So, there’s a lot of stuff going on in my life right now. I mean, probably less than most people if I’m being honest. I feel like I’ve “reached my limit” …but my limit is pathetically low.
I sort of see all of my responsibilities building up in some sort of internal “limit thermometer.” We all have these thermometers. Once you’ve finally “reached your limit,” the thermometer overflows and you start to feel overwhelmed.
This is how I imagine the average, “normal” person’s limit thermometer would look like:
See, they’ve got a lot going on here. A good amount of school work, house work, even job and relationship stress. It makes sense that this fictional, “normal” human being would be like, “Oh man, I’m stressed. Better take a bit of a break.”
And, that’s totally normal. Stress is normal. Feeling overwhelmed when you’ve got a lot going on is totally normal.
But you see, unlike our friend in the illustration above, my thermometer looks more like this:
I cannot multitask. When I’m focused on something, ALL my effort goes in to that one thing. Before I was married, this worked well for me. When I was in school, I just did school. I worked during the summers, and that was that. I didn’t have to clean a house. I didn’t have to worry about money. I didn’t have to give up as much as I do now for my relationship (and of course, I never, ever regret it! But it is hard work).
Now, I have to balance more than ever before.
School still takes up most of my time, but now when I come home, I can’t just plop down on the couch and do whatever I want. I have to clean, and cook, and last semester I worked while I was in school. I might have a new job soon now, and I’m terrified.
All my responsibilities and worries blend into one huge blob and overwhelm me to a point where I am barely functional. It gets to the point where I don’t even know exactly what’s stressing me out – it’s just…everything. When I start to think about house work, my mind doesn’t JUST think about cleaning the kitchen or vacuuming the floors.
House work snowballs into thoughts and worries about more school work and that turns into worries about money and finding a job and then I worry about balancing all these things along with a new marriage and I end up crying on the floor incapable of functioning or rational thinking. My “limit” thermometer breaks on a daily basis right now.
But, It’s something I’m working on, because life is full of multitasking. Yeah, maybe in the future I won’t have to balance school work with the rest of my life. But maybe in the future, I will have to balance raising KIDS with the rest of my life – and that seems a lot harder than what I’m doing right now.
So, I’m trying to learn how to manage the realities of everyday life without having a breakdown every single day. And let me tell you, it’s easier said than done.