Last night I was pretty sure that the wheels really were falling off the proverbial bus.
I still hadn't gotten all of those reports done, and my November paperwork had not gone out to my clients yet. The work was overwhelming, I'm working all day Saturday, the nanny was out sick with the flu, and I'd agreed to work at Lyle's co-op nursery school this morning to help someone else out (I'll be grateful for that come next week when she is working in my place). When I lost the three hours set aside to get work done yesterday afternoon (due to the nanny's completely legitimate illness), I saw the first two wheels loosening - poised to drop at any moment - and I started to feel true panic rising.
I was talking to a reputable local psychologist yesterday and we were discussing the hell of over-scheduling oneself. "When that happens, I just cease to function," she said knowingly. All I could manage was a "Yeah...", knowing that I'm in the midst of that right now and feeling stuck.
Today I turned things around, however. During the day, while I was working at the co-op and caring for the boys, I focused my mind on some positives about work. I've had a few really interesting opportunities come up in the past week - I wrote an article that is about to be picked up by both a local online parenting network and a new BabyCenter blog, and I had the chance to help a novelist-who-shall-remain-nameless work out a tough plot line that required some professional expertise. This was a challenge unlike any other and it was so fascinating and fun for me! Thinking about these new endeavors really helped today.
I then also arranged a way to get out of the house and work tonight. When Matt got back from work, I high-tailed it down the block to this fine establishment (heard of them?), which is as close to my house as this:
Turns out, the "out of the house" part of that equation is key. I'm also not about to pay for their wireless connection (those stingy buggers) so I'm "off the grid" when I'm there, as Matt would say. Of course, having no access to email or the Internet really does make a difference in terms of my, um, attention to task. I was able to complete two big evaluation reports in a few hours.
And so, at least for now, the wheels have affixed themselves to the bus once more. There's a lot more to do, but the most challenging things are off my plate. I am not a big fan of this situation, and am actively working to remedy it. I know what I've done wrong in my schedule this fall and winter, and will just need a little time to shift things enough that some of this pressure will be released. But I'll do it.