I've needed some time off. Somehow, my career exploded last week and I spent nearly all weekend frantically catching the shrapnel in my arms. I realize this is no way to describe work that I truly love, but this is how it felt.
Like madness. And this made me frustrated and anxious and like sleeping in all weekend long. But I had five deadlines that landed on Saturday, three of them articles that require a great deal of investment and concentration and leave me feeling emotionally and physically exhausted. I also needed to blog during a deadline that I would usually designate as a no-posting time.
The good thing is, I listened to my husband who said to focus on one piece at a time and then sent me to Starbucks while he took care of the boy and the dishes and the laundry and flipping through Bob the Builder episodes.
Another good thing is that I finished. By Sunday night, I was depleted but I was done. My shoulders and chest muscles were cramped up from spending so many days at the laptop and my contacts were foggy from staying up until 2 a.m. so many nights in a row, but I did it. I felt proud of myself and I celebrated with a lot of caffeine and a little more sleep.
The tough thing is, there has been very little reprieve. Lil E's birthday is this week and his party is this weekend, which has called in family from both coasts. I want to concentrate on those celebrations and yet, there are still deadlines.
Another tough thing is, one of my jobs is on the line. A job that I love. I certainly don't want to focus on that drama or disappointment but it is still there. So I'm trying to put it aside for just long enough, at the suggestion of my mother, to just go about the business of writing -- ten, thirty or even sixty minutes at a time.
An even tougher thing is that my sweet, huggy, talkative boy has become consumed with separation anxiety. He's also been acting out in a way that is the hallmark of being THREE but is also the hallmark of parents who are so busy getting through that small explosions are the way to demand full attention or his way or not putting cucumber on his plate as he requested because that's the way Big Josh from co-op likes it after all rather than using polite words he does actually have in his vocabulary.
I'm not sure what all of this means for me yet. But I know I need some time to be still to find my way to the answers or rather, the process to undo all these crossed wires.
I know this: I want to thrive. I want to turn off my laptop and give my evenings to my family and myself. I want to get back exercising my body, quieting my mind and to stop thinking of a walk or a nap or a manicure as unattainable luxuries that I cannot afford on many levels. I want to release this tension. I want to stop living in survival mode.
And so I began simply on Sunday morning by resigning as the co-chair of a committee I love and helped found four years ago. Now I am working up the courage to turn my thoughts about quitting one of my four jobs into action. This isn't just about work. It is about where I am and what I ask of myself and when to say, "Enough. I've had enough." And mostly, it is about all of that being OK.
Tomorrow, I will chase more of those pieces and then on Thursday, I will devote my whole day and complete attention to Lil E. He only turns three on that one day and I will be there fully.
After that, the peace-making mission in my life will begin as the war of work and home and me have been lately: One thing at a time.