Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Letting Go of the Goat Shirts...

I find that I am seriously stressed out most of the time.  I feel like I am always forgetting something.  Letting someone down.  Not sticking to my commitments.  Not being a good friend, wife, mom, sister, daughter-in-law.  The list goes on and on.  The truth is this:  I bet most of those things are goat shirts.

Confused?  Let me explain.  I got together with my friend Andi last week and she mentioned that she feels overwhelmed right now.  I know she has a ton on her plate so I feel like I have no right to complain about my overwhelmedness.

We were talking about how lately life feels like a series of balls that we have dropped.  And then she said, "And I never made you that goat shirt."

Yes, I did mention that I would love one of her shirts that she makes that says, "I love goats".  The truth is, if I was that concerned about it, I should put an order in at her etsy shop so it became an official order for her.  I find I have the same problem when orders come in from local friends rather than being in my etsy queue.

Anyway, this shirt wasn't even on my radar!  I had completely forgotten that I had even mentioned I would like one.  And here it was one of the many things that is sitting there in the back of her head, nagging her all the time.

So, my question is this:  How many things that I'm worrying about are just goat shirts to someone else?

This is a small fraction of the crazy things that run through my mind regularly

I haven't called that person back
I never been able to help that person find a rug for her living room
I haven't talked to my best friend in weeks... is she OK?
I never finished the sample boards for that client
How am I going to find a sitter for when I have to work?
I completely let the people in the children's ministry at church down
Was one of my kids supposed to be snack helper today?
Is today a color day at school?
Is there field trip money overdue?
I never got back to that client
I'm late shipping that order
I promised my pastor I'd paint for him and haven't scheduled it
I never got a painting bid to the woman at the preschool
Am I reading enough with my kids?
Do I let them watch too much TV?
Did I forget to return some library books?
Whose birthday is this week?
I haven't been out for a girls night with the preschool moms in ages... are they judging me?
I haven't finished the design for that client
I don't cook often enough for my family
I'm not making sure the kids are eating organic stuff
When's the last time the kids had a bath?
Do my kids know they're loved?
I shouldn't have yelled at them like that
Did I leave a burner/flat iron/oven on at home?
What else am I forgetting?

So these are just SOME of the things that have gone through my head TODAY!  And it is only 9:30am as I type this.  And yes, I did leave a burner on at home.  When I look at the list of things running through my head, it's a wonder that I didn't leave all the burners on!

So I basically need to go through that list and figure out which items are goat shirts.  I'm not just talking about prioritizing, though that helps.  I'm talking about truly letting go of the guilt about the things I can't get to right now.

We don't have any family that lives in town, so finding available and affordable help with the kids can be difficult and I hate asking friends for help.  My kids are only young once and they need my attention when I am here with them.  Even the best marriages (especially the best marriages) need regular maintenance.  My good friends will understand when I don't call them back right away.  I tell myself these things, but I don't always believe them.

I just need to extend the same grace to myself that I try to extend to others when it comes to my shortcomings. It feels cathartic just writing this, but it also helps to share it with others.

Do you have any goat shirts in your life you need to let go of?



  1. i have a closet full of shirts waiting to become goat shirts. yeah, i know the feeling.

  2. "When's the last time the kids had a bath?" -- GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!! LOL!!!!!
    Seriously though, thank you for sharing this. The crazy voices inside all of us that drag us down with guilt and "goat shirts" seem to multiply if we don't intentionally push them out in some actual way -- either by saying them out loud or writing them down. I definitely have some goat shirts to get rid of.

    1. Seriously, so much of the stuff is lies from Satan! Except for the kid-bathing thing. They really do need to be bathed now and then or they start to smell :)

  3. Ha! I LOVE YA!! Thank you for writing this!! I couldn't have said it better, and to think all because I forgot to make you that goat shirt. :) Btw I wouldn't be holding your breathe on that one lol. I am so thankful for your friendship, and believe it when I say, I totally understand, one fellow ball dropper to another ;) I am glad writing this made you feel better and to be honest, it made me fee a ton better too!

  4. Oh my gosh! I love the thousand questions before 9:30 in the morning. I have those days! I even think of writing it all down and then feel like I don't have time to stop and do that at that moment. Hoping to not drop too many balls this week, but then again some of them are probably just goat shirts like you said. Thanks for the laugh.

  5. I am so glad I stumbled upon this from apartment therapy - I needed to read this post today. thank you


  6. So true- it's so easy to be overwhelmed by all the stuff and forget what is really important in life! I can totally relate on so many of the things you said... And I will speak on behalf of the preschool moms- we are all in the same struggle and are just happy when we see your smiling face at Moms Night:) Thanks for your insight!

  7. Thank you for this! So encouraging. I'm a new reader to your blog, and so far I LOVE it!


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