Monday, May 14, 2012

On Listening to My Body

Yesterday morning I awoke with my stomach knotted, a fever, chills. And an exhaustion so intense, I felt dizzy if I sat up. My body felt rooted to the mattress beneath me. It wouldn't cooperate with my day's agenda. This vessel that carries me through life was speaking. I needed to listen to what it was telling me: you need to stop--you need to slow down. So I did. I slept and I slept and I slept.

It was Mothers' Day and I ended up spending most of my visit with my own mother wrapped in a quilt I made for her 65th birthday, on a bed my family's had since childhood, now stored in my old bedroom. My fever dreams echoed with the sounds of playing grandchildren.

In my heart I kept saying: I don't have time for this. Not now: the AP exam is Wednesday, and state testing, and commitments to family and friends, and work, and work, and laundry--always laundry, and the landlord's inspection, and, and, and.

The truth is that I need to slow down and I don't really know how. This life I've designed for myself, my life, is stuffed full. There is what feels like far too much shoved neatly into a tight compartment of 24 hours. Don't get me wrong: I like that my life is so full: I love my job, I dote on my students, I want to be the best aunt and sister and colleague and teacher and daughter and friend--I love my friends, I love my family, I love the people in my life. But my rich life is overwhelming me. I'm gainfully employed with two jobs. Jobs I need. But it is, simply put, way too much.

I've no idea how to avoid it: this overflowing plate, this juggling. I feel like all that is expected only amplifies over the years. I can't imagine having a husband or children or a yard to maintain. I can barely get the oil changed!

And so, I ask you, my dear readers: am I alone here? How do you swing it all? How do you say no? How do you fit it all in? Because lately I feel I'm failing abominably. June cannot come soon enough. And even when school is out, I sign myself and my time up for more.