This post is some days late in the sense that I have come back from the brink. Or perhaps more accurately, been pulled back from the brink. After all, where are we without our support networks?
Like many of you, I have a lot of things going on:
- I have a full-time job which quite unreasonably requires me to travel to and from an office in a region with legendary traffic problems
- I have a house to maintain (and improve, in case my runaway wife forces its sale)
- I have 3 children with varying demands on my time depending on what they want from me (common demands include: food, money, repairs)
- I have to finish cleaning and sterilizing kitchen things after The Mice Invasion
- I have to do some carpentry, including new baseboards in the basement, to finish off the basement waterproofing project
- I have a big pile of mail that has to be opened and processed
- I am still working on a high-definition video editing project that needs to be finished before I leave for England…in a little over a week
- Talking about England, I need to be ready to leave for England and this requires a hire car, travel plans, pre-booking of some special things for the kids, etc.
Recently I realized that there are other things too:
- My kids are not eating well enough. Sometimes one of them cooks for all of us, sometimes I cook or we grill in the evening, but overall, I need to ensure they eat a better, balanced diet.
- Little Charlotte had a dental check-up and now we know she needs braces. This requires an investment in time and money, and some support because I am fairly sure they hurt like crazy when they are first installed.
- I noticed that the girls don’t have any serious contact with their mom. Her moving out might just possibly be one reason… In the long-term though, they will want to stay in contact with their mom. Convincing them of this isn’t easy; it may be too early to force the issue.
- Overall, new things are arriving faster than I can keep up. This trend doesn’t bode well.
Once I started to see exactly how much I need to do and how unlikely it is that I will be able to get things done in a reasonable timeframe, I felt overwhelmed. As I’ve said before on this blog, I don’t apologize for being sometimes up, sometimes down. This is a difficult time in my life and sometimes I am going to crash.
I felt desperate, I felt like I needed to run away. Or stay home and sleep, and ignore everything until I felt better. Except feeling better comes best from completing tasks, but I have been so sleep-deprived that I haven’t had the energy to do a good enough job of that. Which is how they pile up and you can see how this all builds up…
A dear friend reminded me of something quite obvious at the time I was feeling very low. Priorities. Not everything on my list is essential and urgent. Kitchen cleaning, cooking nutritious meals, the kids talking to my runaway wife: important, but no-one’s going to die if they don’t get done in the next few weeks. Thank you!
With that simple-in-hindsight-only advice, I was pulled back from the brink.
I had a few counseling sessions some months ago, but I really need some more I think. I am just an ordinary guy in a very difficult situation and, as my friend pointed out, shouldn’t be expecting to make this work fully. It’s going to be OK that not everything gets done to the standards I would like in an ideal world.
To summarize: I was feeling just fine for a while. Then I felt awful, depressed, and very down. Now I’m feeling fine again. If I use Guy Logic, which is goal-oriented and forgets the journey, this means I don’t need to write a post at all, since everything’s almost exactly the way it was a while ago…