Sometimes it seems like there is just so much going on in my life, that I have a hard time deciding where to “start”. Between my full time job, doing books for our trucking business, being mom, starting my own cake business, being a wife, and attempting to be a photographer and blogger, there just ain’t enough hours in the day. I am usually results driven- I have a plan, I work hard to see it through, and thrive on the end result. But lately- just getting through the day without losing a child or having a melt down is about the best result I can ask for. And it annoys the hell out of me! I can’t even tell you the last time I read an entire book (well, one that was decent; I recently finished some weird psycho-thriller novel, and am pretty sure I won’t sleep for a week)- though it isn’t because I haven’t tried. I read somewhere once that successful people read something like a book a week. WTH? Who are these people? I think I am pretty successful, but I didn’t even read a book a week before I had kids.
I have talked to friends. My husband. My boss. Heck, I even tried talking to my kids but they just kept interrupting me, diverting my mind and totally derailing my train of thought. Why can’t I focus? What’s wrong with me? Why do I have absolutely no concentration? Have I developed ADD? Do I have early onset dementia? The more I thought about what is “wrong” and how to cure it, I came up with seven reasons why I can’t finish a single thought.
1. Constant interruption. Thanks to my job, I spend eight hours a day answering the phone and jumping from one customer request to another; covering a whole host of issues from broken phones, cut cables, signing up for new phone and internet service, and even listening to lonely people tell me their life story for an hour just because they have no one else to talk to. And then I pick up my kids from daycare, and any coherent thoughts are interrupted with a constant barrage of “Mom. Mom. Mom. Momma. Momma. Mom. Mom…. ” (you get the point). And then my husband walks in the door and it is truck talk, ranch talk, “fix fence, cows did this, truck did that, did you know so-and-so’s wife’s uncle’s dog had a litter of kittens”… peppered with “Mom. Mom. Momma. Mom. MOM. MOMMA!!” and pretty soon I am sitting in the corner of the room hugging my knees to my chest singing “Row, Row, Row your boat”. (Wait… that is just what I am doing in my mind, while smiling and pretending to understand any of this conversation.)
2. Distractions. I am addicted to Instagram. I love it. And I let the awesome pictures of horses and cows and ranch land and cowboys and the wilderness and the sky just take me away… and I can’t put it down. And then I get on Facebook. And check my email. And make lists on Trello. And look up cake recipes on Pinterest. And think of blog post ideas…
3. Over thinking. Sometimes I over-think things so much I don’t do any real thinking at all. Which leaves me stressed out, and over-thinking my life choices all over again. It is a ridiculous cycle.
4. Self doubt. Like so many women, I am my own worst enemy. I read all these great uplifting blog posts, memes, hang out on a really great Facebook group, even read self-help articles once in a while, you know, so I should have no doubts about my ability to be a total rock-star everyday. But the truth is, all that stuff is lip service. I can read it, hear it, heck, I even share it on my own social- media pages; but I still have nagging doubts of my capabilities of doing my job, raising my kids, being a good wife, or pretty much everything. I often beat myself up for my mistakes, and worry what everyone must think- “She’s so lame”; “she’s such a meaner” (my kids’ favorite name for me when I lose my shit on them); “she sucks at everything, why does she even try?”. Of course I worry that some people may think those things, but I also know that I am doing the best I can. And chances are, they aren’t freaking perfect either.
5. Noise. I hate noise. Always have, always will. That being said, I literally cannot work without music. Of course I’m not talking about quiet, soothing piano melodies or quiet lullabyes; nope- if it isn’t a complete mix of everything from Johnny Cash to Garth Brooks, to Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles, to Casey Donahew Band and Luke Bryan, I can’t function. I think it might be a disease.
6. Very little “Me” time. Unless I crawl out of bed at 4 AM, I am pretty much at the mercy of my family, my customers, and the demands of life. And I don’t function late at night. I am trying to talk myself into having an early morning yoga-date with myself tomorrow morning, but chances are more likely I will assault my alarm clock when it tries to remind me about it in the morning. Ugh.
7. Original thoughts. I don’t think there is anything I can say that hasn’t been said a million times before, somewhere, by someone else. This makes it hard to write, when it feels like what you are trying to say has been said before.
I imagine that someday, my brain won’t feel like scrambled eggs without a side of bacon. That I will be able to just eat a cracker without worrying about the phone ringing. That I won’t have to take days off of work and leave the kids with the sitter just to be able to sleep in order to have some quiet time alone. 🙂 You gotta have dreams, right?
I would love to know how you deal with stress. I know I can’t be the only one that feels this way. A friend recently told me to do what I can, and then do the next best thing- take the next best step. What is your next best step? How do you balance work, kids, dirty dishes and piles of laundry? I think you just have to take it one dirty dish and laundry basket at a time.
Til next time, much love ~Richelle