Do you ever feel that way? That there is just so much to do and you have no idea how to get it all done?
I've been feeling that way a lot as my husband has traveled and two separate deadlines have managed to converge and there are these other writing ideas that are trying to take up mental space I don't have. And then there are the kids and their infinite needs and oh yeah, there is this home that needs cleaning and managing. And there are those infernal emails that get together and reproduce whenever I step away from my computer. And there are relationships I value that sit patiently on the back row with their hands raised, waiting for me to call on them. And while they are patient, yessirree they are, I know they are there. And those raised hands are white flags waving lazily in my mind: "We're here. In case you've forgotten."
Oh my dear loved ones, I have not forgotten. I promise. And I will be back to call on you just as soon as I... (run this errand, make this call, write this email, pick up this child, finish this word count...)
I don't have any words of advice for this predicament. I wish I did so I could give it to myself. Am I too busy? Perhaps. I've had loved ones suggest that I am. And yet I don't know how to not be this busy. We need the bit of money my writing gigs bring in. My kids aren't getting any less needy anytime soon. My house is filled with objects that need restocking, refilling, repairing. Dirt builds up and business keeps happening. And while I would L-O-V-E to stop the world so I can get off, I don't have that option.
You probably don't either.
And so we cope. We snag snatches of time to refuel with a good book or a good movie, a pumpkin latte, a long walk with some favorite music thumping in our earbuds, a nap. We talk to our spouse or our friends or our mom about how hard life is and we will them to agree and not sermonize, to just hear us out and say that we are right to feel how we feel. We pray. A lot. We give things to God that we are wrestling with. We commit to read the Bible every day and journal just one verse that speaks to us specifically. And while we have our journal out we try to write our way to the truth because otherwise we race right by the truth. We read books that encourage/inspire/inform us. We light a candle that smells really good and we pause to watch the flame flicker.
Somewhere in all that we get to work. And we turn on our Chris Botti Pandora channel while we work because it just makes the work flow like only some smooth jazz can. We set goals for ourselves and hold ourselves to reaching them because there is simply stuff that must get done. We eat the elephant one bite at a time. And we realize that sometimes the biggest step is simply opening the file or walking out the door.
(At least, that's what I do.)
Mostly I just wanted to put this out there in case someone else was saying "There is just so much" as this new week begins. Because another coping strategy? Just knowing you're not the only one.