August 30, 2010

Reality





This is my clever way of acknowledging that my posting record on this blog has been somewhat patchy, spotty and/or intermittent of late.

Do you ever find yourself thinking, "OK, things are crazy now. I can hardly even hear myself think over the din of all my to-dos clattering around in my brain. But as soon as _____ is over, I'll have much more time to myself, to do the things *I* want to do"?

Because I swear I have that conversation in my head every day of my life.

And the reality is, there will always, ALWAYS be another _____ to take the place of whatever ____ I'm referring to that day. Always.

As one of my favorite sayings goes, "It's like trying to dig a hole in a bucket of water."

As I was telling a good friend recently, I find myself STRESSING about what I'm not getting done. Working on my children's books. Making gifts. Doing more volunteer work. Fixing up my house. Spending more time with family. Spending more time with friends. Working on about 50 other creative projects I have swirling around in my head somewhere. And devoting more time to this beloved blog, which you'd never know was beloved from the way I've been neglecting it.

And when there's no time for those things, because my career and the rest of my life get in the way? I get stressed. I can't sleep. My stomach actually churns. As though I'm missing some kind of deadline. As though all of those things aren't things I LIKE to do, but things I'm SUPPOSED to be doing. Like I'm falling behind. Letting people down.

The reality: All of that is self-inflicted.

The only one losing sleep (although, sadly, never appetite) over all of the above is me.

And by doing this, I'm not only creating a giant mental block when it comes to actually DOING those things, I'm cheating myself out of the most important part: enjoying the process. Enjoying the getting-there part. Enjoying the DOING, rather than just thinking about the end goal.

So, in the spirit with which this blog is named, I'm trying something new: I'm giving myself permission to just loosen the hell up.

I still want to do all those things.

But I'm no longer going to mentally flog myself for not posting something here every day.

I'm no longer going to inwardly scream "Bad Shannon!" when I spend a Saturday afternoon watching a movie or hugging my dogs instead of cleaning out my refrigerator.

When someone asks me how the books are coming, and I have to say, AGAIN, "I haven't had much time to work on them lately," I'm going to unplug the inner flashing marquee sign that reads "Coming soon to a town near you: Shannon! Is! A! Failure!"

Because the other reality is, while some other, better women than I can surely handle all of this and more without needing a mental break?

I can't.

And I think -- at least I'm trying to think -- that that's OK.

4 backtalk:

Running Chatter said...

This is GREAT!

Trophy Life said...

good post, friend. i hope that loosening the hell up happens for you. not that i think you are in need of it, but because YOU think you are in need! with you in spirit.

Amber said...

Great post. I feel like this a lot.

I have a 19-month-old son, a husband and dog that I love. A job that I love. Hobbies (card-making, scrapbooking, reading) that I haven't done in ages. Three blogs. Friends. Family. A new camper. So on and so on. So what did I go and do? Get into grad school. When do I have time for that?!

I don't know if I should've started school, but it has made me think more about time. I haven't cropped in months, but somehow I find time to read 7 chapters a week. How is that? So far I don't think anything (other than dishes) is hurting.

Mental breaks are the only way I stay sane! Enjoy yours!

wrestling kitties said...

Great post! I hope you are able to do that....we all need to not put so much pressure on ourselves!

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