I have been a mess lately. I don’t know which way is up, what time what activity starts, where I put the mail or what the hell I’m supposed to be doing with myself. I realized, by accident, that this was directly related to the fact that I had fallen off the Using My Brand-New Planner bandwagon.
In January I was all hopped up on thoughts of organization and go get ’em inspiration. My new planner was perfect for that. I could keep track of everything meticulously and feel very organized and official. It was great. But the farther we got from the ball dropping on New Years Eve, the more my enthusiasm dwindled. I slowly began using the planner less and I became more and more scattered and unorganized.
Then one day I woke up and had no idea what my goals were any more. I felt so lost and confused and unsure of what to do with any pockets of free time I found. What the hell do you do when you don’t know what it is you’re doing?
Usually I wear multitasking like a bad ass badge of honor. Yes, I answered emails while carrying a whiny preschooler on my hip and navigating an extra large cart around the grocery store like a champ. Because I’m a BOSS.
Only not really.
Because, when I’m being totally honest with myself, multitasking never results in a job well done. My email will be partially incoherent, I’ll inevitably forget something essential at the store and my four year old and I will be so irritated with each other that we’ll both be whining shrilly and ready to full-on tantrum by the time I slam the trunk of the car.
When your attention is split in 87 different directions you can’t possibly do a good job.
So why do we (women in particular) place so much of our self worth on exactly how many balls we have up in the air?
This, my friends, is one of those posts I deliver to you while actively trying to listen to my own advice. I am teetering dangerously on the edge of meltdown territory. I consider the tears shed after I dropped some library books down the stairs yesterday more than adequate proof. I would delve into all of the forces combining to give birth to this epic impending implosion, but it would bore you. Like, completely.
We all have our own shit to bear. We don’t really need to be bogged down by other people’s shit. It’s enough to climb out from under our own.
The magical secret behind climbing out and conquering that meltdown you feel rolling in isn’t actually all that magical. It comes down to one simple little idea: self care.
I was sitting at the island in my kitchen, face glued to my laptop and a buffet of paperwork spread out all around me. Across from me, my daughters sat. They had snacks. They had juice. They had homework and a coloring book to keep them occupied. Yet they were still doing their best to drive each other insane, dragging me along with them in the process. I just needed FIVE MORE MINUTES to finish my stack of editing for the day. Five. But somehow we all devolved into a yelling, whining, snapping, not very nice gaggle of irritation.
They had things to keep them busy. What else did they want?!
Me. They wanted me, my attention and I was swatting them away like flies. What a shitty excuse for a mother.
Have you been there before? This doesn’t just pertain to mommas either. Wives, friends, daughters, anyone. Join me over on Mamalode (!!!) to hear why I think you don’t suck—snapping, overflowing with stress, distracted and all.
Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This post is part of my 52 Essays project. This year I have set a goal for myself to write one finished piece every week(ish). I’m not sure what you can expect from them because I’m sort of winging it. Some will be good. Some will be less good. Hopefully you’ll love them. Maybe you’ll hate them. We’ll just have to wait and see. 😉 9/52
Last week was one of my decidedly un-zen, neurotic roller coaster type of weeks. Have you ever found yourself so completely overwhelmed that someone asks you what your deal is and all you can do is stammer nonsensical half sentences at them? Yeah. That was me.
If I force myself to sit here and think about it, the truth is that all of my feelings of inadequacy were entirely self imposed. I decided early on in the week that I was behind and not accomplishing enough. I can even pinpoint the moment it started.
Last Monday morning I climbed into the car after grocery shopping and strapping the toddler into her seat and looked at the clock. I was ecstatic. It wasn’t even 11 o’clock and I had gotten the girls fed, made sure Sam was dressed and on the bus, worked out, showered, dressed myself and the babe, and done a major grocery shopping trip. I was giving myself imaginary high fives and reaching back to pat myself on the back when reality struck. I hadn’t changed the clock in my car—which meant that instead of almost 11 o’clock it was almost 12 o’clock. Womp, womp, wooooooomp.