Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tell me it's not just me.

I think I may be certifiable.

I feel like I'm going crazy (literally) these days. My brain seems so fragmented. I can't focus on an entire thought train long enough to finish the thought before it derails. My spirit is following suit, so by the end of the day I feel so scattered and frazzled that nothing short of a hot shower, a cup of hot tea, and some silent time in prayer will calm me down.

I'm not sure what's causing it, but I have some hunches. For one thing, at the beginning of the year I got in major organizing mode like the rest of the world. This is necessary in our house, but now that it's late February, I'm still finding random piles and assorted not-yet-finished projects here and there. Progress is being made, but in the meantime it seems as though all these piles are screaming at me: "Finish me first! No, me first! No, I'm the most pressing and annoying---finish ME first!" (In case you don't know this about me yet, I get easily overwhelmed. And when I'm overwhelmed, I tend to just shut down and not go any further. Handy quirk, I know.)

I'm also in the middle of reevaluating our daily schedule. It needs tweaking, as always, so that I can try to find a balance in juggling the many things we're trying to accomplish around here. I'm one of those weird ones that likes to have "fun time" scheduled in so that I don't feel guilty while I'm just goofing off playing with my kiddos!

There's also various trials going on in the lives of lots of the people I care about, and concern for them is preoccupying my thoughts.

So tell me, I used to think that this was just a "mom thing", but am I wrong? Do any of you find yourself in a mental mess from time to time? Thankfully this isn't a constant problem for me; it's intermittent, but when it hits it seems to stick around for awhile before I can shake it. Everyone else out there seems to be able to think clearly, though, so perhaps I need to just put in my request for my white straight jacket and the room with padded walls now?


Shelley Roberts said...

Perhaps we would be allowed to share that room together? I too have that feeling all too often, particularly now with the baby's due date getting closer. I think of all I need to do, get stressed out, procrastinate, get more stressed out, (repeat cycle), and end up a mental mess. Sometimes I think we just have to be reminded to take one day at a time and focus on the most important thing which is taking care of the family. Our kids won't remember the pile of things we didn't get done, but they will remember the fun times that we had. (Yep, another good excuse why I can just keep procrastinating!!)

Laura said...

I hear you!! As things get a little crazy there's piles of laundry/dishes/junk and such, it seems to take a lot more effort to get the ol' noggin back in gear. I'll go hopelessly from one pile to the other trying desperately to get something completed. I agree, that taking that quiet time to sip a cup of tea, pray and read the Bible really helps to get me back on track and a lot less frazzled! Good on ya!

Tami said...

Steph, it's definitely not just you. I get like this at times - it's hard right now as physically I just can't do everything I would like or usually can do.

But here's what I have done in the past to help myself through times like this:

Make a list of all the unfinished "projects." Hear me out, 'cause this seems like it might make things worse. First, don't put anything new on there, no new projects until these are wrapped up. Usually once I out them on paper, it didn't seem as bad.

Second, start breaking up the list into doable tasks. You can prioritize in different ways: the one driving you the most crazy can go first, or maybe the ones closest to completion, or the ones which don't require purchases (like storage containers), etc. However you want to do it. Then start breaking it down. Is the first job on the list doable in one naptime? Then assign it to the first day. Is it a several day job? Do it the first week.

This will help in several ways. First, it will relive you of guilt for not doing all the other things on the list. Those aren't your job for the day (or week), So you can mentally set them aside without feeling bad about it. Second, you feel like you have accomplished what you needed to by attending to the first job. It also keeps you from feeling overwhelmed (it's only one job) and from neglecting your kids. This is because you are only doing what you can do during a nap, or after bedtime, after dad's home, or whatever.

Once that project is taken care of, move on down the list. Remember to break jobs up into reasonable activities. So maybe instead of organizing a dresser, do a drawer a day. If all the closets need it, only do one closet at a time, maybe one a day or week, until they are all done. With three little ones, you aren't going to be able to devote long periods of time to big projects. For sanity's sake, I had to learn to break it into doable pieces. But once I got the hang of it, this actually made me feel good. I could accomplish much if I adjusted how I went about it.

Well, HTH, and hope you break out of your funk soon! Tami

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the support, guys. Would you believe I think some of it may be attributable to allergies? Today my brain seems to be thinking alot more coherently.

And Tami, good advice. You inspired me to make the list, which was really not as long as I thought. Now I just need to break it down, and perhaps focus on trying to finish the unfinished projects before thinking about starting all the new ones in my head.

Lora said...

Easy cure: morning sickness. Then the only thing you worry about is how comfy your bed/couch is, how quiet it is, how clean/close your toilet it. a very easy fix to last approximately 12 weeks.

Erik, Cathryn, Grace & Dixie said...

Um, hi, perhaps we've not met... my name is... wait, what is my name? Was I just saying something?

Come hang out with me and your mental problems will seem minor! I know we've talked about going upstairs and not remembering what for when you get there. And I'm pretty sure I put the leftovers in the pantry last night and am worried about putting a baby in the fridge!

My point is, we're all a little nuts, you just are sane enough to notice! :) All my friends have "Mom-nesia" as well, so it must be common. Just keep doing your best at tackling your projects. Maybe you could make a list of all that you have accomplished so far this year to remind yourself that you are making progress!