Belinda recently wrote a great post about Quieting the Noise, it resonated with me. Like Belinda, and I think so any of us at this time of year, I am feeling just completely overwhelmed by all the noise and activity and pressure in my life. There just seems to be a million demands being made of me right now, a constant stream of someone or something wanting or needing something from me and because I’m generous by nature and while I don’t take myself seriously, I do take what I do seriously, from my work to my relationships and even this little blog, I find myself feeling completely overwhelmed almost constantly and like I’m being tugged in a million different directions.
It’s also absolutely impossible (for me anyway) to keep all these little balls in the air and make the juggling act look effortless. I simply can’t do it and I’ve spent weeks, if not months, beating myself up over it. But I think in the last week, due to a number of events outside of my control, I literally reached breaking point.
This weekend, I decided to just switch off and take a break. Ha! Who am I kidding, I never switch off, I have a perpetually racing mind, something I’m convinced I inherited from my dad. But I did take a break, from social media and even thought I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure to blog, I’ve mentioned before, I have so many posts I need to complete, but after last week, I just needed a break. I never opened my laptop once this weekend, I hardly tweeted and never shared anything on Face Book on Instagram until Sunday night and I needed it.
Instead, I spent the weekend relaxing with friends and just living.
I swam, I attended kiddies parties, drank lots of ice cold beers in the heat, basked in the sun, got thrown in a pool, went down a water slide fully clothed and just generally took it easy and took a time out.
But the whole time I was thinking…. my mind racing…. thinking of ways to quiet some of the noise in my life right now, before it sucks me under and completely drowns me.
So today I decided to take simplifying a step further.
Traditionally this time of year, I get a loads of invites to really awesome events, especially events where my kids get totally spoiled and get to experience something unique. Lots of PR functions, lots of brand releases. But I’ve decided to decline.
I was supposed to attend a function this past weekend but just didn’t have the time. I was supposed to attend an event on Friday afternoon after work with my girls but I’ve declined. I was supposed to attend an event on Saturday with Ava but I’ve declined.
And I hate doing it. I hate declining. I hate feeling like I’m missing out. I hate feeling like my kids are missing out on a cool opportunity. But I’m just stretched to thin and need to prioritize what’s important to me. Coming home from work on Friday, taking a swim with my girls, sitting on the patio with a glass of wine, or racing home, throwing the girls in the car and then racing back to Sandton in peak traffic? Fetching my race pack for the Soweto marathon, or attending an event with Ava on Saturday, only to rush home before we have friends over on Saturday afternoon? This kind of rushing really stresses me out, I get so flustered and can’t be present in the moment when my mind is going a million miles a minute about schedules and where I need to be next and estimating the time to get there. I just can’t.
And then I get stressed about that too. The blogging sphere has really blown up in the last year, it’s become highly highly competitive and I don’t want to be left behind. But I am not a full time blogger, I work, I run a home, I have two young children who need me and a husband that does too and I’ve just reached the point where I’ve surrendered to the fact that I’m stretching myself to thin and I can’t anymore. Somethings got to give and event attending is it for me I’m afraid.
And oddly, since making that decision, I feel a sense of peace about it. Like already a tiny weight has been lifted, one less ball to juggle in an already insane schedule.
For now, I just want to focus on my children (we have the feedback session with Ava’s educational psychologist tomorrow), on the baby shower I’m helping to plan, on Ava’s birthday party in a few weeks, on Hannah’s school concert, on finding time with my husband instead of passing each other like ships in the night, overwhelmed by the daily stresses of modern living, I want to get back to enjoying my running, on savoring time spent alone (ha, whom I kidding I’m a mom) lost inside a good book. I’m also not beating myself up over not reading and reciprocating on other bloggers blogs, I simply can’t. Read here, don’t read here, comment here, don’t comment here, it’s all good. At the end of the day, I only have so much to give and right now, I’m doing what I can but taking care of me first.
And I’ve blogged on this topic so many times before. Why is it that as women and as mothers, we are taught that it’s selfish to put our needs first? Because if I fall apart, there will be nothing to give to my husband or my children so caring for me is as essential as caring for them.
So if there are periods of silence, it’s just because I’m taking a time out and nurturing and caring for me.