September has been a crazy month. Since I taught a summer intensive this year, I didn’t have to teach a spring class at the university. So instead of just taking a break and enjoying the free time like a sane person would do, I threw myself into a few more projects, accepted a few more writing gigs, and then agree to launch a new company’s social media campaign. All of these things sounded like great opportunities . . . and they were. But all of them combined equal a full-time job, and here I am, a mom of 4 with three mornings a week to myself. I seem to have some sort of type-A sickness that makes me completely unable to compute the fact that I have finite hours in the day. People are constantly asking me, “how do you do it all?” And I am constantly answering: with very poor boundaries and very little sleep. I don’t recommend it.
I got back from Mighty Summit and couldn’t quite find my bearings. My inbox was starting to give me panic attacks again, and every day I was staying up until the wee hours trying to finish all the work I didn’t get done during the day. On Monday morning, I woke up and walked to my computer, and sat in that same spot until midnight, taking breaks only to go to the bathroom, eat, and kiss the kids before Mark graciously took them out for the evening so I could keep working. I crawled into bed that night telling Mark that I had not had one single moment of pleasure that day . . . and there seemed to be no end in sight. Despite working all day and into the night, I still had a to-do list a mile long. I still had unanswered emails and phone calls to return and overdue writing assignments and a nagging feeling that I wasn’t being a great wife or mother, either.
Somewhat predictably, I woke up in the middle of the night with a raging sore throat, a runny nose, and body aches. Things got progressively worse as the day went on, and I don’t know how many times I said to myself: I CANNOT AFFORD TO BE SICK RIGHT NOW. I had deadlines and places to be, meetings and negotiations and contracts to deal with. This week my calendar was as packed as it has ever been, and my body basically staged a full-on revolt. So much so that I had to hire a sitter yesterday while I laid in my room, and had to have Mark come home early today. I’m about as sick as I’ve been in a long time. Instead of dealing with my to-do list, I shuffled from the bed to the sofa with a kleenex box, a puke bowl and a bottle of NyQuil close at hand.
It’s funny . . . I mean, I don’t know if my subconscious can conjure up physical symptoms. I don’t know if a person’s brain can order up snot and phlegm as a coping skill. But I definitely got my re-set button pushed the last few days. I got absolutely nothing done, and I guess that’s what I was needing. I was sick enough that television wasn’t even appealing, and I had a lot of time with my thoughts. Time to mull over my priorities and my boundaries, and how ridiculous this pace has been, and most of all, time to re-evaluate what is realistic given the fact that I’ve got 24 hours in a day, and actually need to spend some of that time sleeping. And time, of course, to wonder why I have such a tendency to overextend myself, and ponder when I will learn to have more balance without my body staging an intervention on me.
Alright, and maybe I had time to catch up on a few episodes of Project Runway. So it wasn’t all bad.