Last week I sat in my car after leaving Kohl’s where I was fast and furiously gathering last minute accessories for my sister’s wedding on my lunch break. Shoes and jewelry to match my dress, and coordinating outfits for three miniature humans with very different styles. I finished at Kohl’s and needed to run into Wal-mart as well for a couple extra items. I pulled into the parking spot and glanced at the clock.
Twelve minutes. That’s how long I had until my next conference call, which was luckily one I could take from my car. And guess what went through my head? “Perfect!!”
I didn’t have any kids with me and I truly felt like I could run into Wal-Mart, grab two solid long sleeve t-shirts and find matching shoes for the kids in TWELVE MINUTES, you guys! And guess what? I actually did it, too.
Do you know what I looked like by the end of that day? A disheveled mess. I could barely formulate a sentence, much less cook dinner, bathe children or finish work after what I call my ‘5-8 break’. I live a life that is so restricted by 24 short hours in a day that twelve minutes was luxurious enough to get it done. Things that would otherwise could be fun to shop around for were like a checkmark on my never-ending to-do list.
I have officially jumped into the abyss of who am I? Where am I? What needs to be done next? That I haven’t smelled the roses in a long, long time. My weeks are full of feeding people, dropping off, working, picking up, feeding, bathing and activity coordinating. My weekends are full of catching up what got ignored around the house all week.
The thing is…I need a break. But guess what? We just spent a glorious week in Florida earlier this month, completely disconnected from work. I can’t need a vacation every month…if I need that many vacations, I need to change my life.
This is not easy for me to admit. I like to think I am capable of anything—that I can do all the things, all the time. I love to pack life full of adventure and fun, but in the constraints of working full time and caring for three small children, I am burnt out and what Shauna Niequist would call “dangerously depleted”. Hopefully this painful admission will be the beginning of big change, though.
I’m not sure how I’ll do it just yet—restore the inner peace. I’m not sure how I’ll make space or find time to think or even eat without multitasking. Maybe it will be one of the kid’s activities that needs to go. Maybe I’ll finally hire a housekeeper. Maybe I’ll start ordering those chef boxes for healthy, pre-cooked meals. I’m not sure what it will be but something’s got to give so that I can do less, and experience more.