I’m tired. I’m so worn down.
Waking up at 5:30 AM and working nine hours a day at school, then throwing together sandwiches or quesadillas or crackers and pepperoni because it’s all we have time for before burning the rubber off my tires for the boys’ activities…
Monday: football and theater.
Tuesday: piano and football.
Thursday: dance and theater and football.
Friday: Friday Night football.
Saturday: any and all random responsibilities of the not regularly scheduled variety. But thankfully, my husband is here. The father of my sons. My go-to guy. He’s here to help on Saturdays.
And then Sundays. Salvation Day. Napping days. Because, y’all. I’m slap worn out.
And I see nothing but years and years and then more years of this insane schedule, multiplied.
Lordy, it makes me want to go curl up in a ball and stay there – which is how I used to cope with overwhelming stress, back before my boys and after my girls. After my girls were grown and my responsibilities were less, I would go to bed at 7 pm and not get up again for at least 12 hours. It gave me a recharge so I could maintain the course.
But I don’t have that luxury anymore. More than 6 hours of sleep is hard to come by.
And I know I’m throwing myself a pity party. I know I’ll be fine after a nice long Sunday afternoon nap and a glass or two of wine.
But I need to know: Am I the only one like me? (Well, probably the only one who’s 56 with twin 8 year-old boys and a football-coaching husband, but still…)
I know I’m not the only one burning candles at both ends and feeling frayed and frazzled with an FU filter threatening to fail.
So what do y’all do? How do you find inner peace when your energy has melted into a roiling thermonuclear core threatening to collapse and there’s really no end in sight? When doing less is absolutely not an option?
No, like, really.
How do you handle it?
September 18, 2022 at 12:18 pm
I work 45-50 hours at work, teach about 8 hours of voice lessons, and work at my church as the minister of music. We careen from thing to thing and I was very overwhelmed a few weeks ago. What I started doing is reserving “restoration time” on my calendar just to have placeholders for breathing. I treat them as sacred. I also take intentional time in the evenings and mornings to meditate and read so I feel like I have done something kind for myself.
September 19, 2022 at 3:29 am
Heather, I love your beautiful, honest posts. You are definitely not alone. Having a hubby with a new job that’s no less demanding than the US Navy was (he’s about to start his third week of work out of town on business (In Prague no less this week…not feeling very sorry for him 🤣). So I do a lot of solo parenting. My kids started back to school two weeks ago and for the first time ever, as I was collating their timetables both for school and after-school activities and weekend activities, I decided to make myself my own timetable. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. The absolute best (and silliest) thing ever. And I’m not ashamed. It is brilliant. Don’t care that my friends have laughed. But guess what, my OCD, type A self loves it. It validates why I really am tired a lot of the time, why my long-Covid has not gone away, what my priorities are….but mainly it’s shown me ‘gosh, I do a lot for others and this givenness makes me feel valued when maybe the rest of the world (including busy kids) forget how much I do. I now see on paper how much I really do 🤣. Also, and equally important, is that it’s helped me see where there are pockets of time that I MUST make space for rest. For me time. It may seem cliche that when our tanks are empty we cannot give others from an empty reservoir. But it’s true. And because of some of my underlying insecurities and feelings of needing to please people, I have to let go of the lie that rest/space is laziness. It is hard b/c when I rest, I have to fight the constant nag of “am I still worthy and loved when I do absolutely nothing?” My faith in God has taught me that my worth is not in what I do or even necessary how well I perform and accomplish these much-loved activities each week. My worth comes from the one who made me and loves me just as I am. Also sounds a bit cliche, but also equally true. Jesus has become the real deal to me. So this week, I pick back up my own little Cindy ‘loves’ (Hebrew and Greek classes as well as the Bible class I teach here in Salisbury)…I’m wondering how I’m going to add that to the already crazy schedule, but I must. It’s what fires me up, its what fills my tank back up and I think it’s one of the things God made me do, which is why I love it so much. It is a balance. But God willingly and cheerfully gives us strength to do the things that bring us joy and make us feel most fully alive. Whether that’s parenting, teaching, making sandwiches, driving kids around, reading bedtime stories, or even grading papers, you can find joy and strength in literally all of it.
Ok I’ve already gone on for too long, but I just thought of a little story that happened to me at the end of last school year. If you’ve read this far, bless you! It really opened my eyes to understanding the Bible verse: “The Joy of the Lord is my strength”. So this is what happened…I went to Levi’s end-of-year play. The little girl that was playing Alice, in Alice in Wonderland, started to fumble her lines a bit. This sweet 9-year-old’s face went from joy to scared to blank to fear to full of tears. My heart was wrenched. I prayed that God would help her and make her not be afraid. Suddenly, the verse “The Joy of the Lord is my strength” came to my mind. So I prayed that for her. Then the strangest thing happened and I felt for the first time an “inverted” understanding of that verse – something my whole life I’d never thought of before. For so long, I considered that that verse’s meaning only meant that “when I am sad or need help, finding MY Joy in God will strengthen me” (and I think this is true). But I’ve often thought, “But God what if I don’t really have Joy in you in this moment?”
But right then, with this sweet girl, I sensed the passage’s further meaning, “When the Lord watches his children doing what they love to do, even when it takes courage because it’s hard or scary or tiring, it is Him, who first possesses Joy in His heart towards us. (As you know, sometimes it’s impossible to drum up joy). I got this new sense that when God watches us live and work through these moments it is Him who is first delighted in us..and then He graciously transfers His love and strength to us. And so the little girl did. She took a deep breath, she looked up, she looked back at the lady on the piano, she paused and regained her focus and her face lit up and she began again. I think she got a sense of Who was delighting in her at the moment and she got her strength back.
💗💗💗 you so much my beautiful cousin,