The other day a friend gave me some stellar advice.
I texted that I wanted to curl up in a corner and cry because there is too much "do" on my "to-do" list and not enough minutes in the day. Or the week. Maybe even the month.
I do this to myself all the time. I look around and see everyone else juggling 500 to-dos while I'm spastically flailing, trying to keep something in the air without do-dropping everything.
How does everyone else do it? Are they faking it? Surely, they are faking it. So I try to fake it. Then I consider faking a heart attack or having a real one just to escape the onslaught of 140 student essays coming my way and weeks of lesson plans and cross country meets and soccer games and theatre productions and birthdays and holidays and everything else that happens in my life in the Fall. This Fall in pariticular, I've added a complete novel rewrite and paranormal investigation outings (research for the next one) to the mix.
I'm not sure it helps me that while I'm procrastinating, I read stories of the 84 year old nun who runs Iron Man triatholan or the young teen who is on the speaking circuit for starting her own environmentally friendly business. Or that I watch stories of Average Joes who build obstacle courses in their living rooms so they can train for 10 hours a day on top of being a parent and working 40 plus hours a week just so they can compete in American Ninja Warrior. I mean, where do these people find the time and the energy? Do they ever do laundry or go to the grocery store? Do their kids ever ask for 3 dozen homemade cookies at 10:00 the night before the school bake sale? Do their cars ever break down at the most inconvenient times?
Do they ever read stories of the amazing accomplishments of others while procrastinating because of the paralyzing fear that if they gave it 100%, it would still never get done and then they would feel even more like a failure? Or am I the only one?
I've read the books on believing in yourself. I've done the journaling and the meditating and the affirmations. It's all good. It all works. Still, there are moments when I know it's all gonna come crashing down because I physcially, emotionally, and mentally don't have what it takes to hold it all up.
My friend's advice is simple and maybe worth more than all the money I've spent on all those journals and believe-in-yourself books. Here it is:
Make a choice of what is most important to you and run with it. The rest will fall into place where it belongs.
I know. It's not rocket science, is it? Nevertheless, I'm having signs made and posting it everywhere. He didn't say to prioritize. I already know that. He didn't say to let go of what I can't control. I know that, too. He said to make a decision for me and have faith that what is supposed to happen still will. These words revealed something else, too. They showed me how much anxiety I carry over the guilt of not placing someone else's priorities higher than mine. But I can't run and juggle at the same time.
I've made my choice. I'm running with it. Now, if only I can avoid a broken shoelace, a mud puddle, the detour sign, rocky terrain, and all that other stuff that might stop me. Even if I can't avoid obstacles, I supposed overcoming it all will be easier without 500 balls in the air.
Dee Linn loves words. When she was in the third grade, her exasperated teacher told her she'd probably talk to a pole, if she happen to be sitting beside it. Not much has changed except that now she says it in writing. She is a single mom of four, a teacher of teens, a cheater at board games, and a lover of life. She's a Kansas girl, but travels to all kinds of places in her head with characters living there, some of which she's sure she's created. Some, she's not sure how they got there. But they are way more interesting to talk to than a pole.