Confession Tuesday: The Overwhelmedness Edition
It has been 2 weeks, one 5-day jaunt to the Poets on the Coast Retreat, one walk on the beach, two lightning storms, one scary drive to Oregon due to weather, one lost pig in my neighborhood since my last confession.
I apologize for missing last Tuesday and as per usual, will make up for it with a double confession Tuesday, basically, we'll skip the "I confess I wrote a poem" and go right to "I confess I have become the flaky mother..."
Yes, welcome to my world of things falling through the cracks, as I am the dropper of things...
To the Confessional--
I confess I have become that woman who not only forget things, but who is so busy there are things I am supposed to be doing, that I'm not even aware of.
A very funny thing happened this summer beginning with my own book, Hourglass Museum, deadline--I became overwhelmed and with my overwhelmedness basically have been teaching people for the last 3 months to lower their standards on what to expect from me.
Seriously. I hadn't intentionally set out to do this, but this amazing thing happens when you forget or don't come through with things-- people expect less from you and kind of leave you alone.
I know, it's as if I'm being rewarded for bad behavior.
And here's the thing--I am so busy, I really can't be guilted into feeling bad about anything. It's so weird, I don't feel guilty and so far, no one has been able to make me feel guilty. I really feel as if I'm doing the best I can and if it's not good enough for someone, oh well.
I'm actually amused at how overwhelmed I feel and how I realize I too, have limits.
I am amused to find that I've been spending more time on Facebook, almost to quiet my mind--which seems in reverse--but Facebook offers immediate gratification with its "Likes" and comments. I may not be getting things completed, but 42 people liked my status (YAY ME!) This is my brain on overwhelmedness.
I confess this is a very strange place for a Capricorn.
Capricorns are known for their hard work, responsibility, To Do Lists, and all the fun stuff that makes them successful at business or running a family.
I confess I have been so busy, unless you (or your priority) is on fire and/or yanking me by the wrist, you are at the bottom of my list.
Here are some things I have NOT been doing--
1) Filling out paperwork for my daughter's school
2) Going to curriculum night
3) Organizing anything
4) Doing laundry
5) Answering email
6) Answering voicemail
7) Wearing anything besides "my uniform" (leggings, skirt, black t-shirt)
8) Paying the ATT bill (oops, they text you on this if you forget)
9) Staying in touch with friends.
None of this is intentional, but just the truth. If it's not a major priority, it's on the backburner.
Now, while I confess my Capricorn self thinks I should be concerned about this behavior, my new flakier self kind of is appreciating what it is teaching me.
Being overwhelmed teaches you this:
1) We Each Have Limits.
I have always assumed I was one of those people who could just get everything done.
I could be the good friend, the good worker, the good mom, the good writer, the good editor, the good wife, and at night, slip into bed and read a book. Give me a deadline and I'm your girl!
But apparently, if I am given multiple deadlines, and have to multitask 3 upcoming publications/projects, plus, have brought in a wonderful exchange student for a year, as well as my own family, and maybe am teaching at a retreat and for some reason, volunteer to help on a major school fundraiser, I *may* have taken too much on.
But here's the weird thing--instead of being upset or even resentful (my usual standby), I think "oh well, I'm trying!" And just put one foot in front of the other. I realize I'm human. It helps me not judge others, or myself.
2) Everything is Temporary.
Being overwhelmed gives you the perspective that this isn't going to last.
And by this, I mean "the overwhelmedness," "life," or *anything* we own.
Seeing my disheveled house makes me think, "Wow, I love that I am treating this house like a vacation home!"
It makes me think, "I am so busy, I don't even have time to worry about whether people are judging me!"
Seriously, nothing in the material world is bothering me. I look at the blue hair dye staining the sink due to my daughter dying her friend's hair and think, "I feel bad for the next people who live here and their stained sink."
I look at the broken ceramic fish I just knocked off the wall and is now in many pieces and think, "Bummer, but now I don't have to take care of that anymore."
Or I look at our wonko kitchen drawers and instead of thinking, "I need to fix these so they are nice respectable kitchen drawers!" I think, "I wonder how the next owners of this house will redo the kitchen. How lucky for them to be able to have the choice of what kind of drawers they want!"
I am treating my house as if it's a summer/fall retreat. Some place I'm just borrowing for awhile. It's okay that's it's messy, we're just visiting here, this is only temporary.
3) The Good Enough World is a Great Place To Live.
Did I get my ATT bill paid a week late and turn my daughter's (and my exchange student's) forms in a week late? Yes. Did the world end? No. Good enough.
Did I completely forget an eye appointment and have a laundry pile so high that my husband had to take the entire thing to our local laundromat to get it done? Yep, that was me. And did any member of my family have to go naked while this giant pile of sheets and clothes piled up and the eye doctor charge me hundreds of dollars for not making my appointment? No. Good enough!
Good enough is a lovely place.
Good enough says:
I see you've thrown every Tupperware container you own into a bottom cabinet without any sense of order and many without their lids. Good enough.
I see you've carried boxes of stuff out into the garage and haven't yet brought then to Goodwill, but I know you will when you have time. Good enough.
I see the garden was never put to bed, the laundry still isn't finished, but you've been writing and doing creative projects. Good enough.
You aren't being a domestic goddess or even a domestic rat, but you're working on 2 books. Good enough housekeeper, better writer.
I see you had three hours last Sunday and you chose to watch a documentary (The Other F Word, which was awesome) instead of doing anything productive... Good enough!
In the good enough world, you're always a hero.
I'm going to be here for a couple more months. And I do hope to get back to that place where I'm not paddling from one behind task to the next, but until then, I'm doing my best to just accept that sometimes life is busy. Good enough.
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