Monday, May 14, 2012

Understanding limits

The week was a good one, I tried to cram in some fun but of course paid for it with a stack of work waiting for me.  The transition from Spring term to Summer is always a bear, but I also have some side course design work and a summer course I am teaching that is making this even harder than usual.

The family has been sick.  Haven had strep and I think Ryan may too, along with a horrific cold that has a cough that just goes on for days and congestion.  Haven now has the cough, as do a few other kids, and this morning I woke up with it as well.  I knew it was coming, haven't felt well the last few days, but I really don't have time for it this week!

Today I have three hours of work calls, Finn has therapy and I have a date with Grayson, plus regular work.  Tomorrow I have a mere two hours of calls, plus a SEPTA meeting (I joined our local group and it has already been one of the wisest decisions I have made-so many people with so many resources!) plus of course, regular work!

Wednesday I have my coffee with Sarah (that MUST happen for sanity sake) and three or four hours of calls. Then rinse and repeat for Thursday and Friday-minus the awesome coffee date.  We have our "virtual" faculty conference this week, that is why I will be glued to a phone and a webex for the better part of this week, but this too shall pass.

On to managing limits.  Here is the thing, I suck at it. I am the first to throw myself under the bus, overload my plate, say yes to too much, and almost always it is stuff that I don't want to do, and then I don't have time for what I do want to do.  I am happy I joined SEPTA and I want to be involved, so I will need to set limits with work.  I can, on some weeks between my FT gig, PT gig and all the side work I take on, log between 70 and 100 hours of work.  If you ask people around here they wouldn't see it, since most of my work is done in between changing diapers, vacuuming, making dinner, etc.  I work in every spare space of time, after kids go to bed and often before they get up in the morning.  It can be too much.  I have to say no sometimes to the extra tasks, I need to learn that even though the extra cash would be super nice, it is not worth my sanity.  I need to learn to sit still and watch a movie with my kids and husband, to enjoy some quiet time to myself, to read and be still.  I am working on it, because I have to.  The schedule I am on has me overwhelmed.  Being overwhelmed triggers my OCD which then makes my anxiety go through the roof.  I am often up at 3 am anxious and panicking over nothing and trying to talk myself back from the brink of a panic attack.  All of this has led me to a place I rarely visit, depression.  It is hard to watch something like OCD and anxiety that helped you manage your life, take it over.  Hard to struggle every day in my own head, trading off and reorganizing every detail of my day, and knowing that I am losing out on what I want most, time with the kids and Ryan, because my head says vacuum or do laundry or work.  I am going to see what I can do about this, to quiet this inside my head, to find a place where it is OK to let something go, we will see if I can manage.

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