After reading through the comments and the messages from you all from yesterday's post, I was encouraged and heartbroken at the same time. I'm thankful that so many of you are standing in solidarity with me and all the other working parents out there, and I'm also discouraged that we are enduring this insanity all at the same time.
But, strength in numbers, friends.
We are better together.
After a full day of classes and the Lord providing me with the energy needed to deal with all of my students, I shared my situation with a handful of people. When you live and work and minister in a small town, you learn to keep your mouth closed and your social media accounts quiet. They understood me and my feelings which made me feel better. Sometimes you need those people in your life to tell you that your words are heard and that your feelings are valid--especially when you feel like you're teetering on the edge of crazy. The situation was "resolved" and there is nothing more I can do about it at this time.
My brain has been exhausted from all the schedules and stuff and important things to remember. I commented to my husband that this school year, for whatever reason, has felt impossibly hard to keep up with as opposed to years' past. I feel like I'm surviving by the skin of my teeth, but all the folks I read about tell me I'm supposed to be thriving. I want to know who these people are--and are they regular like me? Are they working a regular job and taking care of their family and doing it all by themselves and/or with a spouse? Or do they have a job with flexible hours and a maid and a nanny? Are they staying up all hours of the night? Do they plug themselves in at the end of the day or do they chug energy drinks?
What part of this equation am I missing--because I'm all about systems and efficiency and doing everything with excellence and somehow, somewhere I seem to be missing it?
In December I responded to a question posed by author Jon Acuff (Do Over, Quitter) about making 2017 your year to accomplish your dreams and the art of the hustle. I told him a little about my life and how I was following all of the suggestions--getting up an hour earlier, exercising, sleeping, tracking how my time is spent each day, etc. and still not able to reach that hustle he kept referring to and he responded:
There is a season for everything in life, and it sounds like this may not be your season to hustle. It may be time to say "no" to some things. And it's definitely time to give yourself some grace. I hope this helps!
Now, let me be clear, I love me some Jon Acuff. I think he's hilarious and I really liked his advice, but I wanted to laugh and cry a little when he told me to say "no" to some things: What exactly do you want me to say "no" to, Jon? My kids? My husband? My job? Church? Camp? Laundry? Feeding my hungry people again?
I'm not talking about cutting out things like girls' nights and other fun things people have time to do--I'm talking about the daily in and out consuming my life. I'm talking about how I'm running around like a crazy person trying to meet my daily requirements and dream of days I have nothing to do and no one talking to me so I can breathe normally again. I'm talking about not running on full throttle all day, every day.
I also know all about giving yourself some grace, and I admit freely that it's not something I'm good at. In my head, there's a fine line between giving yourself some grace and being lazy. I'm also aware that there are folks who would love to find themselves in my position. I fully recognize my life is a blessed one, and I'm incredibly thankful for so many things. I also don't have to look very far to see there are others who are dealing with heavy burdens that make mine look like rainbows and sunshine.
So please do not misunderstand this post as a "feel sorry for me"--this is being sent out in hopes others are feeling this way, too. That perhaps we are all feeling this level of crazy concerning daily life, and maybe we can agree that enough is enough and we need to decide how to handle this together.
to be continued. . .