No Complaints Will Be Accepted

Juggling.jpg

I recently had an email exchange with one of my Sorors who is near and dear to my heart. The conversation was around getting some things done within the committees that we belong to. I had emailed to ask her what I could do and I’m sure I apologized for not having done more up until this point. In her typical, no nonsense manner, she gave me the title to this post. I took from it that no excuses were going to be accepted and to just do the work! Don’t waste time explaining why it hasn’t been done before. Do it now.  I smiled and shook my head because, she is right.

Juggling

You know what I have noticed lately? A general sense of being overwhelmed at all times. Along with that, I find myself apologizing for everything I do not do. And I’m tired of it.

Tired of apologizing for not providing someone with something they would like from me because I was busy with homework. Tired of apologizing for not signing up for this thing or that because I can’t swing it with my schedule and the frog princess.

I am tired of explaining myself, as if I had to. Of feeling the need to let everyone know all the balls that I am currently juggling and offering them up as an excuse. Frankly, I can’t do it all and people are just going to have to deal with it because I am trying my best. More importantly, I need to let go of feeling as if people don’t understand or self imposing the guilt.

My email exchange reminded me that I have let some people down. Important people that mean a lot to me. And this means that I need to reassess not only my priorities but my load. I need to look through what is on my plate right now and make some hard decisions because at the end of the day, I cannot do it all and I’d rather say no to some things up front that be disappointed in myself when I don’t handle what I should.

The product of me trying to do it all has been falling asleep with the frog princess the last 2 nights and not having the strength to get up and get things done in the middle of the night. My body is telling me that I’m doing too much.  And, so is my mind. I have been fatigued beyond measure and that, in turn, is affecting me with handling the things that I am able to handle. It’s a lovely cycle, isn’t it? Thankfully, it stops today.

Bogged down with the daily juggling and the self-imposed guilt of not being the exceptional juggler that I was just a few short years back, I have to come to terms with the fact that my life is different right now and in the last couple of years my priorities have changed. It doesn’t mean I care any less about the causes I have always supported or the organizations that I belong to. It simply means that I am at a stage in my life right now where my time is having to be very closely monitored in order for me to do what I’m supposed to do effectively.

Does that make sense? I miss doing community service. I miss teaching Sunday school. I miss mentoring young girls.  But, which of those can I do, still be committed to school, building my business and the frog princess? These are all things that I need to look at as I start to perform something that my Line Sister has long been trying to get through my head: selective abandonment. Do I want to be the one to say no to something that I believe in, love and once was able to do? I don’t. But, what will I be able to contribute to these causes at a later date when I am stable with my business and finished with school?

I got a chance to hear Dr. Daisy Sutherland, author of the book Letting Go of Supermom, speak at the Niche Mommy conference. She said a lot of things that spoke to how I am feeling. I remember her saying that it is hard for us to say no to things. She also provided us with a different way to say it: I can’t say yes to that right now. And so, that phrase is being added to my vocabulary. Right. Now.

No complaints will be accepted. No excuses and no guilt.  Do what you can now and then keep it moving to the next task. That’s what my Soror reminded me of this week.

How do you handle having too much on your plate?

I’m pouring my heart out on the wrong day of the week. But guess what? I’m not apologizing for it.

PYHO: Thoughts Of a Single Mami

Yesterday I had a thought: I'm never going date!  And immediately I thought of Shell and Pour Your Heart Out.  Though on many days I feel very much like everything's going to be okay and God will give me just what I need, let's face it, I'm human (hard to believe, I know).  Every once in a while I begin to overanalyze, ponder and try to figure out how He's going to get it done.  Because, I mean really, God needs a project manager, right? I'm ready to date. Ready to head out there and meet someone that I can go out, connect and have fun with. I've been on a couple of dates with one particular person but, circumstances have changed and though I very much liked him, he's got some things to work out.  I was at least proud of myself that I was able to recognize this early on and step away before I got too close.

So, where do I meet a nice (not so young) man that is God-fearing, faithful, truthful, funny, supportive and loving (and who won't mind that I'm totally going to blog about him)?  I was thinking about this yesterday and realized there's no place.  Church? I'm usually busy with my date with Jesus when I'm there and tend to block everything out.  The supermarket?  The one sure way to get yourself tazed in my book is by approaching me in the parking lot while I'm with my daughter.  Sorry, I watch way too much Criminal Minds.  I'm not the going out type anymore.  I have gone to the clubs a few times in the last 6 months and I was bored and not impressed.  I'd say that I'm over the club scene.

My baby girl is almost 2 and I think about another child.  But I have no sperm.  And my eggs are aging as we speak.  Add to that the fact that I am pretty sure my endometriosis is rearing it's ugly head again and it leaves me slightly hyperventilating at the thought that I might not experience the beautiful miracle of pregnancy again.

Back to the man.  Where do I go? The thought of online dating is not at all appetizing (again, too much Criminal Minds).  Perhaps I am destined to be alone for the rest of my life.  I'm grateful for my frog princess and for my writing.  Grateful that I can concentrate on my passions.  Perhaps it's not a bad thing. I just wonder sometimes if, now that I am on the other side of 35 and I have a child, dating/marriage/another child is out of the question.

For single mamis out there, what's your take on this topic?

The Road Through Regret

My girl, Shell over at Things I Can't Say has this great link up on Wednesdays.  So, here's my entry. Be gentle as I pour my heart out...

I'm overwhelmed with information and unsure as to what to do next as I try to work as a writer/blogger.  Where do I turn to? Where do I go? Who do I reach out to? Who is going to charge? Who will give me the best advice? Questions, questions, questions.  I peruse freelance writing jobs online unsure of which ones are legitimate.  I send in my information into the abyss that is the internet and emails never to hear back from the person on the other side.

This is my first break since maternity leave, if you can call this a break.  I didn't take any time off during mami's illness though looking back, I totally could have.  But I was worried about the office a little.  Though mami was my priority, I had this idea that the office mattered somehow.  Now I know different and add that to my list of regrets.

Today Shell mentions playing the what if game.  I know that game all too well.  And although my grief counselor advised me against it and gave me some pretty reasonable explanations when I did my writing prompt on guilt, it still comes back to me.  What if I would've taken her to MD Anderson as soon as she'd been diagnosed?  What if I would've demanded that they finish the radiation when she was hospitalized with jaundice instead of trusting the egotistical doctor who is probably writing about this case since I don't think she's had too much experience with this type of cancer?  What if I would've demanded that they cut her open the first time she had gallbladder pain instead of waiting until the swelling went down in order to do laprascopic surgery?  What if I would've coaxed her into telling me what was wrong and how she was feeling so I could've eased her pain a lot sooner than I did?  I could go on and on and on.

Part of this "break" is not only building my dreams but also grieving.  I went back to work the day after the funeral.  My grief comes in fits and spurts wrapped around the frog princess's sleeping schedule though she is more perceptive than anyone would give her credit for.  Everything happens for a reason, right? I got laid off a week after moving in with my dad.  See, his grief manifested in a heart attack.  Now all I want to do is take care of him.  In the same fierce way that I wish to take care of my frog princess.  Being in her house, her space, sometimes takes my breath away.  Dad remodeled the house a little to accommodate us but, I have the master bedroom.  And, although the bed is now on a different wall and the walls are a different color and there's a door where once there was none, this is still the space in which she took her last breath.  It is beautiful, joyful, peaceful and painful all at once.

The invincible woman that could make something out of nothing.  The woman with no high school education and very little English that not only won the hearts of everyone she met (in any language) but managed to raise us in a fairly comfortable life along side a not always easy to deal with dad.  And every day that I hit new challenges or good news, I still reach for the phone even though she's no longer on the other side.

I love Oprah (in case you didn't know).  One of the most profound quotes that she uses all the time is this: "Forgiveness is giving up the hope that things could have been different."  Today, in the middle of a cloudy day, I'm heavy with what if's knowing that ultimately, I have to forgive myself even though this isn't my fault.  I try so hard to take care of everyone and that's not always possible.

I am confident that I did the best that I could even in the midst of all the questions that come up on cloudy days like this one.  When I am trying desperately to figure out how to make my dreams come true and I miss sitting down and having a cup of coffee with my mami who could always make it all better.

Thank you for sticking by til the end of this post.  What do you have in your heart that needs to be "poured" out?