Just when you think you cannot do any more

Just when you think you cannot fit one more thing in your life, something else gets tossed on the game board of life. I make it no secret that I have a crazy life most of the time. I might make a good faced attempt at hiding it and making it look easy. Behind the scenes, however, is where it gets crazy. Do not always believe what you see on stage when the curtains are pulled.

I should confess to suffering from something that many of us suffer from – perpetual laziness. I procrastinate as much as the next person, probably more so. I probably suffer more from distraction than the average Joe or Jane. It is a miserable daily companion if you ask me and it comes right down to it. In the end, it just makes things worse. That does not make it any easier to find the will power or motivation to just get the things done in the “right now” we call the infamous “daily grind.”

I will not even attempt to recap any of my tasks in my “daily” grind list today because it is so dynamic and it would make the average person whimper in defeat. Most would give up. This, however, is my life. This is what I get up and go about every day. I get up and get it all done, or not, every single day. It is what being me entails. That is the beauty of being who we are. We each have our own individual lists of unique things that we can all get done every day. We own those and only we can get them done or not. At the end of the day, only we can decide if we are failures or not. Only we can judge our progress or not. No one else. It is our list, not anyone else. The thing is, however, sometimes our list directly influences the lists of others’ and that is where the slippery slope of how “successful” we have been during the day comes in. It is not for others to judge our success of the day, but it can be their place to judge the impact that we have had on their day. Do our actions impact them in a positive or negative way? We need to dwell on that a little before we choose to put off until tomorrow what really can and should be done today.

Alas, that is not what I intend to talk about this morning, but it does lead into the fact that life does not always ask if we have too many things to do, it just happens. It does not ask if we have too many things to do that impact others, it just happens. Sometimes we have a lot of things that impact others and they all come together at the same time. Sometimes, those things are all good. Sometimes we just have to give a little so that we can do a little good for every one. It is not because we are trying to not be our best for everyone, but it is because we cannot fully be our best all of the time at the same time for everyone because everyone needs us at the same time. They did not ask, it just happened.

Yes, it is that overwhelming feeling that you are drowning and you cannot get out from under everything no matter how hard you try. Everyone acts like they understand, but in reality everyone just wants you to do what they have asked you to do. The truth is, however, you cannot do anything because every single time you turn around someone else is asking for something else. It just mushroom clouds out of control. Finally you just have to step back, walk away, and take a breather. You have to take some time for you. Your mental solidarity cannot handle anymore tug and pull.

The escape might not make the tug and pull go away, but it will provide you a few steps back and a fresh perspective. A new look at the old problems that continuously plague you. Hopefully with a little distance and time you can refresh your personal batteries and you can approach everything with a new energy and renewed commitment. Like I said, it does not make it go away, it simply makes you take a fresh look at everything and give you a chance to breathe. It gives you a chance to not do anything so you can once again do everything. It is almost like the few seconds in the movies where they stop motion and the one character is still moving. You can see everything for those few seconds.

Amazingly, my little vacation helped me in just that way. I would not say that my vacation was relaxing in very many ways. It was not in too many. I can, however, say that I come to a new appreciation for the things I have back home. I have come to accept that my crazy life as much as I do not always enjoy transporting children every which direction, at least they have options open to them through these activities. As much as I do not enjoy the crazy hours going to and from the karate dojo multiple times per night some nights, at least my children have learned discipline, self-control, and have learned a skill they will carry with them the rest of their lives. As much as I think the musical rehearsal schedules get crazy in high school, I do not mind them so much when I look at my oldest son’s talents and the joy he can bring to people’s lives through them. I am grateful, truly grateful, for the opportunities that I am able to pass onto my children.

Then it comes down to the things that I choose to do on top of the crazy schedule that simply having kids entails. I may choose these activities for them simply because they want to participate in them, but in reality we are very limiting on what we entertain in the activity realms. The crazy part comes in when you factor in that it is three children 3-4 years apart between each child. That leaves a bit of variety in their schedule and it opens plenty of opportunity for schedule conflicts and the crazy to just creep in. It happens. We are actually on the low end of allowed activities when it comes down to what our children are involved in when you start comparing us to other parents. I am amazed. We have, however, taught a children about consistency with activities, or tried to. I think that is important.

I have had to say “no” to a lot of volunteer activities because of the above activities. I just could not do anymore and stay sane. It was too much. I felt that I was saying “no” more times than not and I was even in some ways depriving my children of the joys of life because I could not feasibly fulfill some crazy need for “mom” to be there all the time doing everything all of the time.

Of course, looking back now I realize I have not deprived them of anything. I have saved myself for the best years when it will matter most. I might not have been there when they were five years old reading to their kindergarten class every week or even once a month, but I saved my sanity for being there for every junior high and high school orchestra concert. I have the energy and stamina to be there for them to ride the bus with them when their orchestra plays at high school graduation. I am not too tired or too bored now. I have not given it all already. I have not done it all already. I still have lots to give.

Of course you can ask me how I feel next year after serving as the President of the Klein Oak High School Orchestra Booster Club. I am doing this for my oldest son, Andrew. It was volunteer and step up to the plate or they did not have a Booster Club. If they did not have a Booster Club, then every child suffered from the lack of educational opportunities. I have seen what the Booster Club does for the kids through paying for clinicians throughout the year. It improves their ability to play dramatically over the school year. It makes them better players. It pays off. I really had no choice. I could have said “no” but in my heart, I knew that my child needed this as much as every other child in the orchestra (nearly 200 of them).

So when you think your life gets crazy and you do not think it can get any crazier…just open your mouth and volunteer for something else. I did.

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