It’s confession time. I have spent the last few months violating one of the central tenants that Heather and I try to live by: I’ve been too scared to say no to anything. And as a result, I suddenly looked around yesterday and discovered that I am vastly, alarmingly, frighteningly overcommitted. I am so overcommitted that I’m paralyzed; the to-do list is so long I find myself unable to knock out any of the items.
Here is a sampler platter of what’s on my plate this week:
- Legal work. I’m a freelancer, and like most freelancers, I live in fear of all my work drying up. Rather than dealing with this common fear like a rational human, I’ve been saying yes to too many clients, and now I have so much work I’m not sure how I’ll grind through it all.
- CluckCluck work. Admittedly this is my favorite work, but there’s a LOT of it right now and it too is getting overwhelming.
- Board membership. I’m on the board of a newly-founded private school, and there’s a lot of work being done to launch it in order to begin accepting applications this fall.
- Alumni Mentoring. I agreed to take part in the USC Law mentorship program, and now find myself with four 1L students wanting to schedule lunches with me.
- School volunteering. I agreed to work on finding donation items for my children’s school’s annual gala/silent auction. Enough said.
- House stuff. We’re about to start a major renovation, so this week I have meetings with an architect and engineer. Feel free to laugh at the sheer foolhardiness of beginning such a project right now.
- Sleep training the baby. Judge all you want; I have three children and I need them all to sleep. So we are using the Sleep Easy Solution. This means no sleep for me for a couple of ugly weeks.
- Healthiness. I’m working on losing the last of the baby weight, which means I’ve embarked on a serious exercise and healthy eating routine. The food part involves a lot of prep and cooking from scratch.
- ….I feel like I’m forgetting something…
- Oh yes, parenting my three children. This is all on top of the usual homework, school projects, sports practices, dance classes, introducing the baby to solid foods, fixing broken Lego fortresses, finding missing American Girl doll shoes, digging around for the baby’s favorite pacifer, buying diapers, realizing my son has somehow grown out of all his shoes…
Look, I know how insanely, absurdly privileged I am. Every single thing on that list is a GOOD THING that I am LUCKY TO HAVE. People would kill for this list. I know that. I absolutely know it and I take none of it for granted. I love my family and my life and my work SO MUCH.
But right now I am drowning in so many commitments that I can hardly see straight. I collapse into bed each night only to wake at 3:00 a.m. with my mind racing (usually mere moments before the baby starts to wake), trying to re-prioritize what’s on deck for tomorrow all while wondering if I remembered to buy more yogurt smoothies for the big kids’ lunches.
You know what I need to do, right?
I need to say no.
I need to step back from some of this and say no. Without explaining too much, without apologizing too much, I need to take back a little sanity.
Easier said than done though, isn’t it?
So that’s my confession. I’ve messed up by saying yes too much, and now I have to fix it. I’ll take any and all suggestions you lovely readers have, because goodness knows my own judgment isn’t so awesome these days.
Seriously. Sympathy, empathy, actionable suggestions, chastisement for being a privileged idiot…I’ll take any of it. Leave a comment or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading. I love you people.
E (not H because she’s not dumb enough to get herself into this kind of mess anymore.)