Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Tiny Quit

I’m beginning to think that giving myself the challenge of blogging everyday for thirty days during the month of October might have been a bad a bad idea or at the least it was a poorly thought out decision.   I am going through what is perhaps the busiest time in my adult life and I’m finding that I simply do not have enough hours in the day to complete every task that needs doing.   

Flash back to a time about 7 years ago.  I was a full time student attending school at night to obtain my associates degree.  I worked a full time job.  I’d just made a return to dance after a 15 year absence.  I served on the board of a very active local non-profit and was due to take on the role of board president.    I was a community organizer, feeding volunteer for a feral cat rescue organization, and also volunteered several times a month at a local soup kitchen.  I tutored ESL students in research and writing at the college I was attending.  I was writing a regular column and blog on the subject of urban wildlife and had a fairly decent following.   Oh…and I was in a relationship and somehow managed to keep up some semblance of a social life.

I kept up this pace for nearly two years and then one day, after I returned from a trip to visit my brother on the west coast, I crashed.  Perhaps a more accurate word would be that I deflated.  I remember looking at the ‘things to do after vacation’ list that I’d written out before I left and I realizing that in my absence it had grown.   My world hadn’t stopped while I was gone.  I had a voicemail box of messages and couple hundred emails, all of which required some sort of action on my part.   I could say that I felt overwhelmed but it was more that I was on the edge of panic.  For a moment I couldn’t even breathe. It was as though the weight of all that I had to do was piled upon my chest pressing upon me.

At that time I did what I now refer to as The Big Quit.  I stayed in school and stayed working of course, but I quit nearly everything else.  I resigned from the board, passed my organizing duties on to others, became a back up volunteer feeder and left the soup kitchen.  I cancelled nearly every social engagement I had in the coming month and took the summer off from dance classes.  I put my writing on hold.   I found a therapist and swore I’d never do this to myself again.

Now here I am.  I’ve returned to full-time school.  I work two part-time jobs.  I am performing on a regular basis, nearly once a week (really…a third part-time job).   I am producing a show that will run for three nights at a local theater in less than two weeks.   I am working to make a success of the variety show troupe that I manage (one could call this part-time job number four).  I’m writing nearly daily to keep up this blog and to just keep my skills fresh.  My days are filled with rehearsals, homework, classes, work, promoting and sometimes I even sleep.  I’ve had two unexpected cat emergencies in the past three weeks.  My social life is basically nonexistent.  I am behind on EVERYTHING.

I don’t want another Big Quit in my life.  I know that in doing what I had to do to take care of myself then left a lot of other folks holding the bag of my undone tasks.  This time I don’t really have someone to pass my tasks on to and to just let them slide would have an impact on other people.  There is another big difference between then and now and that is that much of what is on my plate right now has an end time.  In two weeks the show will be done and I’m scaling back my performing over the winter.  In December the semester will end and I will have better planned my schedule for the spring.   In many ways it is just a matter of managing well until I get through these times.  However, right now I do need to let something go and it is going to be this month’s NaBloPoMo.   It might seem a small thing to an outside observer but I began writing this post at about 10:15 and the time is now 11:30. 

I will make an attempt at NaBloPoMo again, likely sooner than later.  I will still post regularly to the blog but on my own schedule.   Now I have three hours to shower, eat lunch, prep costuming for a show tonight and maybe do a bit of math homework. 

On with the day.

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