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.


Stephanie said...

Oh, friend. Unfortunately, I am not a lot of help here, since I will go until I'm exhausted. The best thing I can tell you is that this pause was most likely a blessing; it means you know you need to evaluate. You are strong and you can do it, but should you? You're not alone, and the first step is asking for help (at least it was for me). I'm pulling for you!

Jen said...

I know I am way behind, but I am not too helpful either. Yoga? Prayer? Getting rid of one thing? Or part of one thing? Who knows. You are probably breathing a sigh of relief now. School being out has given me slivers of time because I don't have to be a slave to the bell. Love it, and I will treasure it for the summer. Good luck!