Monday, October 21, 2013

There Is Just So Much

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.
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Alycia Morales said...

*Waves Hand in the Air* I am SO right there with you, Mary Beth. You are definitely not alone.

We've moved from NM to NY in the past two months, which caused my work to pile up, my blog to lack content, and my novel rewrite to sit untouched for a time. Not to mention the boxes still unpacked, the books unread, and the desire to sleep all day because my body can't keep up with my brain.

And while we have our journal out we try to write our way to the truth... I love this!

I would add I make my to-do list again in hopes I can cross things off as the day goes by. But instead of shrinking, it tends to grow.

You are not alone. My prayers are with you!

Shelly Burke said...

I was thinking exactly, precisely this just today!!! It is soooo frustrating to have that never-ending list, things I want to do to improve my business, things that have been on my list for weeks and weeks (or months and months!).

A few years ago I was in the same place--feeling totally overwhelmed. My prayer for over a year was, "God, if I'm supposed to stop doing something, please, make it clear to me what to say no to, what to quit." At the time the message I got from Him was, "Just do your best in everything you are doing."

It was more than a year I felt so overwhelmed...then all of the sudden God called both of my private duty patients to heaven within 4 days and I had much more time.

My situation has changed (big move, both kids in college...and my marriage ending) drastically since then and I'm again feeling overwhelmed with jobs, my business, and everything else...and I have begun again to pray "God, help me to use my time wisely, help me to say 'yes' and 'no' when I should, and if I need to quit something, please make it clear to me." And until/unless He does that, I'm going to continue doing my best at all that I am doing.

THANK YOU so much for the reassurance that I am not alone. Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

I am right there with you! Thank you for so eloquently putting in to words what I feel in my heart :)