When responsibilities stack up, literally.



This stack of old-school, spiral bound notebooks and binders is the framework of my life and responsibilities. They are my couch buddies today. I have a head cold and a lot of work to do. I am not so sick that I should be in bed, asleep, but I shouldn't be around other people. I get fatigued fast so I need to take everything slow.


I like paper. I am visual. I have digital resources too, a very nice computer and smart phone, but I always default back to paper. Each of these notebooks represent a different part of who I am and what I am involved in. They hold the information my brain can't hang on to. They keep me organized and help me push forward. I like to take and keep notes. I like to-do lists. I have multiples of many of these notebooks. Someday my kids will look at all the spiral bound notebooks I have amassed and either burn it all or peruse them and find some tidbits of dear old mom's mind in their pages.


Yellow= personal/family finances

Royal blue= personal religious study

Turquoise= Clay Arts, Utah

Green spiral bound= church responsibilities

Navy blue= Timpanogos Storytelling Festival: Pottery Tent

Green binder= Spring City Arts

Red= Muddy Pants Pottery as well as ongoing, overall to-dos and sketchbook.


I am feeling about as organized as this mess is today. I feel like everything that needs to be done is buried here in this stack. I will find them, but maybe not all of them today. I want to turn on the TV and watch the next episode of the latest series we are binging, but I won't. I am tired and a little foggy but I can't let that stop me. Don't get me wrong, I will rest, eat right and take any necessary meds to help me feel better as quickly as possible. And I won't kill myself trying to do all of this today, but some days we just have to push through. Deadlines don't wait. Information needs to be shared and some to-dos are time sensitive. I'll get there.


The most important thing is to keep perspective. All of these responsibilities have their time and season, so to speak. Not everything has to be done at the same time. There is often overlap, but overlap can be managed. Responsibilities become overwhelming when we lose sight of the priorities. Just like all things in life. If we lose sight of priorities everything else becomes hard, overwhelming and often feels impossible. It is the old adage of how to eat an elephant, one bite at a time. I have learned how to take bites. Sometimes even the single bite can feel rubbery and chewy and take extra time to be ready to swallow. Sometimes I need to spit out a bite and move on because the gristle is too much for me. But I have to start taking bites. I have to start somewhere and move forward.


More often than not, once I start that forward movement, things begin to fall into place. The feelings of being overwhelmed start to pass. Action makes for a good friend. Action can change feelings from negative into positive. Action allows us to see where we are compared to where we were and helps us look forward to where we want to be.


So, when I find myself sitting on the couch with all my responsibilities stacked up with me, the best thing I can do is take one of them and do it. No matter how small, if it needs to be done then I do it. That is action. Then I can move to the next thing. Eventually, little by little I put those responsibilities in order and make progress. That's a good feeling. I like good feelings.


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