Ever stand in a spin wishing time would stop bombing on so you could tend to all the things you need to do? It’s as if everywhere you turn there’s something to do, someone to respond to, something to read/buy/clean/tweet/watch/fix /deal with, and your to-do list keeps getting longer until all of a sudden you find yourself staring into an empty fridge and fruit basket wondering how is it possible that everyone else in the world manages to get to the supermarket in a timely manner and why is life such a rush, so hard, unfair, exhausting as time whizzes past at an alarming rate!
I have to admit that I’ve been there, in that place where everything piles up all at once.
There was a time when papers, and bits and pieces congregated at the end of our kitchen counter top. If one thing landed on that spot it seemed to attract every other miscellaneous item that either needed to be binned, filed or put in its proper place. When that part of the kitchen top became cluttered I started to notice everything else piling up too, weeds and branches that were cut back just five minutes ago were shooting up as fast as Jack’s beanstalk, window sills needing a lick of paint along with a thousand other things that I should tend to. Over whelmed, I would find myself in the middle of the kitchen beating myself up because I was out of bananas…because oh my god I’m never got to the supermarket to buy the groceries.
Somehow, in that moment I forgot all the things I had been doing that had prevented me going to the supermarket and instead headed downward into a spiral of overwhelm and frenzied frustration at life itself.
And the craziest part of being overwhelmed and burned out is that it’s not like anyone wants to feel that way. It’s not like you check the time on a Tuesday at 10am thinking, “This is a great time to over-commit myself to a bunch of bother I’m going to quickly wind up resenting. Yes! Let’s do that!”
That’s not how it happens. It happens slowly, one too many “yes” answers at a time, juggling too many projects, emotionally draining life changes, time-sucking commitments, tough family things – you name it, I’ve been doing it for years.
For some reason the human condition is such that we either push ourselves past the point of rescue or beat ourselves up for not having our ducks in a line. Thank goodness, I caught myself on. A while ago, when I found myself in an overwhelming-empty basket-banana-induced-mini-breakdown state, I knew it was time to get my life in order and give myself a break. Whatever your situation is may I suggest you give yourself a break too?
Be mindful when your instinct is to push yourself to the limits for reasons you may or may not fully understand in the moment. I suspect we all do this from time to time: spread ourselves too thin until our bodies and minds lets us know there’s only so far we can stretch. Eliminate should for a day. Every time you catch yourself getting caught up in how you should be or things should be, tell yourself, “It is what it is.” Once we accept what is we’re in a much better place to create things as we’d like them to be. Find a way to make your life more doable, watch out for the slippy signs—the end of my kitchen counter gets cleared at least every other day and the fridge and fruit basket usually has something edible in there, including bananas.