Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Am I at a crossroads?

I started the year off well. I had my resolutions in hand (written down!) and I had even given myself a month-to-month list of goals. (Thank you Gretchen Rubin and The Happiness Project.)

It wasn't long, however, before I started slide.

Everything seemed grey. Difficult. Too much.

(It probably didn't help that our weather has been grey and a bit difficult.)  

I'm normally go-go-go, but all I seemed to want to do was stay in bed with the covers over my head. I wanted to sleep, which is my go-to avoidance technique. Or read, which I spent an entire Saturday afternoon doing.

I didn't like my world, so I entered the pages of another.

And it's not over yet. I'm a bit better, but still grey.

You might ask, "So, why don't you just get a prescription and take that all away?  All the cool kids are doing it."

I'm sure my doc would do it, but would that really solve anything? It's not like I'm just chemically depressed. A bit of winter-induced sunshine deficit. No, and in fact, I even think it's the desire to change, to make resolutions and do better that has put me here!

There's a realization that there is A LOT to tackle. And not everything fits into a month-to-month plan.

For instance, February was going to be budget month. Get our finances in line, trim those expenses, pay off some debt. But before we could even get there, for the second month in a row, we overdrew.

Now, we are not profligate spenders. We do not have the big DVR/High-Def/500-channel satellite channel. We've got your basic cable on an old big box TV. We have cut back on dining out such that I look forward to my mother-in-law's visits so that we can actually sit in a restaurant. I buy clothes only when something has worn out beyond fixing or I have outgrown something (which is happening to me, much to my chagrin). We keep the thermostat adjusted, buy the cheapest gas, and shop at WalMart (which grates on my soul). The bottom line is that we can't live on my pretty steady salary and RockStar's erratic one.

So not even a month in and January's plan (set better routines) was usurped by February's.

I know, it's not Armageddon, but for whatever reason it set me off. I realized how much the frustrations in my life are interconnected. It's hard to work on one thing exclusively, while the others are screaming for attention. It's overwhelming.  Right now, I feel as though all of these things need my immediate attention:
  • Finances - earn more money
  • Finances - pay off bills/lower bills
  • Dylan's education - figure out some sort of way to help his failing grades (without spending money on tutoring)
  • Dylan's socio-emotional needs - figure out ways to help him deal with anger (without more costly doctor bills)
  • Home management - get us on a more consistent schedule with healthier meals and a balance between leisure and school/work
  • Time management - get it all (my work, home management, helping Dylan with school, Scouts, and oh yeah, time for myself) done without killing myself
  • Weight/Health - Eat better and work out more without actually taking up any more time
  • Creativity - Feed my creative soul, again without actually taking up any more time or resources
And that list doesn't nclude room for friendship or even nurturing my relationship with RockStar which has its troubles thanks to that uneven financial picture and my current negative body image. Oh, and I still need a way to resolve my feelings about the new dog.

So, what's my solution, right?  You've read this far, you figure there's a neat happy ending? Yeah, well, unfortunately I feel as though I'm still in the thick of it. Still fighting the grey desire to just cover my head with blankets and read a good book. I'm going to work and doing what needs to be done, but it's hard. Today I'm meeting with Dylan's teacher and it's nearly my undoing. I feel as though I need to go through it, not medicate it, but we'll see.

How do you handle overwhelm? Is there a way to make it all fit?

(c) The Argonne Chronicles 2013



  1. When I'm overwhelmed, I do all kinds of helpful things like Eat Junk Food, Cry, Waste Time on the Computer and Whine For Extended Periods.

    So, obviously I'm not going to be much help there now, Am I?

    That being said, I highly HIGHLY recommend the book The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I would be glad to send you a copy if you like. It's a seven step financial makeover plan, and I bought multiple copies to give out after we completed Step Two.

    Let me know. And hang in there. I'm sorry things are so rough.

    1. Leeann, you are a doll! I actually read Ramsey's book (borrowed from the library). The biggest problem is that we already do most of the things he recommends.

      And...I have been doing just what you do - Eating Junk (Carbs) and Crying, especially. In true form, today's crises are all about Dylan's educational needs. I know that someday I'll look back and this will all be behind me...but that's not doing much for today's perspective!

      At any rate - your reaching out helps immensely! Thanks!

  2. Oh, and PS! thanks for the kind note on my blog. I tried to give it up but apparently I can't, so Imma gonna settle for half-assed.
    Hope to see you there on occasion!