I fell asleep in my parked car today waiting for my 10 year old to finish with soccer practice. Right before that, we were playing chess at the new club I started at his school. Before that, I had put in eight long hours of work since 7:30 a.m. As with most experiences that involve effort and time, I did not feel the exhaustion creep up on me until I finally sat in the car. How long can I keep this up, is all that went through my head in the silence of my vehicle.
Like most mothers, I want to accomplish a lot. Maybe too much most days. There's the career, the advocacy, children's games, the biking on the weekends. While I know I need to slow down if for the sake of my health, it's difficult at times. Slowing down would mean that something on that long mental to-do list will be neglected, which will only postpone my objectives and make it that much harder to catch up.
I thrive on the adrenaline most days. I'm doing what I love after all, including watching my kids score during their games. But even that requires too much energy after all the running around between practice and grabbing a quick bite between games. Yet, after all that is said and done, there's still this feeling that I forgot to accomplish something.
I pinpointed the culprit to my crazy schedule just over this past weekend. Every time I looked down at my e-calendar, the flashing neon lines indicating an upcoming event tore me up silently. How long can I keep this up, came that provoking question. I realized then that I needed to stop committing myself to whatever it was I thought needed to be done. Looking through my calendar, I found I had scheduled events just because: just in case I can make it, just in case the earlier function cancels or postponed or whatever.
So the answer to that pounding question is simple: You don't have to keep up. The pressure I'm placing on myself is self-inflicted. It's not my job, or the advocacy, nor my kids' games or practices. It's me, trying to live up to that 'having it all' rage that started with a simple article written by a professional woman and mother who had had enough as well. Going forward, I will treat my time like a precious commodity and not cave in to every demand and event that comes up, although I'm not yet ready to give up anything I have already committed to. After all, I love what I do.