Ah, a day in the life of busy lady with more tasks than sense:
I head out the door bright and early for the 45 minute commute to work. I begin the day at work at 7:30AM with some policy planning and then do a pile of data entry in my ongoing efforts to create an accurate data-base of all the clients who have been served in the past four years. (Yeah, I KNOW I could delegate this to a volunteer, but I want to check and double check it for accuracy and have it set up MY way since the last system somebody else did had some significant holes in it...)
Next I meet with a couple of established clients, answer my e-mail, take WAY too many phone calls, do an intake on a new client, go to a lunch meeting at local college, and then come back to office to once more enter the fray.
I write thank you notes to some recent donors, work with a volunteer to set up some new files and shift how a few things are tracked, sort out papers on desk....
GULP, take a breath.
I review case files, plan out new tracking method, read through grant application, answer MORE e-mail, take MORE phone calls, set upcoming calendar, fiddle with some technology that refuses to work.
Then, meet with board members and state representatives to talk about Very Important Stuff, finish up office for the day by around 5:30...commute home...Stop at library along the way to pick up a few more audio books to keep me company on my daily drive.
I get home a little after 7:00 PM, go right back out to pick up computer from very nice man who agreed to fix work computer for free since struggling non-profit is on shoe-string budget. FINALLY get home after 8PM to stay and then I start my OTHER job
I hit the computer to put the finishing touches on the two online classes I'll be doing again this term - students start previewing this week and courses "officially" begin next Monday. I THINK I've got everything set.
Then there is the laundry, some bills to pay, two check books to balance, go for walk with the dog, plan what I need to send my sister-in-law and son for upcoming birthdays, read over the lesson I'll be teaching next for the youth Sunday School class, make "to do" list of stuff I don't want to forget (make dental appt, change oil in car, buy light bulbs)
Is it any wonder I feel utterly pooped? I think I need a long hot bubble bath and a frivolous magazine.
So far I'm holding it together...but I can feel myself getting a bit fuzzy around the edges. And it's only MONDAY.
I have to just keep thinking of the mantra of The Little Engine That Could.
Somewhere in there along my day I started to feel rather overwhelmed. Is it any surprise? But when that comes I find if I just STOP, take several deep breaths and two solid minutes of FOCUSED GRATITUDE it really, really helps.
I list in my mind a bunch of blessings. Instead of bitching about how far I have to drive to get to work, I am GRATEFUL I have a good, reliable car that runs well and gets decent gas mileage. Instead of whining about all the drama and responsibility I juggle at work I can be GRATEFUL that I have a good job that for the most part suits me well. When I get really tired and think I'm running in too many directions at once I take a moment to recognize and fully APPRECIATE the opportunities and blessings that are surrounding me.
Piece by piece I deliberately redirect my mind and emotions away from all the things that feel like stress producers and focus on the things that make me smile, or the tools I have that will make it possible to accomplish all I have to do.
I DO think it would serve me well to re-evaluate how I am managing my time and look for ways to make more effective strategies for what I do myself and what I delegate. I need to be sure I make plenty of room for SLEEP, for self care, for quality time in my family relationships. I don't want to be so caught up in my to do list that I sweep the things that really matter under the rug.
But even though there are some challenges, I DO have much to be grateful for. And for now, leaning on THAT knowledge is what is getting me through each day.