Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dear Brain, please let me drink this glass of wine in peace.

Let me just say that what I am about to write is not a call for sympathy. I just feel the need to express my current frustration and hope I'm not too much of a Debbie Downer in doing so. I imagine there are others who are in the same place and maybe they need to know that they are not alone... cause I know I do.

So here's the deal. I have a lot on my plate right now. Even when I don't have as much to do as I do now I feel like there is never enough time. The emails from the insurance guy... the voice mails from the investment broker... even the postcards from the dentist make me feel like they are all saying "are you that lazy that you can't respond to me in a timely manner".

I used  to go to the dentist every 6 months. It's been 3 years since I last went, I think. Where did the time go? What happened? (Oh yeah, I had a kid. I can't even imagine if I had more than one.)

I do not have enough time and/or energy in the day to get done all the things I want and/or need to get done. Oh sure, there are some things I could certainly make a higher priority, but not everything can be at the top of the list. I feel like I am letting people down left and right. This feeling has heightened lately with added responsibilities and with limited time off of work for the remainder of the year. I know this will pass and I know I could have far bigger things to worry about. Far, far bigger.

Just to clarify this post isn't about ALL the things I have to do. It's about the feeling you get when you realize you can't do everything. It's about how you cope with feeling like you are letting people down. It's about letting go of how you think other people think you are.

I have pretty good self esteem. I'm confident, smart, relatively well organized, but I also set a high standard for myself and this is where the downfall comes in. I grew up in a family where hard work and very little play was the norm so it's likely I am beating myself up about this more than most people. (For anyone familiar with StrengthsFinder, one of my tops strengths is Responsibility which I also find can be a weakness for me.)

I'm always comparing myself to my dad and perhaps that is part of the problem. My dad is 84 and can outwork anyone I know. He never stops. Compared to him I DO look lazy. (Just to be clear I am not blaming my dad, but trying to put this all into perspective). My dad is supportive and always there for me, but he also doesn't seem to understand why I don't get more done.

I know this is self imposed - this feeling that I am letting everyone down. I don't feel like this everyday or most days. There are just times that I let it bother me. A little bit of this feeling is ok as it can help motivate me, but too much of it is not a good thing and I am currently wallowing in that spot.

In fact, lately I have been busy with something every night (besides working all day). I've either been working from home in the evening, or putting together paperwork for a home refinance. But one night I just couldn't do either of those things and spent my time with a glass of wine and some trash tv. I just couldn't bring myself to do anything. And yet, I couldn't even enjoy that because I felt so guilty for not working on the project I intended to.

Yeah, I know I need to get over it. I need to stop beating myself up. I need to do what I can and let go of the rest. I know these things, but I still let it all get to me.

So this is my formal apology to everyone who thinks I am avoiding them... who thinks I am not being responsible by following up in a timely manner. I am doing what I can and you need to trust that.

I guess I need to trust that too.


  1. Totally.

    Right now, I am avoiding my email account for the non-profit board I'm a part of. I just can't do it. And now that I'm avoiding checking the email, I'm getting super stressed knowing I'm missing stuff and I need to just RESIGN from the board, like I had planned to do when I found out I was having a 2nd kid, but I CAN'T SEEM TO DO IT!

    I don't know what my problem is, because at this point I'm not putting in the effort that I should, as a board member, and thank goodness I've transitioned away from being Treasurer, but I don't even have time for any of it anymore, but admitting that makes me feel like a failure.

    The other thing? I don't have any emotional attachment to being on this board, truly, there is no reason why I can't just cut ties and say my life is too busy and this is what has to go, but I keep making it worse by over committing myself.

    Anyway, I so hear you. No advice from me, just solidarity.

    1. Thanks for your solidarity.

      I've always thought I'd want to be part of a board or volunteer for a group, but I already feel like I give many things in my life half of what they deserve and that I'd probably just let people down. It feels sort of depressing that I can't be super woman, but the reality is that we probably already are to our kids and that's what matters.

      And as an update, life has slowed down slightly...enough to not feel so overwhelming so I feel better about that. Plus I just won a gift card for a massage today so that's pretty exciting that I can have some 'me' time in the future. Now I just need to find the time!

  2. I'm there too in that weird spinning wheels kind of place. The place where I KNOW I would feel better if I just devoted 15 minutes to to-do list crap so that I can fully enjoy my 90 minutes of mindless tv and yet...

    I have been reading a book about behavior change and how when you are in a position where you have to make very deliberate choices, you lose motivation in other areas. Like your energy just gets depleted. And with toddlers/preschoolers, we are always having to be so deliberate in our actions (except when we are feeling too lazy/tired to stick to our guns) that I think it really does exhaust us at the end of the day. Plus - you got your day to day work where you have to be "on."

    Anyway, I feel the same!

    1. I totally agree about the deliberate choices in one area causing lack of motivation in others (which may explain my delay in responding to your comment :)). My energy to do certain things was just zapped even though I knew it was important.

      You'll have to let me know if it's a book worth reading or if it has some good tips.


Love to see your comments.