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Monday, January 05, 2015

Unplug Little Bug; New Years Thoughts and Ideas

Happy New Year Friends and Family!

If you’re anything like me, you were or are feeling a little sluggish and possibly “burnt out” after a busy/ hectic 2014. We had plenty of signals I was ignoring here at the Otto household:

• We were getting through the holidays instead of enjoying them

• The children were acting out (I was getting calls from school)

• We just weren’t feeling as jolly as in years past

We have so much to be thankful for and we weren’t forgetting that, but our cup of joy wasn’t overflowing in its usual way. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the root cause, but there was definitely something brewing. In hindsight I can see things clearly (isn’t that always how it goes?), and there were plenty of signs trying to get my attention.

• My hubby said “the kids are just so busy they don’t have time to play, run outside, or be kids”

• My iphone battery kept going dead or had a bug or something and the trouble shooting list included the warning: “use an alarm clock instead of keeping your phone on all night; no one needs to be that connected”

• My OB reminded me I need to be getting more sleep and it’s still okay to nap and sleep when our 15 month old is napping/sleeping

• Our neighbor encouraged my husband and I to take a ‘babymoon’ before the next baby arrives

For some reason, I dismissed each of these signs and just kept plugging away. After all, there were appointments to keep, cookies to bake, trees to cut down and decorate, clothes to wash, books to read, floors to clean, presents to buy, and the list goes on and on.

Christmas Day, I crashed and burned…I got up at 4am to make pancakes and bacon. I wanted the day to be special when the children woke up and I wanted my husband to have something hearty to eat before heading out to milk cows. The house was clean, the coffee was fresh brewed, and breakfast was made with just the right amount of love. The sitter arrived and I hopped in our vehicle and headed for church (I’m the church organist, so as much as I know the kiddos need to sleep in and relax, it wasn’t an option for mom). I hadn’t eaten any of the breakfast I made, and I must have drank a fair amount of coffee…despite the recommendation pregnant women should only drink one cup per day. I had only had 3 hours of sleep and I justified the extra caffeine as being necessary to get through the day.

I was wobbly and shaky trying to climb the stairs to the organ in the church balcony. I sat down for a bit and even grabbed an extra bottle of water trying to make myself feel better. I kept mentally reminding myself “they need you” and “you can’t let anyone down”. By the grace of God I made it through the service and even drove home. My husband saw me sitting in my vehicle 10 minutes after I pulled in. He stopped to see how I was and I wasn’t sure…instead of enjoying Christmas, I asked the sitter to stay while I took a 3 hour nap. Two things “hit me” at I was waking up:

• If it’s important for the life of my phone to turn it off at night so it can recharge properly, why isn’t it important for me? Aren’t I more important than a piece of technology?

• How can I expect my children to accept their imperfections if I keep thinking I need to do it all and be everything to everyone?

As an answer to those questions, this girl will be unplugging in 2015. I will not be answering emails at 3 in the morning, I will not stay up until the wee hours of the night reading a book just so I can post my review quickly, and I will be telling people (nicely of course) I do not have time to help with special projects. I’m going to let calls go to voicemail once in a while and I am going to adhere to my original plan of having a 3 day weekend with a 4 day work week. If this makes me “lazy” in the eyes of others, so be it. 2015 is the year I am taking care of what is important to me, so don’t be surprised if you receive my out of office email once in a while.

What’s new for you in 2015? What are your resolutions? What type of reflections do you have for 2014? What are your goals for the New Year? Share them here and then be sure to share them with others so you are more accountable. Hugs from my family to yours and may 2015 be everything you desire (and then some)!
Photo Courtesy of Oh! Photography

Crystal is a church musician, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Reedsville, Wisconsin with her husband, three young children (Carmen 7, Andre 6, Breccan 15 months), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 200 Holsteins. The Otto family is expecting an addition with Delphine Elizabeth Otto in February 2015!

You can find Crystal blogging and reviewing books and all sorts of other stuff at: and keep up with her WOW! tours and blog posts at:


  1. Crystal--If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of your children or your writing business.

    In 2015 I plan on finishing up a NaNoWriMoGoneWrongo from several years ago.

    Congratulations on getting your priorities straight, and good luck sticking to your guns. (The phone is for YOUR convenience, not your friends' or family's or your clients'...

  2. Nothing is more important than your health. My father used to say that to me, and as I'm nearing 50, I finally get it. Glad you are getting your cyber health in order. Happy New Year and best of luck on all of your projects.

    As for me, I've got a new release coming out next Monday, so my head is spinning. :)

    1. Karen, that's exciting!!! Tell us more :)

  3. This is a very smart post and something I need to learn from. :) BTW, congrats on baby number 4. I admire you and all your hard work! :) I am sending you good and relaxing and productive vibes. It is possible. As for me, I am trying to be more balanced and say no sometimes in 2015. I'll let you know how it goes. . .


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