Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

It was almost 8 years ago that I said goodbye to survival mode.  My how time flies.  For me some key components to this included being let go from my full time job, having a third “surprise” baby and discovering how to get paid doing something I love.  All those things literally happened within a year of each other!  Many of you have already read about my story as I’ve touched on it many times throughout my 8 years of blogging here and I’ve also written about it in my book, Clutter Rehab.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

Let’s just say nine years ago I was a hot mess.  Working a stressful office payroll job that, while I liked it very much, I didn’t love it.  I also didn’t love leaving my babies in daycare day in and day out.  My now 14 year old son was diagnosed with severe food allergies and asthma at 6 months old right about the time I had to go back to work from maternity leave.  The stress of having to let someone else manage those allergies nearly killed me.  He was such a sick baby and we were in and out of the hospital all the time.  Honestly whenever I look back at that time, I still feel sick to my stomache.  I didn’t eat right, didn’t sleep right, my marriage was strained and it was just an awful anxiety ridden time.

My wakeup call came when my oldest two were 8 and 6 and and we discovered we were going to add another baby to the mix.  Surprise!  Then I found out I was losing my job that I had had for 14 years.  The company was shutting down.  Surprise!  Ummm yeah that was all nutso.  And while I didn’t see it at the time, because I was too busy panicking rather than trusting, God had big plans in store for me and my family.  Exciting plans.  A new baby for one.  Such a joy to our lives that boy!  Through this baby, God taught me to slow down and enjoy every single precious moment of life.  I learned how to make life easier for myself with changes like being ruthless about my time, learning to say no and menu planning.

However, we still had debt to pay and I needed to work.  When my baby was just 6 months old, God introduced me to the world of blogging.  I started a blog, this blog, talking about something I was oh so passionate about.  Organizing.  I don’t believe in accidents and how this all played out was such a big blessing for my family in so many ways including financially.  By teaching others what I was learning and discovering and how huge a role living a life of simplicity could bring, I was embracing it myself at the same time.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

Honestly I could write a book about it because the transformation was so huge.  But guess what?  I don’t need to now because a book on this exact subject just came out this year by my blogging friend, Crystal Paine who runs the very popular site Money Saving Mom.  The book appropriately titled, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, is so spot on that I found myself nodding my head all the way through it.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode book by Crystal Paine

Crystal is someone I really admire.  In fact, let me tell you a quick story about Crystal.  Way back before she ever started Money Saving Mom she had another blog, I don’t even remember the name now but I was a faithful reader.  When I found out she was only 23 at the time, I was shocked.  She had so much wisdom for such a young age.  So I emailed her to tell her this which is honestly something I never do (I’m a shy girl).  She probably doesn’t even remember it, but I was just so impressed that I had to let her know.  Anyway I just knew she was destined for big things and boy I wasn’t wrong.  Her blog is one of the leading finance sites out there and this is her second book.  In this most recent book, Crystal is open and honest about her own struggle with survival mode and her climb out of it.

The book includes 9 simple strategies to stress less, sleep more, and restore your passion for life.  And might I just add, GOOD strategies at that.  Many I have also put in place to get out of my own survival mode.

For instance, some of the valuable suggestions she makes include:

  • how to become more self-disciplined
  • how to set and keep goals
  • how to manage your time, money and home
  • how to juggle responsibilities and self-care
  • how to experience less stress and more joy
  • how to rediscover your passion and purpose for life
  • how to keep a balanced life perspective and make a difference in big and small ways

Crystal assures us that “you don’t have to stay perpetually overwhelmed and exhausted, barely existing in survival mode, anymore.  You can start living with direction and passion.  Today.” Amen to that!

She is such an inspiration to us in all that she has accomplished and maintained over the years.  Not by being superwoman but instead by being intentional and purposeful about her life.  In Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, Crystal teaches you her smart strategies step by step so you too can achieve great things and live a life on purpose.  No matter what your circumstances are (they will be different for everyone) or stage of life you are in, these techniques are valuable lessons to learn.

It might not always be easy, and it’s going to take some serious discipline at times, but my friends the journey is totally totally worth it.

Say goodbye to survival mode for good!

*Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced.  A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links, but this is at no extra cost to you.  As always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own – or the author, in the case of posts by my guest contributors. Thank you!*



Filed under: My Life, Simplicity


4 Responses to Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

  1. 1
    Vanessa says

    Hi Laura!
    Wow did I really enjoy this post! Your story really hit home for me, I used to work 40-60 hour weeks at a law firm doing something I hated but it paid the bills so I stayed. Then one day, completely out of the blue they let a whole bunch of employees go, I was one of them. While I was trying to work things out and figure out my next move, my husband and I got pregnant with our third little girl (yup, ALL girls lol). He told me to stay home with the kids and not worry about working anymore but I knew it was going to be hard with just one paycheck now. I just started my blog a couple months ago and I fell in love with the world of blogging!
    Your story has given me a new hope that God can use ANY situation for your greater good and I truly believe that I am here, doing what I do for a reason.
    Thank you SO much for being the wonderful person you are and such a huge inspiration!!!

    • 1.1
      Laura says

      Ahhh so nice, thank you Vanessa! Yes God certainly can! All the best to you and your family and your new blog :)


  2. 2
    K.S. says

    This post is very encourageing. I always thought this perpetual state of “survival mode” was just normal and every woman who works outside the home, and has a family and a house to take care of should just accept that it’s how life is gonna be. I don’t like it and I don’t know how to change it. I often feel so blessed to have such a good job cause a lot of people don’t. I am torn cause it feels like I’m drowning in responsibilities/demands of having a home and nuturing my children and also nutruing my relationship with my husband and keeping a clean house and providing meals..etc. The list goes on. My husband and I have cancelled our cable so we don’t waste our time in front of the TV. Our kids don’t do any extra curricular activities on weeknights. Why is it that Working outside the home is not a choice I would have made but my career is whats sustaining us financially so Im not working just to have extra money or a nicer home, which adds a lot to the pressure. Thanks for posing this. I will get on amazon and look for the book!

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      Hi KS, yes I always thought it was normal too. I’ve learned so much though since I said goodbye to survival mode now that even if I was still working outside the home there are so many things I would do differently. For instance I didn’t menu plan when I worked outside the home and boy what a difference does it make to my life! I also used to have my kids in so many outside activities because I thought that’s just what a “good” mom did. Boy was I wrong on that one.

      I hope you find what works best for you and your family so you can slow down some and really enjoy the things that matter the most.

      Blessings to you,


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