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Saturday, August 9, 2014

On Feeling Overwhelmed And Just Doing The Next Thing

Yesterday, I woke up in a bad mood.  I'm sure part of it had to do with the fact that it was Hannah's first night without her pacifier, and she was up crying for awhile in the early morning hours.  And part of it was because I was thinking over all of the things I had on my to do list for the next couple weeks.  I'm still very much in the midst of homeschool planning, trying to get the overall resources mapped out, and the specifics of the first month.  Vacation Bible School is next week and I'm teaching the stories.  I'm the only organist at church now. I have to remember to buy these five things at the grocery store.  And so on and so forth.

All of a sudden, I felt very overwhelmed.

Earlier this summer, I made a specific effort to start getting rid of extra commitments in my life so I wouldn't feel stressed out, but a few things have crept back in, and there are some that are extra for right now, that won't normally be on my plate, but they're all at the same time, which makes it hard.  I know I need more margin in my life, and I'm hoping that once I get past this couple-week span of crazy I can fall back into a calmer routine.

So instead of looking at the big list of everything that needed to be done, I focused on just doing the next thing.  This isn't a new idea by any means, but every now and then I need a reminder to just focus on the small steps.

I printed out the calendar pages for my homeschool binder and hole punched them.  I made a list of science activities to copy from a book I borrowed from the library.  I chopped a veggie for dinner.  I did the dishes. I picked art projects for two more weeks of school.  None of these things took a lot of brainpower, but they helped me feel like I was making progress.  They helped me feel a little bit less overwhelmed.

When I look at my to do list, it still keeps getting longer.  There's still a lot to be done before VBS, before school starts, before Elizabeth is born, before Christmas.  But I'm just a few steps closer.

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