#5: Pressure Cooker (the kind where no actual food is made)

#5: Pressure Cooker (the kind where no actual food is made)

I put a lot of pressure on myself.

I could lie on the couch and tell you all about how this is the fault of my parents, the church, my education….but I won’t.

It’s just me. It’s how God wired me, and frankly, I don’t know what He was thinking. I see a situation – a room in my home, how my family eats, issues at work – for what I think it should be or could be, and it’s all over with.

I promise I don’t do this about things which aren’t mine. I’m just sayin’ – I’m not coming to your house to judge you. I just judge me, quickly, harshly and constantly.

For years, with a few exceptions, I had it pretty together. My photos were organized, and my finances, small as they were, were in order. My apartment was usually clean, my car maintenance fairly up-to-date. I had annual and quarterly goals that I worked on and often achieved.

Then, six years ago, I entered a tunnel of chaos from which I haven’t emerged. And from what I understand, I’m not likely to make it out any time soon.

The first thing I did was fall in love with and marry a guy who’s not like me. He’s not terribly judgmental, of himself or others, and is really good at just enjoying the present.

Then, during our first two years of marriage, I transitioned to life back to the US, finished my doctoral coursework and dissertation, started a nonprofit organization and began serving as its executive director, traveled a good bit, repainted and renovated the former bachelor pad, and was pregnant twice (once successfully, once not).

I lied to myself frequently, the sentence always sounding like this: “Once X is finished, things will calm down and I can get to (this thing that I need/want to do).” Time is what is needed for those of us who belong to this merry band of perfectionists. Time to sort, organize, make lists, do, do, do.

Time always seemed to be just around the corner.

And then I became a mother. Feel free to laugh.

Here’s how I’m trying to work on this:

1. Enjoy the moments of today. I have two wonderful girls and a loving husband on whom I get to spend my time.
2. Focus on today’s to-do list. I love to plan long-term, big-picture. But right now, there are too many factors that can throw me off my plan, leaving me feeling like a failure. I still have those longer-term lists, but every morning I focus only on what I think I can get done today.
3. Deal with the emotions of frustration and disappointment as everything takes longer than I’d hoped and projects have to be postponed for now.

Is anyone else out there going through a season like this? (Or, has anyone figured out how to get 27 hours into 24?)

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