-Laurie

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  • Pingback: What is Joy, Really? And How Would We Know If We Had It? | Laurie Wallin – Speaker, Author and Coach()

  • http://melindalancaster.com/ Melinda Lancaster

    I can relate to this post, as well as your revised newsletter. The last 12 months of my life have been heartbreaking. Most of it I can’t fix and much of it I don’t know what to do with. And I am the one who is supposed to help people process there “stuff.” Ugh.

    I’m tired of the place that I am in. And yet…here I am.

    I’ve been working all year to cultivate joy. I think it’s kept me from going insane. Well, maybe. But it still seems that pure joy is lacking in my life.

    I look forward to peering in on your journey. I appreciate your candid approach. Thanks so much for being YOU!

    • http://lauriewallin.com/ Laurie Wallin

      I hear you, girl. I think the enemy really gets us who are “supposed to be the helpers” feeling trapped… like we can’t have our own stuff going on or be real about it. It feels good to open the windows and start seeing where those kinds of skewed thinking have gotten me during this year of craziness!

      • http://melindalancaster.com/ Melinda Lancaster

        He’s a real devil, isn’t he. :-)

        Sometimes I wonder why it takes me so long to “get it.”

        This year, which really has been “hell on earth”, has been the best of times and the worst of times. Our situation kind of forced us to be “real” with more people than we cared to be. Ugh.

        Some handled it graciously. A few backed away. I don’t know if they’ll be back or not, but that’s okay. To tell you the truth it has been a lot for me to handle and I know all the sorted details.

        Some days, I still handle it poorly. I’m a work in progress.

        God has been slowly streaming a few people into my life that will accept me just as I am. What a relief. Because I don’t have energy to spare being anyone but “me.”

        And I don’t really believe there is any joy in being plastic, artificial, or ornamental. It is better to be REAL!

        So I’ll be in your corner cheering you on as you switch gears and change topics. I think one of the things that struck me the most was that you don’t want to write about something you aren’t experiencing.

        Good for you.

        You. Go. Girl.

  • Mary Gemmill

    Laurie- I appreciate your honesty- and loved the quote :“You know you are really stressed when you start getting on your own nerves” – Gaining Age But Losing Mind How many of us relate to you in your struggles and to this pertinent quote~ What you need is for every one of your faithful readers to daily uplift you in prayer, for salvation [solutions] to come in every area where there is struggle.. You do such an amazing job of encouraging US- let us also minister to you as you share with painful honesty. May the peace of God that passes ALL understanding, guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus, and may you see God’s faithfulness in the love tokens he strews across your path daily. He uses BIRDS to minister to me daily. He uses whatever He knows will reach us at our point of need. Lord, we pray abundant provision for every need for Laurie and her family, in Jesus Name.

    • http://lauriewallin.com/ Laurie Wallin

      Oh, Mary. You bless a girl deep! Thank you so much for your words and prayers of encouragement. Such a gift!

  • Denise

    You go girl! Remember, life is not about feeling it’s about choosing. And, if you choose God’s way then after awhile you will notice your life is more joyful then you remembered.

  • Bernice Hopper

    Sounds good. How about a group of Facebook where we can all support each other. I reall relate to the need to find joy and battle against depression.

    • http://lauriewallin.com/ Laurie Wallin

      That is a wonderful idea, Bernice. It’s not something I can take on this fall as I write this next book. Is it something you’d feel comfortable leading?

      • Bernice Hopper

        Yes I would. Thanks for asking me. I have left you a message on Facebook.

  • http://susanstilwell.com/ Susan Rinehart Stilwell

    YOU GO, girl! You’ve got company in the “rough summer” club, and I’m excited to see what the Lord teaches you in this. It won’t be easy, but I know it’ll be good.
    Hugs from VA :)

    • http://lauriewallin.com/ Laurie Wallin

      I’m so sorry you’ve had a rough summer, too. :( You’re right, Susan. It’s not going to be easy… it’s a pretty vulnerable place! Thanks for coming along for the ride. And… big hugs back!

  • Diane Bailey

    You know I’m in it to win it with you, girl! Still have you on my daily prayer list. Love ya, Big! and the girls too!

  • Kelly Schmidt

    Laurie – back at New Years when I read a lot about people choosing one word for the new year, the word that came to me was “joy”. Eight months later – still looking for it. I’m eager to see how you will be seeking it. I’m right there with so many of the same issues as you, even starting middle school which happens on Monday here. Pray for me, I’ll pray for you!!

    • Laurie Wallin

      I think it’s great you’re looking at the one-word thing eight months later. Better than forgetting you even had a one-word way back in January :). I so appreciate having you around over this past 2 years… just knowing there’s someone else managing so many of the same kinds of issues has been a comfort and encouragement. Looking forward to what God wants to show us both in the coming months!

  • Iris

    Girl, this is AWESOME!!!! :) I am totally 100% behind you on this one, and here to do all sorts of joy-inducing activities with!! LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://lauriewallin.com/ Laurie Wallin

      You know it! :) It’s going to be a great fall… together!

  • Kelli Wommack

    I.AM. IN!!!!! Thanks for sharing. You always make me laugh ’cause I can totally see you doing these things!

    • http://lauriewallin.com/ Laurie Wallin

      I think in a way it was your last post about taking time off that got the wheels turning in my brain. Thanks for leading in your own honesty!!

  • Cheryl Pelton Lutz

    I love you and I am praying for you, Laurie. That.Is.All :)

  • Kirsten

    Amen!!! I’m in :)

    • http://lauriewallin.com/ Laurie Wallin

      Woohoo! I’m so glad to do this together! What’s your biggest obstacle to joy these days, Kirsten?