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Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life Kindle Edition
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I purchased this book nearly 3 years ago, but because I am the mom of two beautiful children, one of whom has a rather long list of diagnoses at this point, I haven't gotten around to finishing it or posting this review until now because I needed to prioritize other things more. I'm going to speak a bit to general readers, and then I'm going to share my thoughts on this book as pertains to a particular segment of the potential audience. First off, this book is pretty much geared towards women, which may make male readers a bit uncomfortable, but I still think the information she shares is relevant to both genders. Second, the author's faith and religious convictions are very heavily intertwined in what she writes and encourages. Although I am certain based on a few things she describes that she and I are of different denominations, that presents not a single problem for me what-so-ever, but if you are a-religious (as in, an atheist, or agnostic, or spiritually minded but just plain burnt out on organized religion), you may find it hard to wade through this book. I think she does an excellent job of covering a wide array of topics including goal setting, self-care, finances, relationships, serving others, giving back to the community, and some general life philosophies for being kinder to yourself that I think apply to anybody. But some readers may wish to have a book that does all of that without the dose of religion, and if that is you, heads up.
What I would say is that it is possible to find yourself so buried in the challenges that can come your way that many of the suggestions she makes may not feel accessible to you for a time. I do not wish to be a negative Nellie, but as Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Predjudice fame has noted, “I must speak as I find.” At the height of the very worst of the early manifestations of my son's disabilities, I was also facing some health challenges of my own. And because of the challenges his care posed, pretty much almost every single person who offered to come in and help with him backed out once they were made aware of what was involved. I do not issue this statement to pass judgment, because I think it is better for everybody involved if people's limitations in that regard are respected, and I do respect people's right to say this isn't for them. But I am merely saying that I know if it can happen to me, it can happen to others. And I got put on a very restrictive diet that made many others feel like cooking for me or any sort of food swap wasn't really a good fit for them either. My husband was in grad school at the time, and because we knew at that point we were going to need the extra income this degree would afford, we felt like our family's best choice for the long term was to leave him there, and so I dealt with some pretty amazing and often super difficult things all by myself, and while it may pain religious readers to hear it described this way, I can only accurately sat that there was a period of time that felt literally like hell on earth to me. So, because sometimes people have no choice but to be in survival mode for a period of time, and can find themselves without any sort of support network coming in and helping them out (again, no judgement, just describing), I'm going to emphasize and expand a bit on something that Crystal touches on that can help you be an army of one if you need to be.
You need to take a page from Elsa of Frozen fame, and “let it go.” Let go of the hold the expectations of others may have on how your home décor looks, your clothes look, your clutter looks, your yard looks. I have come to feel like if someone has not been walking in my shoes and been doing what I am doing, I can not be bothered to care about what they think about my mismatched or cluttered anything. I clean the germs and the gross stuff. The rest of it isn't a fire that's burning down the house, and quite often it can just wait. When someone comes in here and does what I've been doing for the past few years and does it better, I will gladly sit at their feet and take notes. Until then, I've got far more important things to worry about and if you find yourself in similar circumstances, you do to. Forgive me the bluntness, but I believe in being honest, and that's a very honest representation of how I feel about things.
I would also say that you may have to tackle the suggestions she makes in this book at a much, much slower pace in order to apply them to your lives. My current de-cluttering goal looks like 1-3 items a day, not a room a week, or even a month. And finding the time to write an exhaustive list of goals for things I want to overhaul isn't happening either, as much as my type A personality would like it to, so what I did is spend a brief moment prayerfully considering what I needed to work on most, and boom. That's what I'm working on, and it may take me longer then a week to implement it. Or even a month. But I am just doing the very best I can, and you are to. So I love, love, love what she writes in here about going easy on yourself. Give yourself some grace. And if you don't have anybody around to do it, give yourself some hugs to. Whatever you have got going on in your life, even if it doesn't feel like it's getting done perfectly, I think you can make your way through surviving it, hopefully with help if need be, but if not, well, take out your butt kicking shoes, put them on, and do the best you can. To be honest, many days I'm still in survival mode. That's what my life looks like right now, but I am so grateful for the blessings I do have, which include two beautiful children who light up my world. And I definitely think this is a book well worth reading, whatever stage of life you are in.
I am quick to fall into survival mode. And like most ladies, I do it to myself because either I can't say no to others, or I do not keep on top of the tasks that I need to handle. Either way, it isn't long before I am overwhelmed and frustrated.
This book doesn't teach anything we (I say we, as in any married lady over the age of 25) doesn't know.. but, the author does present ways to handle issues in a new way.
I do and have recommended this book to others that are looking for help in understanding the "why" we let ourselves get into survival mode.
First of all, let me just say that I love the way that Crystal writes. That is probably why I've followed her blog for so long. She is such a genuine person and you really get to know her through her writing. You feel like she is a close friend because she is so candid and sincere.
Secondly, even though some of the content of the book is stuff I've already read on her blog, it was so nice to have it in this format. And there really was a lot of new information I hadn't seen before. The book really is a how to guide on getting your life in order and explains clearly how to do the best you can to accomplish your goals and live a life of passion and get out of just trying to keep your head above water. Throughout the book Crystal shares her own stories and those of others which really help solidify the ideas in the book. She gives you concrete practical directions on how to implement each chapter's advice.
Overall, I was really impressed with the book. It was very motivating without being overwhelming, I think because she stresses giving yourself grace. Cannot wait to lend it to friends and family who are living in "survival mode"... and aren't we all at some point in time?
This book was so easy to read. I felt like I was having coffee with a girl friend just pouring her heart out to me, so transparent relating her struggles and successes to me. I can relate to so much of her personality . There aren't any earth shattering new ways to get more done in less time in this book. What Crystal does share is that the best ways to get something done is just to start where you are and keep it simple. I just finished a busy season in my life and even though I needed to move on with other projects, I was floundering with getting started. Crystal gave the loving guidance I needed on how to pick up and get on with myself.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is overwhelmed, tired or in a rut. Even though the primary audience is Moms, I think anyone that needs to get their life, health, marriage, family, house or finances back on track will find value in her simple steps.