You know how during an interview they always ask, "How are you at multitasking?" My answer was always, "Great!" because I was. I could have a few different things on the go, never forgetting things and remembering what else needed to be done. This is what I remember about myself, circa 2005. Then in 2008 something happened. My brain didn't function as well with numerous different things going on around it. The "thing" that happened we shall refer to as "Sloan".
When I went back to work after having my one-year maternity leave I found it difficult but I chalked it up to being in a different, brand new, crazy busy work place. Although that was likely a factor, the biggest factor was the "Sloan". I found that while I was working, my mind would drift back to "Sloan" and yet, when I was with the "Sloan" my mind would drift back to work.
Another question that gets asked in interviews is, "How do you deal with stress?" My response would likely be, "I'm great with stress. It keeps me motivated and I can pull through it without issues." But even as I look back to 2002, the year of my wedding, the truth then was that I dealt with stress by not eating. I was at my thinnest when I got married, and not from trying - just from the stress of busyness and forgetting to eat. Unfortunately that is not still the case. Now, it's a different eating solution... the opposite, in fact.
In 2010, another thing happened. We'll call that thing "Smith". You see, "Smith" didn't replace "Sloan", it just added to it. Then last year, another thing was added, called "Slater".
So, when I started a new position on February 4th, I thought it would all work perfectly into my little, perfectly planned out life. With this position only requiring 4-8 hours each week, it is a great mix to my life. I enjoy working to keep my feet in the life of marketing, and I enjoy having something new to add to the conversation with my hubby besides talking of diapers, playdates and disciplines. But, it hasn't been a fluid, no-problem, addition.
About a week after I started, my mind started to fall apart. I was struggling with how to manage my time (another one of those qualities I mastered up until 54 months ago). So I drew a little chart of my time and tried to follow it.
This was a rough draft and I knew I would type it up later, color code it and my life would follow smoothly.
Not so much. The color coding and typed part did happen, but the smoothly part didn't. The next week started and I completed my four hours of work and was back to controlling the home... which didn't work out as I hoped. It was all getting too much.
I haven't mentioned the other commitments I have during the week. Every Monday evening I attend the Women's Ministry lessons at my church. Then Wednesday evenings are our couple's Bible study. Then there's Friday and Saturday evenings, in which every one this month had a social engagement. Sundays are usually reserved for family night, and this month, three of the four hosted awards ceremonies (Golden Globes, Grammys and Oscars) which meant that we joined together with my family to predict and watch the shows.
Add all those up and I had approximately 7 days without plans this month. That new holiday, Family Day, couldn't have happened during a better month for me. I needed one more day with my hubby home... although, we ended up with plans on that day too.
This last week, I fell apart... in a totally exaggerated meaning of the word. What actually happened was that I just didn't make it to two of our commitments I needed the time to sit on the couch, clear my mind and veg out. I wasn't getting my weekly Sabbath and needed to take three rest days in a row.
So on Monday night I talked with my hubby and laid it all out there, "I'm not meant to be a mom and an employee." I continued with my complaining, "I was up for close to two hours last night with my brain going too fast with all the little things going on. I have all these things that need to be done for work, plus all the stuff for home and my brain is tired. I don't know how you people do it who work and have families." He smirked at me, and told me that was how the world does it.
And since my hubby knows me so well and is the perfect match for me, he told me what to do. And rather than sit and think of nothing while watching 1600 Penn (an entertaining show, I may add), I turned on the laptop, pulled up a spreadsheet, wrote a list and breathed a sigh of relief. I don't need to do everything right now. I just need to plan out when it can all be done. I need to explain to my boss that I am one who does best with starting and completing one project before starting on the 14 other ones. Then we can prioritize and start completing them. He is an ideas and vision guy and while I'm sure he would love to have them all done at the same time (today) I know that he will understand that we need to complete one project before starting on the next. The reason he hired me is because he needs someone to reel in his ideas and implement them. That is what I am good at.
I am thrilled to say that I have slept well all the rest of the nights this week, because God heard my pleas for help and because He gave me a great husband who can help me focus on the important and stop fretting over the small stuff. I made a great choice when I married that man.