I wish it were easier these days to put words down on paper — or on a screen, as it happens. Even with the speed and ease of typing, it’s hard to get the words from head to hands. They either crowd all over themselves in a rush to get out, such that I can’t make heads or tails of any single thought — or they scatter to the four winds, and even though I had plenty of ideas to write about just before opening the laptop, I suddenly have nothing.
This is a draft that was only a title when I opened it — a head without a body. I don’t even remember when I started it, then left it, forgotten, in the drafts folder. But it pretty much embodies the way I feel about any progress I try to make in anything I do these days. I do accomplish things, but even the simplest tasks seem to take great effort to see through to the end. So you can imagine how the more complicated ones are doing . . .
I’ve been slowly backing out of everything I used to be involved with in the Before Times (that is not a paying job or a benefit my kids, to be clear). I’ve already posted about quitting the two choirs I was in. The next thing I’m giving up is most of the committee involvement I’ve gotten myself into. I will still be a secretary on the Symphony Board, but after this current project ends, I will not be filling any leadership positions or taking point on any committee projects — or even embroiling myself in any great needs that come up while we transition back and forth from virtual to live to hybrid. At least, not for the next year.
My husband’s deployment is looming, and I’ll have another nine or ten months of single parenthood, wherein we figure out how to take school more seriously, create routines that don’t stress us out entirely, and focus on the boys’ therapy and medical needs, which are growing more intense. My youngest and I cross swords constantly when he doesn’t want to do something, and my oldest and I tend to flounder in ADHD confusion more often than we’re intentional about things. We make a great team. 😅 Therapy is about to take an even more complicated turn, but I can’t quite talk about that yet, because it’s already kind of overwhelming and I still sort of need to process it.
I have two weeks to help wrap up this online auction and gala we’re doing for the Symphony (wanna check it out? CLICK HERE), and while it’s been a great experience in people management, leadership, event coordination, and a whole new world of stress and crazy, I’ve felt like I was in over my head for months. How on earth did I find myself in charge of it?? Because I helped last year? How do I not get in charge of it again?? 😆
It might not have been quite as stressful if it hadn’t come on the heels of spending all summer and winter helping to create and manage a whole new virtual membership model and an advertising/sponsorship system, while butting heads with those who don’t quite understand the virtual world (to put it nicely), who have strong opinions and impractical ideas, because they’ve neither had the experience with virtual communities and their dynamics, nor ever really known how to reach out to anyone younger than my generation. We’ve had Zoom meetings almost every Thursday night for months, sometimes two meetings back-to-back or an extra on a different day of the week, which wouldn’t be quite as difficult if I also hadn’t started teaching co-op on Thursday mornings (one volunteer thing I continue to plan to do, because the boys benefit from it, too). Some people can do Zoom meetings all day, every day, but I cannot. I like the occasional Zoom gathering with friends or family, but full meetings get exhausting.
In the meantime, I can barely keep up with the boys’ needs, or even my own. I can’t even plan meals. I really suck at being a homemaker. 😆 But I need to step those things up to fulfill therapy goals and create a healthier environment for everyone in the house. This is not a small goal or an easy accomplishment. It’s going to take months, even years.
I do remind myself from time to time that there are things I’m good at: editing, being diplomatic, sticking to commitments, trying to be organized, mostly getting things done by deadlines (this took years of training, and I still do suck at it sometimes), not starving all the living things in my house (despite my lack of planning), managing our money, teaching, and making checklists. There are some other things, probably, but those are things I can usually sort of do with some measure of consistency and be successful at.
But, often, my inner adult is falling forward on her face and laying there . . . done with everything. And it’s not that I’m constantly busy all the time — I goof off way more than I should. It’s just that there is so much in my head and outside of it demanding my mental energy that there’s almost nothing left for other people, and that is not a good problem to have as a wife, mother, teacher, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, neighbor, etc.
Add to this Covid-lockdown fatigue and stress, lack of exercise or daylight, and seriously flagging creativity, and it’s no wonder that all I want to do is spend a week alone at the ocean, staring out a window and drinking coffee. . . . *dreaming* *sigh* (NOTE: I have rented a beach house for the weekend after my birthday, and will be spending three nights there, doing exactly what I stated above. In silence. I might do other things, too, but I greatly look forward to silence and no commitments. I’ll write about it later.)
I’m grateful I have the resources to take time out sometimes, but guilt will always play a role, no matter how much I “deserve” or need the break. I think more people can relate to that than they admit. 😉 But since I can’t just up and quit, I have to take these breaks and keep “failing forward to success” (a phrase I learned while selling Mary Kay, which has never quite sat well with me, but pretty much defines my life. I just wish I could see more success, for as many failures as I feel I’ve accomplished . . . 😝).
All right, I’m risking continued rambling and too long a post, so I’d better end this. I still have family to pay attention to and a lot of video and sound editing, as well as scripts to write and other little tasks to keep up on while I still have the time. I also need to drink my coffee, because even though it’s 10:30am, I’m still groggy and don’t want to be awake.
How is it February already?
2 thoughts on “Failing Forward”
Re: Quiet time at the beach house – my wife has wanted to do exactly that. I hope she does; I can handle all of [looks around] this for a while.
I hope it helps! 🙂
I hope so, too! 😄 In the future, I want to take other trips to the beach house for writing retreats and such, and she is on my list of people I will ask to come along. I know how much she loves the coast!
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