So I’m sitting here right now, doing my best not to cry. (And failing.) I seem to have stacked a whole lot more on my plate than usual.

Of course, it’s football season… and I’m used to the stress and demands our family’s football life takes on my schedule and my sanity.

But now I’ve added little league flag football for the boys, with twice-weekly practice. (So we don’t get home until 7 PM. And the boys have to be cooked for and fed and homework completed and bathed and read to and in bed by 8.)

And then there’s the online gifted certification that I’ve committed myself to for the next four semesters. And my desire to fit in some exercise and blogging. And to get my hair done occasionally. And to have time with Mike.

And teach. And plan lessons. And grade 185 students’ assignments — times 2 or 3 on any given week. Oh, and be a club sponsor.

And be a person who listens. Who hears. Who cares. Who helps. A good mother. A good wife. A good daughter. A good teacher. A good friend. In other words, a good person.

And to fit sleep in there somewhere.

So I’m trying not to panic. And I’m failing at that too. I feel like I’m failing at all the things. All of them.

And I was sailing along doing just fine… or at least I thought I was, until I got an email this morning telling me that the group I thought I was a part of in my mandatory gifted cert Group Component had made a mistake, and I wasn’t actually in the group after all.

I feel like the last kid picked for dodge ball.

But here’s the thing about me. I’m really good at dodging. I would dodge the hell out of group work and do it all on my own, if given the chance. I hate group work. It was the bane of my existence as a student, both in high school and in college, and now here it is, the bane of my existence as an educator.

I’m a perfectionist and an introvert and group work is some sort of tenth circle of hell Dante never dreamed up because it’s simply too diabolical. That one was left to the higher education tour guides of hell.

So what’s a girl to do?

Well experts tell the simpletons like myself to cultivate an ability to say NO. To prioritize my life, cafeteria style, and learn to pass rather than heap the items onto my plate.

But the thing is… my life itself isn’t a turn at the buffet. It IS the buffet. A great, big, delectable buffet — with a small side of broccoli group work that I have on the table, whether I like it or not.

All the things on my buffet are all the things I need to live this great big life of mine. All the things. Even the broccoli. And not a one is too small to pass up. (Especially not the hair appointment… I think it’s the only thing I truly do that is selfish.)

So what is this girl to do? This girl is gonna cry. Just for a hot second. And then she’s gonna cuss the tiniest of blue streaks, to let some of the steam escape, lest she explode like the Coke Zero can in the center console of her van in the 97 degree heat this past Thursday.

Because the pressure is great. But so is her work ethic. She’s not gonna explode. And she’s not gonna implode.

She’s gonna tackle one mountainous molehill at a time. Starting with an email to find a new group for this mother-effing group work due in two hard, hellish weeks…