The Total Life Overhaul: An Introduction

A few months ago, Dave came home to quite a mess of a wife. Actually, he had been coming home to a mess of a wife for a while; but on this particular night, I had snapped.

When Dave walked through the door, he beheld a disheveled woman who hadn’t showered (much less brushed her teeth) in days, with a colicky baby screaming in her arms, standing in the midst of three separate piles of undone laundry that comprised their entire wardrobe, and asking through tears where he would like to get takeout from that night.

This had been the norm for weeks. Between being new parents, working, and schooling, we were in total and complete survival mode. Things were in bad shape, and I knew I couldn’t do it anymore.

Now, I realize that there are certain seasons in everyone’s life that necessitates survival mode, and I am 100% on board with that. But at this point, I understood that I could not survive in survival mode for the next year of nursing school, and I also knew that we could bust out of survival mode if we just took some time and got our ish together.

So the next morning, I began what I affectionally referred to as The Total Life Overhaul. Dave heard this term more times than he could count over the following three+ months and has been kind in his attempts to disguise his eye rolls (just partially kidding, he’s been really supportive). The Total Life Overhaul was my plan to ease the burden of survival mode, organize our entire existence, and address and improve each area of our life.

total-life-overhaulI broke down my plan of attack into the different areas of our life and started chipping away. It’s been about three months now since starting this “experiment”, and while we are still digging ourselves out of the hole of survival mode, I think the three of us can agree that life is certainly more tolerable and we’re all a bit more sane and a heck of a lot happier.

While I am very far from even a sliver of perfection and am certainly no expert on getting a life in line or thriving to the utmost degree, I thought the world wide web might have a tiny interest in what we did to help ourselves enjoy a season of survival a little more.

For the rest of this year, then, I’ll spend some time on a few posts to break down our system. Although we haven’t completed everything I’ll cover, I wanted to go ahead and type it out for anyone who’s looking for some change in the new year 😉

Want to know the outline?

  • The Total Life Overhaul Intro (this post!)
  • How We Planned for It and Our Timeline
  • First Area: Spiritual
  • Second Area: Health
  • Third Area: Family Time
  • Fourth Area: Jobs
  • Fifth Area: Leisure
  • Sixth Area: Our New Schedule
  • Conclusion

If you have zero interest in the series, no worries! It won’t be the only thing I’m posting over the next month or so.

If you do have some interest in it, I would love for you to follow along, and maybe even leave some questions in the comments here that you’d like answered as we go along?

Now let’s buckle up, because I know I need to.


  1. Livy I love this! I can totally relate … I am so excited to hear what you have to say and hope that maybe we can take a few tips to help dig out of survival mode as well.

  2. Oh survival mode…I can’t wait to see what you guys did 🙂

  3. We’ve been doing a lot of weeks of survival mode around here too. Looking forward to hearing about your overhaul. We need that here too. Perhaps we can glean some tips from you! 🙂

  4. I would love to hear what you have to say about this process! I love hearing about how Catholic mamas learn to be better mamas, wives, and women; I hope to emulate you and all the other inspiring Catholic women (in the blogosphere and elsewhere) in future years! =)

  5. Oh man, I saw the title of this in my inbox and became concerned you were moving to another country. I read another email first to prepare myself.
    This probably doesn’t relate, but I would totally run laundry for you if we were in a different world and lived closer.
    ~ Clara

  6. So excited and ready for this, Olivia. I feel like you and I are living parallel lives 🙂

  7. Yup, excited and need this! I’m very much a stroll along with life type of person which isn’t very conducive to planning, organizing, or getting all the things done when they need to be done. Much less meal planning etc. My husband is mostly similar to me although as of late he has desired more structure, planning, and organizing. Looking forward to this so much because this phlegmatic chica needs some guidance in how to work with my husband on making all the not-me’s happen! 🙂

  8. Share your wisdom, please! 🙂

  9. Can’t wait for this!

  10. Hello Amanda, God bless you and your family. Just recently I discovered the work of Saint Josemaria Escriva. Saint Pope John Paul II called him ‘the Saint of Ordinary Life’. Perhaps he can help you become holy while being a wife and a mom! You are in my prayers, Marvin Max.

  11. Sorry sorry I just wrote Amanda while I know it is Olivia, silly me, forgive me please.

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