When Life Feels Fast

Picking up where I left off two weeks ago! Wow.

And so it was with me. That new commitment of very regular doctor’s appointments was so significant (even though in the grand scheme of a well-ordered life it wasn’t) that it caused me to really start considering if I wanted to live at this pace indefinitely. A few weeks is one thing. But six-to-nine months is another. And considering those six-to-nine months would be the last months of my boy Charlie’s time in high school — that was enough to make me start praying for a change.

There are so many contributing factors to feeling overwhelmed in life. Lots of people walk around feeling overwhelmed, either at times during the day, or during say basketball season — or even longer seasons. I spent a LOT of my early mothering days have those feelings because Paul and I had our first four babies really close. That’s an intense season. But in those kinds of times you recognize that it’s this way because you have a baby who will eventually start to sleep through the night. Or a toddler who will be in bed by 7:30 pm (who am I kidding, my boys were in bed sawing logs by 7 pm and it’s a TOTAL sanity saver).

But to feel this way day after day after day isn’t healthy. When there isn’t a clear “this too shall pass” it’s time to really consider what needs to change. Maybe it’s time to outsource cleaning, or lower expectations for certain chunks of time. But to just live like that without coming up with some kind of a plan is a recipe for total burnout.

Life is funny that way. One minute we have a schedule that works just fine and then something shifts and there you go. It no longer works. And that’s okay. I think it all caught me by surprise because for so many years my stress levels were dictated by having small children. Who knew you could still be stressed without babies and toddlers?! (probably lots of people).

What I learned through this journey (thanks for bearing with me, dear reader) is that ultimately, you have to be at peace with what your limits are. You can only answer for yourself, for what your own abilities are. There’s nothing wrong with looking around at what other people have going on, but really how can we ever know all the in’s and out’s of anyone’s circumstances but our own. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for someone else. And try as you might to make decisions and schedules based on what someone else can handle (so and so seems to be able to do all these things and then some…) you really don’t know what extras you may or may not have that someone else does not. Don’t compare! It might compel you to operate outside your limits of sanity or maybe even just outside of what God wants you to be doing.