Thursday, October 3, 2013


I am an anxious person. I think I always have been, but for the last year or 2 it has been OFF. THE. CHARTS. No really, I took an evaluation and I scored in the most anxious of the anxious minds. I'm learning some new skills and working on getting myself and my life under control - but I'm still me and I still have plenty of bad habits.

Like saying "Sure, I'd love to help you with that." Because I genuinely would love to help you with that. But when all those thats come at the same time, I crumble. I find my life suffocating and crippling and I can't even keep my head above water - which is probably a good thing because it's time to just put my head down and plow through anyway.

Such was my state of mind when I totally lost it Tuesday morning.

Josh has found another temp job to work during the month of October. (Are you counting? That's 3. Plus massages on the side.) And will be working 60-75 hrs each week during October. Including both boys' birthdays AND halloween. Plus doing his (3) callings (in theory) and taking care of the kids so I can go to work.

I'm just doing my 1 regular job, trying to keep my kids alive and well, manage the house stuff and keep up with my (1) calling. But then I said yes to a bunch of stuff.
"Sure, I'll coordinate the freezer meals for the sisters." I said.
"Yeah, I can teach a workshop on organizing and simplifying our lives for night RS." I wrote.
"I'd love to serve on the board and head a committee for that event." I was giddy!
"Please ask me my opinion about your upcoming business decisions." I offered.
"Are birthday parties optional?" I begged.

Too many events requiring too much preparation all came due this month and by Tuesday morning I was maxed out. Totally and completely maxed out.

Josh could see the breakdown coming and did everything he could to relieve my stress. Except that he was stressed about his own overwhelming responsibilities.

I sat on a couch and cried. Sobbed. Sniffled. Whined. and mostly mourned over the life I had caught myself trapped in again. I keep thinking I can do all these things so I offer and accept the invitation and get excited about it. And then when it's go time - I cry.

Because all I want to do is snuggle up with my babies in bed and read them stories until they're asleep or bored. Not until I have to leave.
I want to take them for walks on our trail and watch the sun set together.
I want to spend John's naptime shopping for a piano online and have time to play it when I find the perfect one.
I want to know that when Josh comes home it's time to shut down the productivity machine instead of ramping it up.
I want to go on a date with him without feeling guilty for leaving my boys again when all they want is to stay home with me.

So I cried. And I felt like an idiot because I'm the one that agreed to do it. And really these things should be manageable. Plenty of people are dealing with plenty of other harder horrible things.

In a somewhat surprising move Josh solved a few of my problems, going well out of his comfort zone to take on some of the responsibility for me. He gave me great ideas about what I could say or do. He helped me manage and took the kids during some crucial moments that I needed to manage on my own.

But I still felt insufficient. So I beat myself up about being a pansy. And I beat myself up about taking on too much when I'm trying to slow down. And I beat myself up about letting down these people who are counting on me to deliver the thing I said I would.

And then a voice I trust said "you should tell the Mary & Martha story." And the voice inside me cringed because I hate that story. And my mind remembered a version* that brought me to comforted, loving tears.

So last night after talking for 45 minutes about how to organize your stuff to a few awesome women in my ward, I told the good version of the Mary & Martha story, and reminded myself (and them) that there's only one thing that matters.

I came home feeling a typical post-event high - feeling good about life and confident that I can manage the rest of the month. But I am equally confident this feeling is fleeting. I'll likely crumble under the stress again and require a reminder. Feel free to e-mail me sporadically through the month and remind me. OK? But don't expect a response because I'm busy putting my head down and plowing through the craziness.

*This story as told by Goldberg in The Five Books of Jesus changed it for me forever. I highly recommend it and the kindle version is cheap. Even free to borrow if you have Prime. And you do. Because it's awesome.


  1. It is totally ok to feel overwhelmed. And, wanna know a secret? It's ok to say NO! It's ok to simply say to a request "I would love too but I have too much going on." -- Take a deep breath. You are a great woman and that's why everyone wants your input, they, I'm sure, don't wish to cause you all this stress and anxiety! Best of luck on managing it, rough.

  2. Loved this!
    I'll send you reminders -- but they'll usually be including questions about an upcoming event, so I'm no help at all! :-)

  3. Oh Aim! I also love the Goldberg version of the Mary and Martha story. I love you so much and I think you're pretty amazing. Your boys adore you and are lucky to have you for their mom.


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