Monday, May 16, 2011

30 Seconds

I'm taking a deep breath as I start to write, as if increasing oxygen to my brain will make me feel like less of a basket case and more in sync with the chaos around me. Then I wonder, will being in sync with the chaos actually make me feel more or less overwhelmed? Does being in sync with the chaos mean that I accept it and am dealing with it appropriately? Or does it mean that I have given up and I am just surrendering myself to the swirling uncertainty and disorganization of the moment? I am unsure of which choice is the better option, because neither option really makes me feel like I am in control of the moment, and I so desperately want to feel in control of something. Before you go thinking I've got some massive drama going on in my life, let me assure you that in the great scheme of life I am well off, overwhelmed, distracted and frustrated, yet somehow blessed and well off.

I'm just in this hectic insane place where I feel like I am SO busy, and my to-do list is SO long, and everything feels like a priority. Yet somehow for as busy as I feel and I feel like I am ALWAYS doing something, I feel like I have and am accomplishing absolutely nothing. I am constantly running around and doing 'things' but somehow I feel inept and ineffective. That is such a frustrating feeling. So I try to take a moment, I take a breath, I close my eyes and I tell myself that I'm not failing to meet the demands of life. This works...sometimes. Sometimes, I am so wrapped up in my chaos that I don't even feel like I have those 30 seconds to give myself to breathe. I feel like those 30 seconds belong to everyone else around me and I feel guilty for taking them. The truth is 30 seconds just isn't enough.

Where am I going with this?

I. Don't. Know.


I know.

This is where I am going. I sat down to write this blog because I was feeling overwhelmed with things that need to get done, things that I am falling behind on getting done, things that feel even more pressing and overwhelming because they are NOT getting done. They are relatively mundane things like; cleaning my house, organizing my office (it currently looks like Dunder-Mifflin upchucked their inventory in here), writing a research paper for school as well as 3 other essays (all due this week), going grocery shopping (haven't been in 2 weeks), my room hasn't been vacuumed in an amount of time I am ashamed to divulge, my blog posts are becoming more sparse (and I still owe artists posts), my novel is collecting dust, my printer is BROKEN again (remember the "suck-it-suck" blog? That suck came back), I haven't been to the gym, done yoga or had a quiet thought free moment since the wheel was invented...

I think I illustrated my point so well that I forgot what it was...

Ah yes, so at first I thought that I needed to write this blog to vent all of the things that were starting to make me crazy. There is more to it than that however. I needed to write this blog because I needed my 30 seconds.

I need more than 30 seconds.

I needed to write this blog because I feel good when I write, it is 100% me time. We all need 'me' time. It's important to everyone, but it seems like many mom's, step-moms and some of those dad's out there too, forget that we deserve our time as much as our family deserves our time. It's not a new concept by any means, I'm sure it's been covered by Oprah, Dr. Phil and all sorts of mental health professionals. And yet those of us who know it, still forget it, and maybe we even forget it more than others.

My present situation is almost comical. I am sitting in my office surrounded by a mess and disorganization that is setting my teeth on edge as I write. A huge OCD part of me wants to, almost to the point of needing to, stop typing and start cleaning and organizing. It is really really hard to sit here and take my own advice. Yet, the act of writing and forcing myself to take this time is starting to have a countering effect, it's almost soothing. Maybe it's because I can cross "post new blog" off of my list of things to do, but I think it goes deeper than that. I know that I need this time, I know that this time will only make me better for my family, I know that by taking this time I am likely to keep my grip on my sanity just a little while longer. It's still hard to force myself to take my time with this, in the back of my mind there is a time clock ticking away and reminding me of all of the things that I am not getting done while I sit here quietly contemplating these issues. I want to get back to the chores, because I want them done, but if I don't quiet the voices and the anxiety before I check out of my head, I will have wasted this time. I don't want to waste this time.

So, I take another deep breath. I'm going to close my eyes and go to that still place deep inside and let myself have as many sets of 30 seconds as it takes to bolster my confidence and change my outlook. I will NOT count how many sets of 30 seconds I take, I will just take as many as I need. I accept that the to-do list may never be completely crossed off, and that is perfectly okay. I am capable of prioritizing and the things that need to get done will be done on time. These things will get done because I took this time, not in spite of me taking this time.

Clarity and comfort come slowly, but they do come. Soon enough I come to realize that the chaos and disorganization that was once swallowing me whole, is now only as overwhelming as I allow. I am my own windstorm and I can shut the breeze down if I choose. I can allow the pieces to settle, I can pick up the pieces, I can lay them out, I can put them together and I can create a masterpiece.

Thanks for listening, I really needed this,



  1. I totally sympathize, although I am not ocd at least by any stretch of my husbands imagination I still know that overwhelmed feeling and the guilt feelings and am never sure how to overcome them

    Good luck and keep in touch, maybe we can help each other through

    Christina Weigand

  2. Thanks Chris! I'm grateful for the support and would love to provide support in return!

  3. You're right, I think all responsible adults deal with this! Kudos to you for taking the time to post your blog. One thing at a time (this includes time for you)- you're going to do it!

  4. We all get overwhelmed at times when our life feels like a child who vomited from the top bunk bed (messy, all over the place, uncertain where to even to begin to clean it up).

    My month of May is insane. Like you, I'm doing things, but not feeling as though I'm accomplishing much.

    Breathing is good. Thanks for the reminder. AS long as the really important stuff is getting done (loving my spouse, taking care of my kids, making sure everyone is fed and not running around naked) then everything else will be fine. I will get to it when I get to it.

    We have to take time for ourselves. Slow down and regroup. It's okay to do that.

  5. I COMPLETELY understand. Work, publishing a book, two kids with medical issues, supporting my wife and her own business, bills, commute, health, working out, friends.....AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

    30 seconds. Breathe. We can do this. You can do it.

    Good luck! =D