Drowning in a Sea of Responsibilities

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by life?  Have you ever had one of those days–or weeks, or months–where you just couldn’t get on top of everything you needed to do?  Have you ever felt like you were drowning, or being crushed by the weight of your responsiblities?
Of course you have.  That’s modern life, isn’t it?
I’m having one of those weeks, and since this is my space, I get to vent about it here.  Will it help, or should I spend this time doing the work instead of writing about it?  I’m going with writing about it. 🙂
Where to begin . . . a few weeks ago I thought I would try to get organized by making lists of “the next right thing” to do in various areas of my life.  Only what do you do when your “next right things” occupy about 15 pages of a yellow legal pad?
I’ve had Emily calling me multiple times each day to remind me that the FAFSA was due today.  But to do the FAFSA I had to at least take a stab at the taxes.  We are self-employed and I’m trying to do this myself with the help of H & R Block At Home.  Not easy.  Not fun.  The records all burned in the fire.  I guess that’s a plus if they audit us.
Two days this week were completely consumed by a client matter I had to help with.  Spent most of yesterday going to court with John.  Most of the day before that writing pleadings and making copies.  I have a stack of time to enter that’s about a foot high.  A stack of new files to set up.  A two-foot high stack of files to write closing letters on.  At least two cases to bill.  To-dos that I have fallen behind on.

Two out of three cars were in the shop this week.  The cat had to be spayed.  William’s birthday is coming up.  Income fluctuates when you are self-employed, and things are tight right now.
The house is a disaster area.  After doing so well for so long at keeping it neat, I’ve really let it go the past couple of weeks.  There’s just not time for more than cooking, dishes, laundry, and the occasional sweeping right now.

John had blood work done last week.  It came back positive for diabetes.  I haven’t even had time to process this.  They just want him to take more pills.  I have a sneaking suspicion that there are other things he could or should do as well–like change his diet.  I now need to become a diabetes expert.  I’ll pencil that in for this weekend maybe.
I have some ungodly amount of grants I am supposed to be preparing proposals for this month.
I am trying to “grow” my blog which really requires attention to social media.  I have about 20 windows on three browsers open at all times so I can keep up (or try) with that, plus all my work stuff.  I’m supposed to blog every day during Lent and I missed two days this week because I had to be gone during my morning blogging time.
I don’t have time to clean the house, order gifts, make a cake, or plan a party, so poor William has to wait until after his birthday to celebrate it.
I’m worrying about William.  He needs to go to school next year.  He has some specific learning issues I want to see about having him tested for.  I need to continue investigating schools for him.  I’ve been trying to give him some assessment tests this week, and he is very resistant to that.  I need to make appointments to visit some of the schools.  I need to make calls.  I did buy him shoes last night, so I can cross that off his “right things” list.
I’m worrying about Jake, who thinks he’s grown up but has a few important things he needs to do before he REALLY is, like graduate from high school, learn to drive. and get a job.
I’m spending hours each day in my car.  Every time I have to leave the house it fractures my concentration and makes it difficult to get back to work.
It seems to be more or less springtime now and thank God I at least have a window.  What I’d really like to do is go dig a garden.

There are 1082 messages in my email inbox.
You know, this is not nearly all of it.  Not nearly.  But I am going to stop because it’s actually not helping.  I think I’d better just keep plowing through it instead of trying to analyze it.
Thank God I at least gave up Farmville for Lent.

27 thoughts on “Drowning in a Sea of Responsibilities

  1. Hey Leslie,
    As far as the diabetes goes, there is alot more John should do than just take a pill. He needs to focus on eating healthier & alot less processed sweets/carbs. Drink more water. Exercise-even if he just starts out with short walks. Alot of times diet & exercise changes can do away with the need for meds in Type 2 diabetes. He should be checking his sugar as directed as well & keeping a log of this so he can take it in to show the doctor. Alot of people tend to not like to do that but it is really important. This is just a start but honestly it saddens me when doctors offices just dump a diagnosis on people & give them little to no resources on how to deal with the diagnosis. A meeting with a diabetic educator really should be at the top of the list when someone gets this diagnosis.
    Take a deep breath & try to keep it together. I was overwhelmed just reading your post.

  2. Oh Leslie, I can totally relate. And my heart goes out to you. It will eventually all get done. At least the things that really, really need to be done. Just remember to take care of yourself in this overwhelming time. I know that’s hard sometimes but it’s so important. Thinking of you. Wish I could do more.

    1. Thank you, Rachel. It has been fairly productive. I got through my inbox and have almost erased all the messages from my phone. Karate sounds like a great stress reliever!

  3. Clisby

    Melanie is right. My father was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes when he was in his 60s, and did take medication for awhile. However, he then got really serious about his diet and exercise, and within a few years was able to stop the pills. Of course, that doesn’t mean everyone can do that, but it’s always worth a try. Better diet and exercise sure aren’t going to hurt anything.

  4. Clisby

    Oh, and I was about to say: If you’re interested in the diet issue – have you ever looked into some of the diabetes-diet cookbooks? From the couple I’ve read, it looks to me like the so-called “Diabetes Diet” actually would be a pretty good diet for anyone (I’m using the term “diet” to mean the way you eat, not necessarily losing weight). It’s not like John would necessarily need a diet different from the rest of the family.

    1. I haven’t yet, because we just found out about it. Giving up sweets would be a real challenge for him. I’m under the impression it’s not an absolute ban, but that’s one thing I really have to figure out. He’s feeling pretty bummed because he has already lost about 30 pounds since the fire and expected good news from his blood work, not bad.

  5. Helga

    Leslie, it will be ok. Just focus on that. Taking care of yourself is the most important thing, because if you fall apart, nothing gets done. Just relax a little, like a “Calgon, take me away” kind of thing.

  6. I hate those times when it feels like everything is happening at once. Modern life seems to be all about being pulled in 50 million directions, which means nothing gets 100% (or even 75%) of your attention. You probably already do this, but when I get overwhelmed I like to make a list of everything I need to do, look at the list, then reorganize it by what’s most important. Then take another look at the list. Are there any things on it that take less than 5 minutes to do? Try doing at least one of those each day. If anything, just having this information in front of me tricks my brain into thinking that it’s more manageable than it is. 🙂 Take care.

    1. I thought making a list would help too–until I did and it was like 15 pages long! And yes, there are several things on it that take just a few minutes. Those tend to be phone calls–which I hate–and thus procrastinate over. That it’s all happening at once is exactly the problem. I can’t organize it linearly because of that.

  7. Also Leslie, please feel free to get in touch with me if you have more questions about diabetes etc. I am not a certified diabetes specialist, but being a nurse I have dealt with it a ton in my career & even helped a doc set up a diabetes group in the primary care office I worked in for awhile. You should have my email, but let me know if you need other contact info like my phone # etc.

    1. Thank you! The more I think about it the angrier I am getting. I double-checked with John last night exactly what happened in the phone call and it’s ridiculous. I will email you.

  8. Clisby

    Leslie – I’m not a nutritionist or any kind of health care professional, so take this for what it’s worth. With my father (type 2 diabetes) and my sister (type 1 diabetes) – it wasn’t that sugar was absolutely verboten, but they both had to be disciplined about it. My perception was that the goal was more to control and smooth out blood sugar levels, so they didn’t have peaks and valleys.
    With both of them, it was important to eat regular amounts of food at regular times, and to cut back on starchy/sugary/high fat food. For example, eating a half-cup of fresh strawberries with a sprinkling of powdered sugar was way better than eating a half-cup of strawberry ice cream. Common sense would tell you that anyway, but it probably matters more to a diabetic. My father’s (nutritionist-sanctioned) treat was a slice of angel food cake. It has no (or virtually no) fat, no cholesterol, and a fair amount of protein because of all the egg whites. Luckily for him, he (like me) didn’t have much of a sweet tooth anyway. I don’t know how some of the newer sugar substitutes like stevia work with diabetics.
    Since my sister is insulin-dependent, the more immediate danger for her is low blood sugar (once you give yourself a shot of insulin, you’d better be able to take in enough calories to offset it); but fortunately, aside from during her two pregnancies, she’s been very stable. I always feel a little sad about this, because she’s a great mother and would have loved to have 5-6 children, but pregnancy really wreaked havoc with her diabetes. She had 2, and called it a day.
    Anyway, to make a long story short – I’m not a really informed source, but I would also be angry if a doctor diagnosed someone with Type 2 diabetes and didn’t emphasize diet and exercise. I’m not saying John doesn’t need medication right now – maybe he does. I just can’t imagine not providing dietary counseling of some sort to a diabetic. It boggles my mind.

    1. That’s very helpful. Thank you. That’s really too bad about your sister, but I’m glad she’s been able to stay healthy. I’m not against John taking medication if he needs it, but I just think it’s incredibly irresponsible of them to say only that and then come back in three months! All kinds of damage could already be done by then from what I understand. Thanks so much, Clisby, for all the information.

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